When this episode began last Friday,
it did not occur to me to document the opening scene.
So, picture the slopes below completely pristine and snow covered.
From the snow machine, mother nature being out of the building.
Friday night Emily was notified not to come in Saturday morning,
as all day rain was forecast.
However, come in Sunday morning at 7:30.
It did rain, beginning Friday night and lasting to this morning.
The river, my constant, is very high.
Ski slopes are not a constant in my life.
When I delivered Emily at 7:30 this morning, the parking lot is half a lake
and I wondered how those slopes could be skied upon.
I took these images, hand held, several second exposures.
That bright light half way up the hill is a machine that smooths the ruts away.
I thought surely they would have made more snow, but on second thought,
how do they make snow in the rain?
Obviously, they cannot make snow once customers arrive;
and risk pelting one with frozen water.
The end of the shift, when I retrieved Emily.
The parking lot lake is full.
Folks are skiing under that glowering early afternoon sky.
This is the 7:30 a.m. scene directly above!
People are skiing down.
The lifts are going up.
Here is the answer to the mystery.
Real snow is fluffy stuff, generally, and is broken down and made far less by the skis on it.
Snow machines make ice balls, not snow flakes.
The balls disintegrate far more slowly than flakes, and also retain their shape, as opposed to snow flakes losing all their pretty edges and becoming too fragile to hold up.
So there you have it. As long as that smoothing machine can take care of yesterday's ruts, skiers are good to go. I wonder if it has a name, like hockey's Zamboni.
Well, next week I'll take a picture of lots of snow on the slopes, and then we'll let Emily get on with working.