We made a quick trip to Washington for a long weekend last week for our daughter to visit George Washington University for grad school and to see a few of the historic sites. There was just over a foot of snow here when we left,
but that amount quickly dwindled and the landscape was brown and barren with just flashes of snow here and there on the way. A few flakes were drifting down as we approached Washington, but nothing to speak of according to upper New York State standards.
Unfortunately, Washingtonians apparently thought a ‘snowmageddon’ was approaching because the salt trucks were out in force, spewing megatons of salt over every inch of the highways. In fact, when we awoke the next day, there were piles of salt all over the roads up to three inches deep in places, and thick clouds of salt dust were kicked up over everything and everybody as traffic passed by.
Landscaping note: Snow, by itself, is good for the garden – it adds moisture and, if deep enough, can protect plants from drying winter winds. In fact, both snow and rain can deposit a small amount of nitrogen, sort of a ‘poor man’s fertilizer.’ But adding salt to the equation means damage to plants and the environment, with both direct and indirect effects, and short and long term effects. More information can be found here.
After traipsing around GW, the Metro zipped us to the National Mall and we visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for a lecture, “Fossil Forensics: Investigating How Early Humans Died,” a topic of great interest to a future anthropologist.
What a fabulous place that was! A return visit the next day to see more of it and a very few of the other historic sights only served to whet the appetite to see more. (more…)