By all reports from my Reston informants, this has been a chilly but relatively snowless Reston winter. The few storms this year cannot hold a candle to last year. With the predicted warm up next week, most of the traces of snow will disappear.
While we are standing on the dock on the coast contemplating when we can make our first trips out for fishing, I suspect anyone who is living in the Reston area is wondering just what kind of March might be in store for the area?
I spent many springs in Reston, and there were a couple when I felt like the snow was never going to stop. I don't know what it is about the wooded areas of Fairfax County, but once they get snow, that snow can be very tenacious. I have joked with my son and daughter, who both live in the Reston area, that when the snow really hits Reston, it feel more like a spot in Canada than one in Virginia.
Maybe it has something to do with the snow stacking effect. Since there is little room in Reston parking lots for piles of snow, the whole parking lot get surrounded by a wall of snow. When you come in the morning and get in your car, it is a little like having an igloo for a parking spot.
We have some high hopes on the coast that we have seen the last of winter. I managed to take my boat down the river on Sunday, February 6. While it was a cool 50F ride, it just made me more anxious for some really warm weather.
One difference between living in Reston and living at the coast is that our coastal spring comes gradually. Another is that we do have an extended spring. I have been in Reston a couple of years when spring seemed to be a couple of days long and then we were in summer.
Being mostly surrounded by water here on the Southern Outer Banks, it takes a while for things to warm up to summer temperatures. That usually works in our favor. With local strawberries getting ripe usually by mid-April, we have had years when the lack of really hot days let us enjoy local strawberries well into June. Fortunately we are frost free from mid-March onward if you live by the water. That lets me get ripe tomatoes usually by the first week in June.
With little water around in Reston to cool things, when the heat comes, it seems to take up residence. I always look forward to the late March to July timeframe on the coast. There are usually long stretches of weather when our heat pumps don't run, and we can often sleep with our windows open.
Crime isn't a huge problem in Carteret County, so we don't worry about open windows. Also with lots of water cooled air and a night sky full of stars instead of light pollution, it is nice to have a breeze without worrying about lighting up your bedroom with the city lights.
We often make a trip up to Reston each spring for some of the famous shopping, but I have to be careful about picking my dates. I don't want to get caught in either a spring snowstorm or in that period when you go directly from spring to summer. I also like to miss the Cherry Blossom Festival. That is more traffic than we see in a couple of years.
I wonder how LL Beans figures out what to stock when summer comes early to NVa.? As long as they don't get rid of my favorite shorts before the end of April, I will be okay.
Anyway, I always look forward to visiting my favorite urban area so I hope the spring storms give Reston a break this year.