When inches of snowfall turn our peaceful Black Mountain into a glistening white fairyland, many of us don our coats, gloves, and toboggans and venture outside to get our creative juices flowing. It’s time to build a snowman! The typical American snowman is constructed of three large snowballs in graduating sizes. Additional accouterments vary for the snowman’s facial features, arms, and accessories. Frosty the Snowman, the most iconic snowman, has a “corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal.” Perhaps, at our entrance monument, one could create a regal Tudor snowman and adorn him with a red and white Tudor robe and a “golden” crown. Our Tudor monarch snowman’s outstretched gloved hands could welcome Tudor Croft residents home and entice visitors to enjoy a cup of tea and scones with jam and clotted cream (or a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows) and a brief respite in the warmth of our lovely homes.
The secret to constructing a snowman is in the snow itself. Snow needs to be suitable for packing; this happens when it is approaching its melting point as it becomes moist and compact. A “wet” snow works best since “dry” powdered snow does not stick to itself very well. Actually, a good time to build a snowman is a “warm” afternoon directly following a sufficient amount of snow. It is then easy to roll into the desired snowballs.
The history of the snowman is documented from medieval times through artistic depictions in European museums, art galleries, and libraries. The earliest known photograph of a snowman is from 1853 by Welsh photographer, Mary Dillwyn. An 1867 snowman illustration shows a snowman surrounded by children.
It is not surprising that the snowman is a popular theme in children’s media. The song, “Frosty the Snowman” (adapted into film and TV specials), magically comes to life one day when the children place an old silk hat on his head. Disney’s Doc McStuffins features a plush snowman named Chilly; a British picture book is about a boy who builds a snowman who comes to life and takes him to the North Pole. More recently, the 2013 film, Frozen, features a snowman named Olaf, who longs to see summertime.
In some cases, the snowman phenomenon has gone to the dark side. In 1996 a horror movie, Jack Frost, transformed a serial killer into a snowman. In another horror story, The Snowman, a boy is traumatized by being locked in a meat freezer. Perhaps the best-known legend of the “dark” snowman is the Abominable Snowman or Yeti. The Yeti is an ape-like creature larger and taller than the average human that is said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. Photographs of Yeti footprints and blurry sightings caught on film have perpetuated this folklore.
Reaching New Heights
Snow or no snow, here at Tudor Croft beautiful new homes cling to the mountain as the expansion goes up the hillside. Braving the frigid temps, Sure Point Builders is making progress on 78, 76, and 72 Tudor Way, the very highest homes thus far. Working on the steep terrain can be challenging during the winter, but the reward of unbelievable views from each level of the homes is worth it.