Observing a fresh snowfall, we may be susceptible to a temporary state of peaceful reverie, coupled with nostalgia for childhood winter shenanigans. These fleeting feelings are quickly displaced by the challenges of removing it from whence it has fallen, from the very place that God has chosen to put it, to locations deemed less objectionable, by means of bending, lifting, turning and flinging, whereby causing aggravations and vexations including, but not limited to, swearing, grunting, perspiration, dampness, nasal discharge, aches, pains, soreness, etc. thereby rendering its aesthetic qualities increasingly less inspirational.

Despite all this, if the towering piles retained their fresh virginal white, like majestic arctic drifts, one might be able to engender a degree of joie de vivre, but no, the great heaps that loom at every turn are striated gray and brown, sprinkled with bits of trash and dog poop. Impeding our path are moats of gray slush, inviting passing motorists to douse us with plumes of freezing glop. Despite salt spread in Biblical proportions, treacherous patches of ice induce spectacular pratfalls . . .

But there I go, drifting into an unplowed cul-de-sac of negativity.

Better, perhaps, to reflect upon the beloved little birds of winter, who flit from snowy branch to snowy branch, nibbling unseen bits of God-knows-what, tittering away cheerfully, joyous in the knowledge that they need not put out trash cans or chairs to reserve precious parking spots. Caring not for downed power lines, burst pipes or multiple car pile-ups. Oblivious to outrageous heating oil costs, hordes of supermarket shoppers driven to panic by leering TV meteorologists, drunk with glee over reporting even a chance of a mere dusting. Unburdened by itchy, dry flaky skin, jarring static electricity shocks, hat hair, cold, stiff fingers struggling with uncooperative zippers, buttons, snaps and fasteners, . . . Yellow snow, black ice, red, chapped lips, pink eye, and the S.A.D. blues.

Well, things could be worse. Let's take a look at the forecast . . .

Forecast for 40.36°N 74.96°W

Fri. Feb. 4, 2011, 11:45PM

Winter Weather Advisory

Hazardous Weather Outlook

Overnight: A slight chance of snow and sleet between 1am and 4am, then snow and sleet likely, possibly mixed with freezing rain. Cloudy, with a low around 24. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 70%.Total nighttime snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Saturday: Rain, snow, freezing rain, and sleet before 1pm, then rain between 1pm and 5pm, then rain and snow after 5pm. High near 36. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New ice accumulation of around a 0.1 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Saturday Night: Snow showers, mainly before midnight. Low around 30. Calm wind becoming northwest between 7 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

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