|Elmira Snow Day|
|Fun in the Snow is for Dogs|
|Snow on the Fence Post|
It's another snow day.
Better than a brown day, or a polar vortex day. But I'm longing for open waters on the pond--the day I can announce that the feathered-guests have returned. I'm longing for a merganser day.They'll need the water so for now, I'll endure the snow.
Despite the gusting wind, the snow muffles all sound. If my fingers weren't so cold, I'd stay out longer. I left my gloves so that I could take pictures, but each shot looks the same--filtered in white. Bobo searches for mice and Grendel rolls in the snow. They love a snow day.
Back inside, my fingers fumble to get kindling started. It's so quiet that the only sound is the gravelly crush of the snow plow's blade as it heads north. It'll return, southbound, in about five minutes since we are so close to the county border. The next border beyond is Canada.
Crackling now, my fire consumes birch bark and newspaper until flames engulf split pine logs. I watch the glowing orange and my fingers relax. A strange sound draws my attention to the train tracks. An odd-looking locomotive slowly lumbers northward on the BNSF track. It's yellow, but old and rusty, a design I don't recognize. It's different from the locomotives that pass Elmira.
Then I see flames. Strange cars linked together in a short train of eight or nine, blast the rails beneath with flames. It occurs to me that this contraption is how the railroad clears its tracks, although we've seen plows mounted on engines and heard of air-blowers. This contraption looks old--like rustic-old. It's a steel dragon breathing fire out the belly of each car. Never have I seen such a train. Like the Hellfire Express.
And neither shall you see it! So befuddled, I watch it progress, ending with a tanker car and an old-fashioned yellow caboose. Then it occurs to me that I need a picture. Too late; it vanishes into myth beyond a stand of pines.
Maybe it was simply the mirage of a snow day.