Not to tempt fate with that headline! But because the snow is so light, we can see the nanoclimates created by rocks and leaves.

Notice the melt round the rocks: That’s because the rocks act as heat sinks; they are slightly warmer than their surroundings (one reason the rocks in rock gardens are useful as well as ornamental).

And notice the melt where the rotting — hence dark — and flat-lying leaves are; they are soaking up sunlight, even on a cloudy day.

These nanoclimates are present at all times: Spring, summer, and fall, beside this late winter. But only with snow instrumenting the land can we see them.