PRE-SPRING SURPRISE: Yep, Feb. 29 is a pretty magical day in some quarters. (And, let's hear it for the Leaplings, those people born on Feb. 29, who seem to get their share of gratis desserts and discounts on this day.) The once-every-four-years date has given calendar buffs something to discuss and it has also, quite suddenly, returned winter to several parts of the Golden State. True, the winter-returning started a bit earlier this week, but let's call the coldest season's surprise reemergence just in the nick of time, what with March and the crocus-blooming just around the corner. Badger Pass is reporting eight inches and counting, Mammoth Mountain has received nine, and the North Lake Tahoe Snowfest that kicks off this weekend? We have to imagine they're thrilled, given the fact that "snow" is in the name of the party.
AND UP AT BEAR MOUNTAIN? They're putting up double digit numbers -- 10 to 14 inches "(l)ess than 48 hours ago." Of course, a lot of boarders and skiers would have liked to have seen those numbers back in the balmy days of early January. But still. What's the old chestnut? Better late than never, it goes. We'll put a fresher twist on that -- better heading into March than having to wait for next November. Not as a catchy, but it works in this instance.
ONE MORE PLACE: Long Valley on Mount San Jacinto, got about a foot of snow, reports the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Nope, it isn't a ski resort, but we wanted to give that area the cold shout-out, too.