Merwin: Deep Snow and Happy Trout

I take some solace from the fact that this morning's snowfall will eventually become part of next summer's trout stream. That's how I consoled myself while clearing the driveway so my wife could get to work. It is still snowing hard as I write this, 15 degrees, and with a harsh wind.

As with so many other places, our winter snowpack eventually becomes the ground water that feeds area creeks all summer. In years with little snow, our streams and trout suffer from low and warm water. But not this year. I haven't seen bare ground since November.

I've often though of living in Florida or New Mexico or someplace else warm and snowless. But I'm not sure I could do it. I think the harshness of winter makes spring seem all the more glorious. A couple of months from now, spring flowers will be in bloom along the riverbanks, flowing waters will have cleared, and the trout will be rising to a Hendrickson hatch--all fed by this morning's frosty blanket. I can deal with that.