November 1 brought some of the heaviest (and I actually mean weight) wettest snow we have ever seen. When James made a snowman, it took him two rolls of a snowball to get a basketball sized head. We spent the day trudging through it to get to church and go for lunch with our MCC visitor, Laura. By the time we got home our pants were soaked up to the knee, our jackets were soaked, feet frozen through. The heat will not be turned on for another two weeks yet, so we have to wear long underwear at all times now. The snow was so heavy that we saw tree branches a good six inches thick breaking in half (picture).
However, it was also very beautiful. The threes have not lost their leaves yet, so peaking out from under the snow was brilliant red, gold, orange and green leaves (picture). Some trees still had fully opened flowers on them and brilliant red berries (picture). The bamboo patches were amazing crisscrosses of sparkling snow. Miserably wet and cold as we were, we even stopped to pose for a family photo (picture). Coming home to hot coffee, dry socks and blankets was a wonderful feeling. James and I felt the distinct lack of a woodstove. That cheery glow, sparking sound and homey smell was all that was missing from a day that felt distinctly Canadian to us. I couldn't resist the urge to make bread, just so that the smell of it would fill the house.
Needless to say, after having been told that Beijing gets snow maybe twice per winter and that it melts right away, we were a little surprised. Even in Canada, this would have been unexpectedly big for a first snow.
More pictures to follow.