Sucker Holes

sucker hole

We did not know this when we settled here, but Upstate New York is notorious for overcast winters. We’ve adapted by having pale walls, lots of windows, and several skylights. We’ve learned to love the muted winter palette: of plum-toned woods punctuated with tips of dark spruce green, of distant blue hills, only occasionally flood-lit to gold or mauve by the sun peeking through. We call them ‘sucker holes’: the small blue holes in the heavy cloud-cover. They lift spirits and chins to scan for sun, and then the wind sighs, whispers, “Suckers!”and closes the promising gaps.

Today, the wind kept blowing though, until the sucker holes spread open to a major blue sky, edged with clouds. An hour rather than a moment, of sunlight! We are wowed with the phenomena of shadows: blue, mattress-ticking stripes across the snow, revealing contours where there’d been flat blank whiteness before. We gaze, squinting, with the same fascination we’d give Northern lights.

There are still fleets of clouds, grouping to lumber across the sky again. Small fluffs beneath them swim toward the east, like dolphins playing in the bow wave of schooners. The schooners darken the distant hills to somber, dark blue. Now they’re disappearing into white. Ah yes, that old wind has just arrived, blowing snow to wash out all color, most detail, and of course, the sun. I can almost hear it: “suckers!”

white out

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One Comment on “Sucker Holes”

  1. Diane Says:

    Here is my response. This is the funniest picture I’ve ever seen.


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