I first encountered the phrase, “Winter’s back is broken”, while reading Jean Auel’s The Mammoth Hunters, the third book in her Earth’s Children series (excellent books, by the way). I had never heard it but Google shows me others are familiar with the saying. To me, it means Winter is past the backside and is slipping away. Days become longer in the Northern Hemisphere as the Earth rotates and tilts towards the Sun and slowly signs of Spring start to appear. Usually I feel it in mid-February when a thaw normally occurs. Not so this year. The weather has been very cold since the beginning of the year with a few exceptions.
I did not feel it until I walked to the Carrier Dome to watch a Syracuse University basketball game. The photo shows a mid-winter scene. Blowing snow in the air and a deep pack of it on on the ground closing the stairway. Crouse College towering above it all with inviting lighting inside. Might be a bit confusing for an article about Winter’s broken back. What the photo can not share with you is the warmth and humidity of the air, the snow so wet it melted as soon as it touched any surface including exposed hands, face and lens and the feeling I could sense Winter’s back had broke. Just as my ancient ancestors might have when glaciers covered most of the northern Earth.