We were visiting my parents for Easter a couple of years ago and were hit by an April blizzard. In fact, this phenomenon has occurred every year that I have taken my son to their house during break. The child actually thinks that the only proper way to hunt for Easter eggs is in the snow. He says to me every March, "Mom, are we going to have another snowy Easter?"
That year the snow was unusually heavy. We got about a foot and a half. My son had an absolute blast! I took him and my nephew on a trek in the woods, where we had a picnic under the branches of a huge pine tree that was so weighed down with snow that it completely concealed us.
That day inspired one of the most important scenes in my novel. I don't want to spoil it by telling, but the secret space beneath that huge pine's branches was the perfect setting for that particular scene. I was reminded of it today, because I'm listening to Enya's "And Winter Came" CD while doing housework.
So, what odd things inspired brilliant ideas for your book?