Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

The endless winter

Probably 30″ of snow in the backyard— it’s been death by a thousands little snowfalls this year. Two inches here, six inches there, not too bad shoveling-wise, but it’s been just one after the other, with something like 37 separate snowfalls in the past 40-45 days. The season total- with a month of winter to go, is 62″, a 20 year record.

And with zero melting in between. It just stays below freezing, often well below freezing. Along my back walk, where I’ve shoveled the snow up onto the yard, the wall of snow is at least shoulder height.

Usually in winter it’s kind of fun to track the animals based on their footprints, but this year there are no footprints— they are either traveling under the snow or they are nowhere.

Likewise the birds. I’m not seeing any. There were some bright blue finch-like ones on my porch about 10 days ago (someone suggested indigo buntings, and they do look like that, but we’re awfully far north for indigo buntings.), but I haven’t even seen a sparrow in a week. I always leave seed pods for them— angelina, phlox, sedum, coneflower— but the snow is so deep that the 2 foot tall heads of the plants are buried. There’s only northern sea oats and some monarda tall enough to still be visible.

Weather report calls for four days with highs below zero (that’s fahrenheit, folks). Then a maybe 33º on Thursday, before it plunges again for almost a week. Oh, and two possible snow “events” in there too.

I like winter as a rule, but I’m just worn out by this one.

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The past few weeks have brought some winter-like weather to our area, as it has to so many other areas around the US.

Ice Cabbage - Jan 2014

Ice Cabbage – Jan 2014

This is the first year that I haven’t set up the hoops on the garden to cover the vegetable. So far, so good.

We have had more freezing rain and ice than normal, but the veggies seem to be doing alright. I try to water them 36 hours before the big even, whether it is freezing temperatures or freezing rain. That give the plant enough time to use the water to protect itself.

Ice Kale Jan - 2014

Ice Kale Jan – 2014

These photos show some pretty chilly veggies, but they have come through it all relatively unscathed.

How is your winter garden (or summer) garden doing?

Sincerely, Emily

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Revisiting F

This last week I was up in Wisconsin visiting my brother and his family. My travel timing was perfect and I met the first storm and deep-freeze temps of the season as it arrived in the area. 063I have not lived in snow for 16 years and when I watched the rain come down and the temperature drop as I waited for my mom’s plane to arrive I considered making a big sign for the back window of our rental car. Something like, “BACK OFF! I’m from Texas, and I haven’t driven in snow for 16 years!” Hoping that would explain my super slow (but safe) driving! ha

The driving really went well. The roads were slick, but I took things slow, and cautious. In fact one night when my mom, niece and I were coming back from a holiday party up at the cabin I had fun with some fishtailing on the side roads. We were all laughing pretty hard, especially after a nice fishtail where I overshot the driveway and bounced up and over the curb. The three of us couldn’t get into the house and to the bathrooms fast enough we were laughing so hard that there was a threat or two of wetting our pants. I know we will all remember that one.

062I do not miss the maintenance of winter and I do not miss that bone chilling freezing cold feeling when the temp is sitting at 0F before you even factor in the windchill (-27F.) But I am very happy; to have decorated a 14′ tree full of 5 generations worth of family ornaments, had wonderful friends over for lunch, had the opportunity to go to a few holiday parties and see many friends, have dinner with more family members up near the cabin and more!

I didn’t really have to spend any time outside. Watching the snow come down and leave a beautiful white blanket over everything was beautiful and normally I would have rushed out to shovel off the driveway and sidewalks (because it would have been fun to do – a novelty of sorts and that snow was really light and fluffy), but I knew I would get two shovels-worth done and I knew the novelty would wear off in 2 seconds when I was out of breath and huffing and puffing… so I “let” my brother do it. When I saw him get the blower out to do the driveway one day I realized that I could have done that (probably!)044

So revisiting F was kind of fun… freezing temps, family, friends, and falling snow.

Sincerely, Emily

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Wind makes the sand ring
by the gray churning water.
Remnants of the storm

Driftwood at the shore
blown across the lake on
Sandy’s ragged edge

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