When the air is not full of snow, it is full of dust. This is called one of the compensations of Nature.
This is what happened after the convention of the blackbirds: A moaning south wind brought rain; a southwest wind turned the rain to snow; what is called a zephyr, out of the west, drifted the snow; a north wind sent the mercury far below freezing. Salt added to snow increases the evaporation and the cold. This was the office of the northeast wind: it made the snow damp, and increased its bulk; but then it rained a little, and froze, thawing at the same time. The air was full of fog and snow and rain. And then the wind changed, went back round the circle, reversing everything, like dragging a cat by its tail. The mercury approached zero. This was nothing uncommon. We know all these winds. We are familiar with the different "forms of water."
All this was only the prologue, the overture. If one might be permitted to speak scientifically, it was only the tuning of the instruments. The opera was