Snow Sculptures


All of us owe a great deal of gratitude to those people that helped us develop our interests and talents during our formative years. Maybe he or she drew out the piano player in you, and now as an adult, the piano gives you great joy. Maybe it’s art, woodworking, fishing, or who knows what. Maybe they even introduced and cultured you in your chosen career.

I had a person in my formative years that helped me better see and appreciate the beauty of nature, and I’m forever grateful. Her name was Fannie, and she, more than anyone, cultured my sense of wonder, understanding, and appreciation for nature’s beauty. She influenced me in innumerable ways, and to this day, for example, most every time I look at a snow drift I think of her. As you might expect, I’ve been thinking of her a lot lately!

One winter day, when I was still in the spring of my life and she was well into the winter of hers, I took her for a drive around the countryside. It was just after a winter storm, and the landscape was a deep radiant white with the distinctive markings of strong winds. I remember being somewhat surprised when she reveled in the beauty of the landscape and the “snow sculptures.”

Snow sculptures? That apparently has resonated with me. One seemingly insignificant comment, but ever since that day I’ve had a very different view of the winter landscape.

After the recent wind and snow, our landscape is full of snow swirls, arches, ribbons, and other remnants of Mother Nature’s snowy sculpting that don’t even have names. Looking out on that fresh snowscape of course made me think of Fannie and her snow sculptures.

I suppose most people see just a bunch of snow, but I’m grateful for what Fannie helped me see. I hope you too will take a little time to really observe those large sweeping overhanging drifts and other features of the snowscape. They really can be quite interesting, and although beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder, if you will take the time to look, I think you’ll see the beauty in it. Mother Nature is an accomplished sculptor, and one of her more expressive media is snow.

Chuck Lura

Natural North Dakota is supported by NDSU Central Grasslands Research Extension Center and Minot State University-Bottineau, and by the members of Prairie Public. Thanks to Sunny 101.9 in Bottineau for their recording services.

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