If you’ve been a skier, you know the term, “Bluebird Day.” My first exposure to the term incorporated the science of waxing skis. Ski waxes are formulated according to snow temperature and humidity. The term gets misused now to mean a sunny, blue sky day, but for me there’s more to it.
In the old, simple waxing system Blue Wax is applied in temperatures between 5 and 28 degrees F, or Extra Blue for 14-30 F, so below freezing but above zero, but for fresh snow only. There’s a different wax for old snow. Fresh snow follows a storm, and the sun that shines after such a storm is especially bright, the sky especially blue, the ski wax is Blue or Extra Blue, and THAT day is a Bluebird Day.
Having mostly retired my skis and waxes, I don’t get to the mountains as often. My last trip, however, did occur on Bluebird Day. Without skis, Mr Mudlips and I traveled beyond the snow line, then wandered down a snowy hiking trail into the forest.
We walked deep into the woods, past groves of cedar, Douglas fir, and Western Hemlock. Despite the level trail, we stripped layers and unzipped as our bodies warmed from trudging in snow.
A big dump dropped several feet of snow just a day before our arrival; clumps of powdery snow still hung in the fir boughs. A mild breeze would knock the branches around and release a glittering dust of snow crystals that drifted slowly above us.
The low winter light created an air of romance and warm light typically found at sunset but present even in early afternoon during a walk in the woods. Hiking the fresh snowy trail, I had a hard time watching my footing as the golden light in the trees seduced my attention. Trees were lined with gold on field of blue; a stunning sight that held my gaze upward.
Yet, where a hot spring flowed across the trail, a clear, unfrozen pool forced my attention downward. Its mirror captured the whole day: towering gold conifers, storm debris, and flocked bows: a Bluebird Day.
Wishing you a Bluebird Day after the next storm that passes your way.