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There’s Still (Filthy, Disgusting, Not-Yet-Melted) Snow in Boston Right Now

The detritus of Boston’s most severe winter ever has yet to melt away

(Pulse/Corbis)
smithsonian.com

The sun is shining, and New Englanders are more likely to reach for a bottle of sunscreen or bug spray than a scarf and coat as they leave the house this summer. Still, nature has a way of reminding people that one of the worst winters in recent memory has only been over for a few months. In Boston, there is still a12-foot pile of “ice-encased trash” that bears witness to a winter for the ages reports The New York Times’ Katharine Q. Seelye.

The pile of snow is the last vestige of the winter mess cleared from Boston’s streets during unrelenting storms. It’s part dump, part badge of pride, writes Seelye — encrusted with ash, trash and random junk, the mountain has become filthier the longer it lasts.

Though Boston residents like to predict when it will finally, fully melt, Seelye reports that it’s becoming more enigmatic as it sheds its layers to the sun. “The loads are getting heavier as [maintenance crews] approach the bottom of the mound,” writes Seelye, unearthing “chunks of concrete, manhole covers, newspaper boxes.”

The mountain of snowy trash has become a kind of monument to the winter few Bostonians will ever forget — one that was its snowiest on record. But with no clear melt date in site, the snowy remains of winter don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Who knows what’s on the very bottom of the pile — or, as the city steels itself for coming winters, whether it will be gone by the first snowfall. Nobody can be certain, but if you feel like betting on it or just getting bragging rights, Seelye reports you can use hashtag #BOSMeltNow to predict when it will finally go away for good.

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