First Snow

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I knew the snow had started when I realized it was quiet.

Snow in North Carolina is an unusual thing, both in frequency and because of the general public response to it. East of the mountains, which  are another beast entirely, we get a snowfall or two in a typical year, somewhere between January and March. More often than not, they are ephemeral, arriving in secret by night and melting away over the next series of mornings with little fanfare. But these usual non-events trigger an apocalyptic panic.

“Get your bread and milk now,” everyone will say with a wry smile when snow is in the forecast. It’s a tired joke, dry and self-deprecating. Even after you say it to a coworker with a roll of your eyes, you still make a note to drop by the grocery store on the way home.

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Nature Resolutions

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As an end-of-year lunch with some colleagues was winding down earlier this month, a question was asked that took me by surprise, but later struck me as inevitable: “So, what are your nature connection goals for the new year?”

In the past, I’ve skipped making resolutions more often than not. I hadn’t given that dreaded December R-word a single thought, let alone come up with a resolution about nature connection. There are always nature topics I hope to learn more about, but it may never have occurred to me to set concrete goals for them before that moment.

I pondered for a minute, then said, “Improving my sea shell identification.” Continue reading