Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Snow Doughnuts

Snow doughnuts, like these found in the North Cascades, form when snow conditions are just right.

I haven't see anything as unusual as this in our snow. Unfortunately all I can see as the snow melts is the little dumplings Annie the dog has left for me throughout the winter.

The snow is melting though, we can see it going down slowly, in the morning the sheen of the night's below zero temperatures make the snow look like meringue. Trees that have been bent over all winter are starting to straighten like old men with arthritic backs, creaking and popping as they are released.

My husband and I are getting bored. I never let my children say they were bored, I always found something for them to do. He can't do anything else right now because he is waiting for the snow to go and I am looking forward to pottering outside in the garden.

I have been reading 'Gorky Park' by Martin Cruz Smith, it is interesting but hard going I find. What a grim place Russia must be, at least that is how it is depicted in the book. I have never had any desire to visit there, probably all that snow would be too much like home. I have always wanted to visit Greece and I think China would be interesting. Northwest of us in Prince Rupert, a huge container port is being built, and a great deal of Chinese imports will be arriving there to be shipped by rail throughout North America. Also it is predicted that there will be a large influx of Chinese tourists into this area so I would assume that it will become easier to visit Mainland China in the future.

On the west coast of Canada it seems to me that it would be more profitable for our children to be learning Chinese or Japanese than taking French Immersion classes, that is unless they wish to work for the government or move to Quebec. I learned French, in England, from Kindergarten to Graduation but still can't speak it. I could write an essay, take dictation, do precis all in French but suffered terrors if asked to speak it, as it turned out I have never needed it. When I went to school pronunciation and grammar were drilled into you so much that you feared to say it incorrectly, so you didn't say it at all. The Europeans have a much better idea, get the children chattering and the rest will fall into place. Hopefully the methods of teaching a language have changed since I went to school.


Liz said...

I was the same with French: I dreaded having to speak it out. It was putting on the accent that did it for me. I was better at languages but, because of this horror, took science instead. A silly mistake in hindsight.

Jeni said...

Raining here now, a light misty drizzle type thing and the temps today are very comfortable so our snow is beginning to disappear nicely.
Language changes in school - boy, my Mom had Latin still being taught when she was in high school. By the time I got there, the only choice of a foreign language was to take two years of French. I remember a couple words here and there, a few phrases too - just enough to drive my kids batty when they pop into my mind. But the kids here today have a choice between Spanish and Russian. Considering how our country is insisting on everything being presented in English and Spanish now, I think if I were in school today, I would opt for the Spanish. At least I wouldn't have to learn a completely different alphabet, huh?