The Last Snowdrift: Finding the Hamptons’ Last Bit of Winter

Snowman melting cartoon by Mickey Paraskevas
Cartoon by Mickey Paraskevas

I hereby challenge the local community to try to beat the record that the little snowdrift still out in my backyard is about to set. I do not consider winter to be over until the last snowdrift has melted. I also think that my snowdrift has set a record for the latest date of any snowdrift ever on the South Fork since the beginning of weather-record keeping. Yesterday was April 8. We are well into springtime. If it turns out that nobody can beat my snowdrift then I will submit a picture of it, time and date stamped, to the National Weather Service.

My snowdrift began the week 32 inches of snow got dumped on the East End on January 28. I had the driveway plowed all the way up to the garage the next day. And when the guy in the truck got to the garage, he pushed the snow off to both sides into 10-foot drifts so that I could get my car out.

It was also pushed off to both sides so I could shoot hoops on the backboard and rim that is attached to the wall of the garage over the garage door. Unfortunately, the big blade of the truck did not get all the way down to the asphalt. So I couldn’t play basketball anyway because snow would stick to the ball. Then when things froze everything turned to ice, so it was too dangerous to play.

It was also unfortunate because in blading the drift to the side, this driver completely buried our snow shovel, which was leaning against the garage on that one side. How he could have done that without it being on purpose is hard to imagine. But after all his efforts, I could do nothing other than thank him profusely for what he had done while peeling off the hundreds.

Because of how the house is built, one side of the driveway by the garage gets sunshine for part of the day, but the other side is always in shadow. So as January turned into February and February turned into early March, there finally came a time when the big snowdrift on the one side had melted away, but the snowdrift on the shadow side had not.

I could now play basketball, but when the ball bounced into the remaining snowdrift I’d have to call time and go fetch it, usually down the back side of that drift to where it had bounced, which was a real pain in the neck, particularly in the early days of that snowdrift when it was made of what appeared to be glacier ice.

This situation continued on through March, during which time, as I play every morning for 20 minutes, I continued to have to deal with this drift, even though it was getting smaller. When we moved into Daylight Savings Time, it was still there, but not as big of a problem as earlier. It was also possible to retrieve the snow shovel.

Then came the first day of Spring, on March 20. The snowbank was there. Because I play ball every day, I can attest, even in a court of law, that I have observed this single snowbank continuously since January 28, and this is the same snowbank as was there then, made from the same snowfall that Mayor de Blasio of New York City declared was going to be the biggest winter cataclysm in the history of the New York Metropolitan Area since the beginning of time. It also, now, is approaching a time frame when it could be compared to a snowdrift up at the North Pole where some snowdrifts, when uncovered, reveal wooly mammoths.

I am going to make an assumption that if I don’t hear from any of you by May 1 (fair?) then my snowdrift stands as the longest running continuously monitored snowdrift since record-keeping began, or at least since the beginning of 2015.

Send all photos disputing this claim to [email protected]. The last one I get wins. And no fair taking photos of snow stored in freezers.

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