California Snow Wonderland

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California Snow Wonderland: May snowstorm in Lake Tahoe

As you might surmise seeing snow in the middle of May in California is the last thing you would expect. Spring snow in California to me seemed somewhat of a paradox even at the elevation of 2,000 metres. And yet there is was, and plenty of it, whilst I was hiking around Lake Tahoe. The snowstorm caught me completely unawares; I am so happy that at least I brought my snowboarding jacket along, as its lightness, warmth and complete resistance to wind is perfect for taking a long exploratory walk in the mountains. The shoes, on the other hand, were utterly wrong: as non waterproof as they come and they were soaked through within minutes. Regardless of my freezing wet feet, I had the most wonderful afternoon; ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved snow.  I love the way it transforms its surroundings, rendering them almost unrecognisable and serene. I love the uncanny feeling that you get from the defeaning silence that accompanies a heavy snowfall; fresh snow absorbs sound, since vibrations are attenuated by the air trapped in the snowflakes. Unfortunately the snowfall only lasted that particular afternoon, and the next morning spring with its accompanying warm sunshine was back on track!

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