24 April 2012

Snowing in Batavia....

The sunday weather forcaster predicted 'winter storms' in the north western parts of New York state including areas of Lake Erie, near the districts of Buffalo. 
You can expect severe winter storm and heavy snow fall and snow accumulation in these areas for the next two days starting from the night of 22nd of April  till the evening of 24th of April, so said the weather guy.
Bang in the middle of my travel season, as it were.
I had flown down to Sanfrancisco, California, on the 19th of April and was scheduled to be back in Batavia in the early hours on the 23rd. The snow storm warning, if it is accurate, meant that I will land in Buffalo airport right in the middle of Snow, as it were.
Of course, I did not believe these so called 'weather' forecasters. They are more like 'Whether' forecasters. "Whether it will rain or whether it will snow, well, we don't know. It might rain or it might snow", sitting in their weather protected cabins, solemnly they proclaim to the wide world. In India, I have not seen many weather forecasts turning out to be accurate.
So, despite the dire warnings, I ventured out of SFO on the evening of 22nd, bound for Buffalo.
The route I took was to travel from SFO, Washington DC, Buffalo. My flight from DC took off on time. I considered it a good sign that the flight was not delayed due to bad weather at Buffalo. 
Snowflakes were falling and snow was slowly building up on the sidewalks as I got out of the airport. I rented a  'Hertz' car and took off to Batavia, a distance of about 45 miles. There was not much traffic on the roads (since people had faith on the weather channels, I suppose), but driving was not easy as visibility was about 150 meters at max.

But I soldiered on. 
As I was driving the intensity of snow fall increased. Just like rain pelting at the windshields back in India, soft snow flakes were hitting my windshield. Once they hit the windshield, it was as if their life mission was accomplished and they quickly receded into the sides, pushed by my viper, and patiently waited for their brethren to join them.
The snow continued to fall as I reached my home in Batavia. I was all excited to see the snowfall. For one, I had never seen snow fall in my life. Having lived my life almost exclusively in the tropical Indian cities (where the climate is always 'hot, hotter, hottest'), sitting through a snowfall was an adventurous experience for me. But there was another reason for my excitement. Like they say in stock market, snow fall was a 'Lead indicator' of good things to come. In every English movie that I had seen, the snow fall was a signal for pretty women to jump out of their cars, run to the nearest available guy they espy on the streets and lock lips with them like they (the guys on the streets, I mean) were some kind of postage stamps. Snow was a harbinger, if I may use a tough word, of kisses and liplocks to come. The way I saw it, I just have to be out there as the snow ebbs and I may not need a lip balm for the next few days.
I couldn't wait for snowfall to stop to venture out into the streets.
In the meantime, while the snow was falling, I was out with my camera. I took photos, I took videos. I took photos of my car, photos of the white sheet of snow covering the grass, I took photos of balls of snow covering the leaves in the plants in front of my houses. I took snaps of the snow covered rooftops, of cars covered with snow, of footstep marks on the snow. I took long shots, I took panoramic views and I took close ups....
I took photos of snow, if you see what I mean.
Watching the snow fall, I felt very excited like a kid who has seen the magic wheel in a local fair. I couldn't sit still. I had to get up every few minutes and watch the snow fall all over. I felt very happy that I had seen much of what US can offer. I had been to Niagara, to NY and to Silicon Valley. 
And now I have seen snow fall. What more is there to see?
Snow continued to fall thru the afternoon and into the evening. My excitement started to wane. Enthusiasm was turning to irritation. Anyone read the story 'The Rain' by Somerset Maughm? The story talks about a group of people stranded due to incessant rain in a Pacific Island. Over a period of two weeks, the excitement of the tourists turned into depression and finally into paranoia. 
While I wasn't depressed, the incessant snow fall had its impact on me. By the evening, I was not much fascinated about the Snow fall. Snow could go know?. To make matters worse, it started to rain. If snow fall was bad, the rain after snow fall was the ultimate. It was not much of a rain than was a drizzle. But, sitting in the house, with the only sound was the fall of the rain on the roof and the house slowly turning colder, I felt very lonely.
But that was yesterday.
Today the day has started great. Finally sun is coming out and the snow is started to melt. I went out just now and took a few more snaps. Will upload them some time.

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