It’s a whimsical winter notion.
“Some imaginative and wonderfully learned German scholars tell us that every snow flake is inhabited by happy little beings, who begin their existence, hold their revels, live long lives of happiness, and delight, die and are buried, all during the descent of the snowflake from the world of clouds to the solid land,” The Granville Sentinel reported on May 12th, 1886.
It’s a spiritual notion, in which the beings in snowflakes sacrifice their lives to enrich the lives of woodsmen.
“The lumbermen have not prayed in vane for snow,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on December 31st, 1883.
A warming trend could bring a woodsman back to his knees.
“The thaw has made the sleighing thin in Bolton. It makes the lumberman look sad,” The Morning Star reported January 3rd, 1885.
“The lumbermen are looking very blue these days, there being no snow to draw their logs,” The Morning Star reported on January 15th, 1885.
Joy would return in the days ahead.
“Lumbermen are jubilant over a little more snow and a spell of cold weather,” The Morning Star reported on January 22nd, 1885.
In mid-March, the temperature at Blue Mountain Lake gave loggers confidence of finishing the job.
“The thermometer registered twenty-four below zero Monday morning and no one complained of it being too warm,” the Blue Mountain Lake correspondent to The Morning Star reported on March 13th, 1885. “The Morgan Lumber Company, who has sixteen teams here drawing logs, are doing good business now, and if sleighing holds out fifteen days more, they will finish drawing.”
The snow beings sacrifice their lives to bring laughter to young and old.
“Snow shovels are in great demand and are said to be next to roller skates for exercise,” The Morning Star quipped on February 20th, 1885.
“We have about eighteen inches of snow and good sleighing,” the Luzerne correspondent reported on December 27th, 1884.
“Christmas was indeed a merry one here and abouts,” The Glen’s Falls Republican reported on December 29th, 1863. “It could not well have been otherwise with such fine sleighing – clean, cold, crisp, invigorating atmosphere, and magnificent sunshine.”
Ice beings, siblings of the snow beings, sacrifice their lives to enrich the lives of ice harvesters.
“Ice has formed to the thickness of from eight to ten inches in the river above the falls. Should the cold wave of the past continue, ice men will commence their annual harvest some time this week,” The Morning Star reported on January 5th, 1885.
A month later, residents rejoiced in a bountiful harvest, which, based on the law of supply-and-demand, meant stable retail prices in the months ahead.
“Another week will see all of the ice houses on the Hudson filled with the congealed aqua,” The Morning Star reported on February 9th, 1885.
“According to estimates of competent judges, the harvest will yield 3,500,000 tons. The large supply would seem to insure low prices next summer.”
The ice beings bring laughter too.
“The ice on the lake is quite thick, considering the weather, and the skating tolerable good,” the Luzerne correspondent reported December 5th, 1884, in The Morning Star.
The cousin of the snow and ice beings can be equally creative.
“Jack Frost displayed his artistic ability yesterday morning by decorating the glass fronts of several business places,” The Morning Star reported on December 19th, 1884.
Photo of snow removal crew in Churubusco, Clinton County courtesy Lawrence Gooley.