Saturday, October 5, 2013

Winter is coming.

A snowstorm beat Chadron senseless like Elvis at a hempfest last night.

I'm currently at the Bean Broker, and on my way here I took some pictures of the damage. Trees have collapsed under the weight of snow all over; construction equipment was clearing felled trees on my street when I woke up this morning. Impromptu urban streams revealed their pathways for the day or two that they'll exist. And I'm currently negotiating with my dumbphone to transfer these pics to my computer so I can show you guys.

A bit about this dumbphone. It's actually quite smart for a dumbphone. It can play music, take pictures, and if it has a plan connected to it, it can text and make calls and browse the internet and all that. It's probably the smartest dumbphone you can buy, and it served me well until the company it works with decided to screw me. So now I use it as a music player and a camera. With a bigger SD card it could be as good as an iPod, and as for its camera abilities... they're not great, but I've been able to take pictures high-quality enough to use them on the comic. I actually quite like it, and I'll probably keep it around for many years to come. When I do finally part with it one day, it'll only be because it broke or I got a "real" camera, and if it still works I'll give it to someone who'll treasure it as much as I have.

Okay, the pics have uploaded. First, though, to get everyone in the spirit... here's one of my favorite wintry tunes, by the inestimable Loreena McKennitt. I highly recommend you hit "play" and then continue reading, if you can do so:

Back with me? Good. Here's the pics.

I found that one of my favorite trees in this town, on Chadron Street by the Safeway lot, went down. It's not completely dead, but it lost a lot of cover. If it dies I'll be really sad, but at least I'll have captured its dying moments. And its dying branches still shined today, as beautiful as it ever was. It was almost like a very tiny forest right there; the fallen branches created a tiny little enclave of nature in the heart of the city, and a tiny stream flowed through it.

As I was taking pictures of that tree, someone shouted over for me to take a picture of his snowman. He works at Sturdevant's, a local auto store, and he was bored stiff that morning, doubtlessly because there was no business. He stuck a hat from the business on the snowman's head, and car parts made his eyes and nose. I asked him what the snowman's name was, and he told me to name it. I decided "Sturdy" given the business, and the guy liked it. I told him I was gonna post it on this blog, so Sturdy would get to live forever in some sense. He seemed to like that.

After the guy went back inside, I continued to take pictures by the fallen tree. My cameraphone doesn't always get a clear shot, so I took several to make sure some would turn out. I wanted to take a picture of the stream flowing by its trunk, and even though it's just concrete underneath, it was kinda relaxing just to look at it. Nature briefly reclaimed a piece of the city.

By the stream, a single branch stood up, almost like a tiny tree. Instead of representing a tree at the very beginning of its life, it was at the very end. And this is technically fall, to boot, so the leaves have already turned. I suppose trees, like people, are similar at the very beginning and the very end.

As I walked into the Bean Broker, I decided to take this shot. There's gonna be an upcoming arc in The 503 where the gang cavorts around Portland after snowfall, and since the Broker is the Swagman in-strip, I figured a picture of the Broker under snowfall wouldn't be amiss. But also, it was just kinda pretty. It's a nice corner, and Andie (the owner) takes care to keep it that way. It was just a bit weird to see the outside furniture, which is there for nice weather, bearing a load of snow. But it is Nebraska.

I suppose, as far as the weather goes, there's two days I look forward to the most in the year: the first thunderstorm of the year, and the first snowfall after the summer. They're harbingers of the season to come, and they're fresh and new like kittens, and they haven't grown old and tiresome yet. The weather causes unique things to happen on those days, both in nature and among us humans. And this year, nature decided to end a great many trees in a spectacle of beauty, that will only last a day or two before the work crews clear away the branches, but now will live forever on this blog.

Thanks for reading. :)

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