By KAREN MADORIN

During the two recent snowstorms, I felt like I was surrounded by my own personal snow globe.

Because of the plate glass windows in the living and dining rooms, I could look outside simultaneously at the falling flakes and an army of birds assaulting our feeders and suet stations in real time, yet remain completely warm and dry.

On the first day of each storm, the flakes fell picture-perfect into the yard and onto cedar branches, frosting them until they looked like a Norman Rockwell Christmas card.

I even had an obliging cardinal who perched himself charmingly on different cedar branches to enhance my snow globe-like experience.

Only animal tracks marred the perfect palette laid out for me to view, and they didn't really mar anything. They added interest to the Christmas scene with their crazy hip-hopping lines that ventured from the draw behind the house or down below by the creek back up to the feeders via little trails beneath the surrounding cedars.

That was day one during both snow storms: perfect fields of snow accented by wildlife visitors.

Day two during both storms heralded a mighty sculptor in the form of vicious north winds.

Those fields of lovely, perfect snow found themselves aloft again, tossed to and fro like waves in a whirlpool. For two days, the wind rearranged snowflakes the way a 2-year-old rearranges balls of Play-Doh.

One moment I was looking at lovely Dairy Queen-like swirls, and the next moment those swirls became sharp ridges and pointy mounds of icy snow more suited in appearance to the harsh look of a moonscape or a volcanic desertscape.

By the third day, my windy sculptor had scrubbed out bare spots in the yard that were contrasted against tall snow drifts running in parallel ridges.

Viewing this dramatic miniature wind creation provided a vision of how the sand hills in Nebraska and eastern Colorado formed. This same sculptor must have had a glorious time whipping those tiny grains of ancient sea sand about until he had formed the winding ridges, funny mounds, and deep trenches that create the geography of our prairie states.

Looking out the window at my wind tossed snow, I decided I'd much rather see snow whipped about by the wind rather than see old Aeolus sculpt acres of sand.

* Madorin is a teacher at Ellis High School and an outdoor enthusiast.