We had our first real snow of the year in Richmond on Tuesday. It didn't last very long—when I got up a little after 6:30, it was snowing steadily and continued to do so until around 9 or so. After filing my last stories for the week's paper, I went for a walk around the neighborhood and took a few shots before it all melted by nightfall. Even though it was something of a "blink and you miss it" snow day, the accumulation was still enough to close Richmond City Public Schools (and the schools in Caroline, the county that's absorbing most of my attention these days) and dampen the normal atmosphere of activity throughout the rest of the city.
Nevertheless, the public museums were still open—the Virginia Center for Architecture had its garden gates unlocked.
And the VMFA, of course, wouldn't let a storm of this caliber disrupt its normal schedule. Like the Postal Service, "neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night" can keep its doors from opening 365 days a year (well, maybe gloom of night...)—although the gardens weren't getting quite as much use as usual.
I feel so lucky to live this close to the VMFA gardens and be able to see the minute ways in which they change over the seasons. I can never quite choose which time of year I like best—early spring, when the great trees on the lawn are budding and the smell of dampness rises from the lily-pool; fall, when a cast of gold touches the sculptures and the west-facing glass of Amuse; winter, when the building resembles a ship afloat on an icy sea, the lights warm within the galleries and solitary men and women reading newspapers in the cafe; summer, when couples lie in the grass and sit on the benches up by the high fountains until all hours of the night, and the weeks seem to stretch on forever. Maybe the latter: the sound of cicadas, the soft wind, the murmuring of voices late and the sensation of always faintly sweating; above all, the illusion of having all the time in the world—it's in these ways that Richmond gets under your skin.