Snow on the Bisalta

Yesterday the wind blew in and whirled the changing leaves through the air like schools of fish. And by the end of the day, there was a light dusting of snow on “our” mountain, the Bisalta. It’s an unmistakable mountain with a funny little nick cut out of the top, and it appears on a good portion of the logos of businesses in the area, as well as in other random places.


Piemonte, the region of Italy where we live, has eight mountain ranges. Our town rests on the bank of a river that carves a little valley out of some of these mountains. The last two winters, they’ve had unusually heavy snowfalls here. And when there’s too much snow in a narrow valley, there’s really nowhere to put it when you shovel it off the one road that runs up into the mountains. Last year we came back in April to a black snow mountain about twelve feet high (appropriately situated next to the climbing gym).

Being the tropical birds that we are, we think about winter a lot. We’ve spent the last several winters in San Diego playing at the beach. So it was with no little sympathy or trepidation that I observed the honey bees today, sampling the last nectar of the straggling dandelions and clover in our yard. They almost couldn’t fly anymore. I watched one bee try four times before she finally launched herself into the air.

Axa and Dominique, though, are overjoyed with the idea of snow. They wake up every morning and ask me if it will snow today. I hope they like it as much as they think they will when it comes. And I hope I like it more than I think I will.