Saturday, January 06, 2007

What to call this fifth season? Wintring?

Strange season, unmoored in time, both here and in Washington -- partly spring and the birth of hope, partly winter and the death of hope. Not winter, not spring. Here in Madison, it's as if we have a fifth season this year. We had that cold snap early in December that froze Lake Wingra and brought out the ice boats. But that's behind us now. Instead, it's greening out nicely, as in this view of Bill's Woods, just west of Picnic Point. Of course, winter will probably come back, but for now we need a new name for a new season. "January thaw" just doesn't seem to cut it. How about wintring?

This is not an ice boat.

The water itself has a slow, sluggish quality; the waves move with a tired, viscous lassitude. It's as if the water knows it's midwinter and it should be sleeping, but it can't. At the same time, it's too tired to move very energetically. That's what it's like in wintring.

5 comments:

Dr Diablo said...

Sprinter

Madison Guy said...

Sprinter was considered, but who goes running in wintring?

tom fiorillo said...

Does it look like Mendota will freeze this month? To me this is really like another canary in the coal mine. If it doesn't freeze, that's really scarey. I live in NY but went to UW, and, yes, I was one of 'those NYers,' let's just say I went to 'meetings' where Paul Soglin spoke before he finished law school.

Madison Guy said...

Tom: Greetings from Madison. You're having your own heat wave, aren't you? So far, Mendota looks like one wet canary. But the latest freeze date was Jan. 30 in 1932, so I suppose it can still freeze, though it's going to have to cool off some to do it. It's amazing how variable the ice cover has been, as this chart shows. From nearly half a year (161 days) to less than a month (21 days). Guess which is more recent.

renew said...

What about "Spinter"?