Sunday, January 26, 2014

Deep Winter

It has been quite cold the last several weeks.  Memory is fickle, but I think we have been colder this winter than the last few years.  It's a deep cold.

The yard is a collection of tracks.  Some are people (mine and the wife's), but most are rabbit, squirrel, and deer.  The deer move through the yard, up from the creek out across the street.  I see their track up the ridge over to Spook Hill.  I don't usually see a lot of deer track this early in the winter, but the numbers seem quite high.  They are going up to the holly bushes and over to the bird feeder.  This is the pattern we see in late February.  I wonder if it will be a hard winter for the wildlife.

It has been a hard winter for equipment.  The wife had a dead battery, and our well pump froze up for a short time!

We get a few inches per week, but not enough to really enjoy snow shoeing or cross country skiing.

Oh well, might as well stay inside and enjoy a warm glass of glogg!

Stay warm!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Roller Coaster

It seems the big news around this old farm has been the weather.  Last weekend we were digging out from a decent snowstorm.  Then warm weather moved in and melted much of the snow (wish I got more snow shoeing in!).   We then had an cold front move in from the arctic.  What a roller coaster ride.

We had an unexpected snow storm roll in yesterday, along with 6 inches of new snow.  This snow was welcome, but not long-lived.  The arctic cold has retreated, and a warm front moved in and brought snow melt and rain.

It was pouring!

The melt water and rain took over the frozen creek.  The ice started to break up.

The creek started to fill up . . .

The ice won't last long!  Ice dams and flash flood warning have been posted, but I don't expect our little creek to be a problem.

The heavy rain stopped for a while.  The creek was flowing fast and furious.

Like the saying goes, "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes!".

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snow and Ice

The winter storm we had the last few days left a beautiful winter day.  I had to rake the snow of the porch roofs, clean up the driveway from all the windblown snow, and shovel paths out to the barn.  We are expecting a significant warm up followed by another deep freeze and wanted to get all the snow out of the way lest it freezes into a solid block of ice!

I decided to get a small snow shoe trek in.  I headed to Jenksville State Forest.  There are a series of trails there that I have biked upon, but never visited in the winter.  The access area was plowed out, and I headed into the 'red' trails (the red are on the east of the area, the blue in the middle, and yellow to the west).

Though we had very strong winds, the trees were still covered in snow.  Absolutely beautiful!

I was out around noon, but the low sun cast long shadows in the snow.

I followed the road into the area for a bit, then headed to the north following a dubious trail sign.  The trail was initially apparent, but there were no markers.  That's okay.  I headed north for a while, then east a bit, and then back south.  I knew I'd hit the access road.

Along the way I came across frozen streams.  The ice crystals were amazing.

I came back on the main trail, and then headed east.  I knew the trail would take me to the ridge line to the east.

The trail was pristine.  I don't know how many people visit this area in the winter.  I was working up quite a sweat breaking trail.

The road crossed several small streams and rivulets.  There was running melt water under the ice, with the exposed areas giving up water vapor which formed the most interesting ice crystals.

The evergreen trees were covered in blankets of snow.

It was interesting how the trees on the north side of the trail were mostly hardwoods.  It was sunny and open-feeling in that wood.

However, the south side of the trail was wooded by spruce and hemlock.  The snow-laden bough were creaking in the wind.  The wood had a dark and angry feel to it.

I came to the ridge line overlooking the valley below.  In the distance were the farms and towns I cycle through in the summer.

I was tired after a morning of exercise and work.  I headed back to the car.  I crossed a little bridge over a frozen stream.  The huge flakes of ice crystal covered the frozen stream.

The snow and ice are ephemeral.  The temperatures will rise well above freezing and will be accompanied by rain.  These treasures will be gone soon . . .

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Day Off

We had a steady snowfall all day yesterday.  I good day to work from home.  The snow was piling up, and the roads were very slick. I had to set the trash cans by the road, but decided to wait until the snow had stopped and I could plow the driveway out.

I awoke at 4:00 AM.  I grabbed the phone to see what the weather was like.  The snow had nearly ended, but it was cold!  It was 2 degF and expected to get even colder.  Ouch - and I had the day off!

Grumble, grumble.  The trash truck will arrive before 9:00 AM.  Do I wait until 7:00 and go out when its even colder, or shovel out now?  I guess I'll go out now.  On with the cold weather gear.  And it is my day off!

I have to shovel off the porch first, then shovel out the trash cans and recycling bins.

Luckily the snow is light.  It was windy and the snow was blowing about and in my face.  Stinging and freezing me to the core.  And it was my day off!

I used the snow blower to clear all the snow.  It took about 90 minutes.  I was very cold.  The sun would not be up for another 2 hours.  Arghh!  And it was my day off.

I set the cans by the road, and then went indoors.  It was warm inside and very toasty!  I decided to go back to bed . . .

. . . and why not?  Well, it is my day off!