Snow and percussive sounds

The big storm predicted for the weekend arrived an hour or two after noon on Sunday. By four, outdoors was a howling white and nearly everyone had gone indoors. By five, I was outside, walking in the wind, through air turned to supernumerous flakes, and over and through drifts. It was wet, just cold enough for the snow to remain snow, and because of the street desertion, mostly unblemished white.

By the time I went home at seven, the wind was still picking up speed and strength and when the snow turned to rain later in the night, it was gusting nearly horizontally.

Enough snow had fallen before the rain that this morning’s sidewalks were masses of slush, ankle high and gray. The temperature stayed high enough that where shoveling had occurred, the walks are now clear, but everywhere else is a slick slab of ice. The wind has abated–after a morning through which I thought I would simply be blown to the ferry terminal.

Something–some things–were blown up today but I haven’t been able to determine what or why. At lunchtime, we were treated to an extended series of booms loud enough that both the sound and the shock waves travelled across the harbour. We could see smoke and flashes, as though from a flare gun, on the Halifax side, near a building on the waterfront. The red lights of a single emergency vehicle were in evidence but no other sign of this being a nonthreatening event. I discovered that turning to the web here doesn’t pull up local events with any rapidity at all–hear, feel, and see such an event in Berkeley and a quick turn to the internet would have given up the why’s and wherefore’s; here I am still in ignorance.

As though an answering, taunting echo, my walk up Inglis Street this evening was punctuated by a couple of nearby, but seemingly invisible, small explosions as well, as though from a handgun or small fireworks. No trail of smoking evidence this time–and no one else on the street to look around and wonder with me.

Perhaps the small explosions set to shake loose snow when an avalanche threatens? But an avalanche where–atop the grain elevator?


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