- Education and Science»
- Geography, Nature & Weather
For someone like me with fibromyalgia winter is the worst time of year. The stiffness, joint pain and seasonal depression make me feel miserable this time a year. So, “What’s so great about the winter?”
Ask any one and you will see that most have very fond memories of making a snowman; skating, skiing down slopes, and having grandpa read them a book by the warmth of the fireplace. They may tell you that winter is “fun,” despite its hardships.
The once-noisy chipmunks and groundhogs lie quietly curled in their burrows, asleep until warmer weather comes. The geese and ducks have long since left southward for sun and warmth. The insects are stilled by the cold. Don’t be fooled.
When standing quietly in the woods or the yard, one can hear the tiny Birds chirping. The footprints in the snow reveal that weasels, rabbits, foxes and deer are out in search of food. Beneath the frozen ponds fishes are still swimming. Under the snow, the fallen leaves, hard soil, bark of trees, porch steps, in barns and deserted buildings, there is life still awaiting for spring. Insects and spiders develop some kind of antifreeze proteins a chemical trick to survive extreme temperatures. A whole other world three inches deep under the forest floor. Organisms are transforming leaves into gases and nutrients. Natural recycling by green plants to manufacture food and oxygen. How magnificent!
Even to this day, snow—its origin, flake growth, and design—staggers the mind of scientist. Snow crafted from the water vapor in the air. Temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure help sculpture them. A snowflake may be composed of a hundred delicate ice crystals in a variety of beautiful designs. One cubic foot may contain Ten million snowflakes. No two snowflakes are alike. Snow has great air-holding potential, making it an excellent insulator.
The amazing freezing power of water is awesome. It shouldn't be able to float. Yet, the water expands molecules trap air forming chunks of ice that float forming an insulating layer that protects the water and safeguards the living things underneath. Scientists have found that snow makes a sound inaudible to humans but very annoying to them when trying to use sonar to track migrating salmon.
So even in extreme pain during this time a year. I can't stop thinking about the positive effects, importance and charm of winter.
To whom are we indebted for winter charm? The Bible psalmist wrote: “It was you [Jehovah God] that set up all the boundaries of the earth; summer and winter—you yourself formed them.” (Ps. 74:17)“The pouring rain descends, and the snow . . . [and] actually saturates the earth and makes it produce and sprout, and seed is actually given to the sower and bread to the eater.” (Isaiah 55:10) For many of earth’s inhabitants, the water they drink and the food they eat, and even the electricity they use, may be directly or indirectly a result of tapping “the storehouse of the snow.” Thank God, then, for these fantastic winter wonders.