Cold Wind and Drifting Snow

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The high temperature today was 2 degrees. Cold. The wood stove did its work. The chickadees and tree sparrows and woodpeckers kept busy at the feeders. Snow fell early and clouds passed in and out the rest of the day. It wasn’t summer.

And the wind blew. It howled. It battered the house. It buffeted the windows. It whipped the snow. Snow eddied on the porch and piled against the door. Snow gathered on the lee side of snow banks. It formed drifts in the road. The wind-chill adjusted temperature was about 25 degrees below zero. Not a day for sunbathing.

The driveway drifted in. That does not often happen but this is the kind of day it would drift in. It is a long driveway, next to a meadow, so I suppose it is to be expected. The house came with snow fencing when we bought it. We have never put it up as it hasn’t been needed. Our plow guy made an extra trip today.

This afternoon I took a few laps around the field on my skis. The track that my son and I made yesterday afternoon was almost totally hidden in drifting snow. We had to make that track because the previous one got snowed in. So I followed the track I could  find and broke a new one where the track had disappeared. Snow blasted against my jacket, although I was well covered. My eye lashes froze from my breath’s condensation.

The second time I looped around, much of my track had vanished again and the rest was hard to see. This happened each time. It was not fast skiing. The day, however, was beautiful. The landscape changed by the moment. Snow swirled in misty towers and sped low across the road. The sun shone periodically and the world glowed when it did. I stayed out for while before filling the bird feeders, hauling in more firewood, and settling inside again.

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Ski tracks after fewer than ten minutes

Tonight the low is forecast at -13. That’s exciting. It likely won’t get out of the single digits tomorrow. It has been three weeks since the temperature got above freezing. Looks like that won’t happen again for a while. Still, I’ll get outside and enjoy the snow. Meteorological spring, after all, is a mere five weeks away.

 

Not Spring Now

Snow coming down hard

Snow coming down hard

It started snowing early in the day. School was cancelled. Then the snow let up. I went to work. Luckily I only was in town half the day. The drive home was slick and slow. Then it really started to snow. By late in the day it was coming down and the wind picked up. And the temperature dropped. We had ourselves a snowstorm.

I went for a ski around the field. It was fine when I had my back to the wind but heading into the wind–ouch! Those little crystals of ice are painful when they slam into one’s face. My hood was a handy tool. By my second lap my ski tracks were almost filled in.

Skiing in the blowing snow

Skiing in the blowing snow

This morning the snow was still falling. Drifts piled against the house. I could only see out half the bedroom window. No school today. I will get some work done from home. First, however, I plan to rekindle the fire in the stove and to brew some coffee. And to appreciate being warm inside.

Snow for the New Year

The forecast has been like a wobbly top lately. A little snow. A big storm. No storm. Some snow. Lots of snow. A big storm. Right now it is snowing. It has been snowing pretty much all day and on and off yesterday as well. It is likely to keep falling all day tomorrow and tomorrow night. Beautiful stuff.

We had a family ski afternoon. I got cold, but I got to try out my new skis, at least a little. Mostly I skied with my kids. This meant slow but steady for one and slow for the other. It wasn’t mad aggressive skiing as an adult. I truly enjoyed watching my children ski, however. They both have it down at this point. They can ski without physical aids (no holding them, no leash, no nothin’) and have fun doing it. They both raved about how fun it is. My daughter even said “One day I’ll be a famous skier.” Could happen.

And I enjoyed my skis. I have had the same pair for over a decade. They still work fine but it sure is nice to take advantage of new style and technology. These should suit me for all kinds of conditions. I skied without goggles today, which was not the most comfortable situation for the old face, but I just don’t have any that fit. I have purchased my share of goggles over the years but I have never had a pair that simply fits without lots of fussing when no fussing is appropriate. I plan to get a pair soon. And maybe some new gloves. I am kind of a miser when it comes to gear. But I am ready to make some investments.

And the snow falls. This was our first skiing adventure this year and it reminded me just how much fun it is. It won’t be long before our children are bombing down the mountain and my wife and I can ski together again. I hope she can still stand me by the time that happens. She is out there now, cross country skiing as the light fades. Actually, the light is pretty much gone now, but she is still out there. Let’s hope the bobcat doesn’t get her. It has been back several times now, as evidenced by its tracks. Hopefully it isn’t too hungry yet.

Half a foot of snow on the ground. More tonight. I love this stuff. Too bad it isn’t falling on the eve of a school day so we can have a snow day. Although, bad weather leading to bad driving isn’t necessarily a recipe for a snow day these days. Too many complaining parents. Safety first, unless the timing isn’t right. So I guess this snow falling today and tomorrow is about right after all. We will hole up at home tomorrow, play outside, probably not ski again, but who knows? We will look for bobcat tracks, build the snow fort higher, sled down the hill. Happy new year with snow. That ain’t bad.

Bobcat by the House

This afternoon, hanging with my son and a friend of his, I look out and see a bobcat walking down the driveway. It had come out of the woods and walked down to the end. It sat there for a bit and then dashed into the tall grass to hide when a car came down the road. It was way cool, although I was more into it than the boys. I guess others have seen a bobcat, maybe the same one, not too far from here. I guess now would not be the time to get those chickens…

Walking Down the Driveway

Still Walking

Bobcat Tracks After it Disappeared