02/24/2010 (4:35 pm)

Counting the snowflakes

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On days like today when it snows in the mid-Hudson Valley, friends and family from other areas want to know how many inches we got. We tend to get a lot more than people to the south of here.

I try to give an accurate answer, but it’s hard to say. Drifts will cause greater accumulations in some spots, and drippings from the trees will tamp down the piles in others. I am reminded that the Constants, the house’s owners-twice-removed, had the job of measuring precipitation and reporting it to the National Weather Service when they lived here from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. In fact, until our garage came down a couple of years ago, their special yellow measuring cup was attached to it.

Today I planned to go outside and measure with a ruler in several places, then average my findings. But I can’t find my ruler. Using my show shoes as yard sticks seems a little unscientific, but they’re what I’ve got. Somewhere at the bottom of some landfill, that special measuring cup is mocking me.

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