We barely had a summer this year in central Maine, or so it seems. I usually say we have three seasons - fall, winter, spring, and July. But this year it was rainy and fairly cool until about mid-August. We got a lot of snow last winter and with our mild summer and now with it snowing again it all seems like one blurry season. I enjoy the snow, up until about March when I get cabin fever and all the snow around is covered in dirt. It's rather dismal, and I cannot wait until the first bloom of spring!
The year 1816 began mildly warmer than usual, but the spring was cooler than normal. By May a huge cold front brought snow and ice. This began a 12 week phenomenon of intermittent winter weather. Drought devastated the crops, animals perished in the fields and . . . the cold summer weather forced authors Mary Shelly and John Polidori inside to write. It's true. They were attending a literary gathering in Geneva, Switerland and to pass the time, along with their peers, they had a contest to tell the scariest story, of which these two later published. Shelly wrote “The Modern Prometheus”, better known as “Frankenstein”. Polidori penned “The Vampyre”, better known as Count Dracula.
There were other literary contributions that are believed to have been inspired by "the year there was no summer". Lord Byron wrote his poem "Darkness" in July of 1816, as the skies were often the tinge of red and yellow, rather apocalyptic. We now know that the reason for this and the strange season was due to the erruption of Mount Tambora (Indonesia) the preceeding year. In 1865, John Greenleaf Whittier wrote “Snow-bound”.
About the photos: I took this one two years ago. Herds of deer ran behind my house and liked to gather in my neighbor's yard and visit with her horses (I liked to do the same!). The turkey photo was taken after they crossed the road in front of my car so I just had to take a picture of them heading into the field. The tree with a grossbeak and frozen apples from the previous fall was taken following a spring icestorm.
Does the snow or other weather inspire you to write? Songs, poems, stories? Does writing help you get through the long winters of your life?