Early Winter

On Wednesday I came home from a trip to Olympia, Washington. The maple tree in my yard had dropped a thick carpet of leaves which the Captain scooped up with the mower for mulch, hence the bare driveway. 

Thursday morning started with a bluebird sky and by mid-morning, the wind changed and we had a blizzard. But the snow wouldn’t cover the ground … would it?

Before noon, this was my front yard. I was SO glad I wasn’t driving home today instead of yesterday.

And this morning the bluebird sky is back, but the mountains are white and the air is still icy cold. I put more birdseed out but I still feel sorry for the little animals that have to live outside.

I hope it isn’t going to be a harsh winter. This snow is WAY too early.

What is the weather doing where you live?

Oh NO!

Just yesterday, I took the snowy header off my WP home page, replacing it with spring-like pussy willows. Did I anger the gods and they made it snow again? AARRGGHH!

I stuck my camera out the back door and snapped this picture without regard for settings. The snow is falling in streaks, which tells me that the shutter speed is too slow (I think!) but I thought I’d post it anyway because it shows how the snow is basically “streaming” out of the sky. AGAIN!

I’m leaving the spring header on. Maybe it will work some magic.

004

NOW look at the backyard! Poor birds have to scramble for food all over again, just when they thought it was spring. All the snow was gone yesterday and today it’s back again. I could cry!

002

Gentle snowflakes

Devastate me.

Gliding past 

They say, “Don’t hate me.”

I’m resigned.

It’s like this lately.

 

Easy Wind and Downy Flake

The snow kept coming, and coming, and coming. It covered the ground and the trees, and piled up on roofs and vehicles. How can it look so pretty while it covers up the food for animals that live out there?

003

Our back patio table is partly under the roof overhang, but you can see which part was exposed to the elements.

015

The bird feeder has been a busy place again today, but what worries me is the potential avalanche risk to the birds. Many of them spend the nights under shrubs, and they scratch for food there. When the huge clumps of snow let go, they could easily bury a little bird. I found several around the yard after the last snowfall which was not as bad as this one, although it was colder.

012

It’s quiet out there and the snow coming down is peaceful, but I find it ironic that this lovely weather is so deadly for many birds. We who feed the birds will save many of them, and “survival of the fittest” will save the strongest, the brave, and the lucky.

I feel quite small and helpless against the power of nature. I do what I can to make my pets comfortable and to feed the birds. Beyond that, I do enjoy the special quality of a snowfall. I had to think of Robert Frost’s famous poem. There are two lines of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” that I find especially appealing, and which stand out from that poem for me.

The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.  
 
I love the sound of the words. They are music to my ears. I wish I had thought of them first. 😉

They Lied!

The official weather groundhogs (marmots), Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam and Ontario’s Wiarton Willy have predicted an early spring this year when they did not see their shadows yesterday, February 2, Groundhog Day.

marmot

Vancouver Island marmot photo above, borrowed from Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation.

Hurray, an early spring is on its way. Behold the sunshine on the masses of gray cloud moving in from the southeast. Yes, the sunshine is hopeful, BUT, I forgot to consider what is INSIDE those clouds.

I shouldn’t have believed a mere rodent when he predicted that early spring. In the last post I had sunshine brightening up pussywillows, and today, the very day after the early spring prediction, these glowing clouds opened up and ruined everything. They made liars of the marmots and Nervous Nellies out of all the wussy drivers of the rainy West Coast.

135

Just LOOK at this mess!  Beautiful, isn’t it?

139

The Front that Backed

In my younger days when I heard the weatherman talking about a front moving in, I had only a vague idea of what that meant. It was some “up in the sky” kind of condition involving air pressure and a lot of other complicated meteorological terms. Later, I clued in that sometimes you can see the effects of a “front.” I can more easily understand things that I can see.

This morning I saw a front in action in the sky outside my house. I used to think the front was the edge of the clouds moving in like a giant wall. Amazingly, the cloudy side was not advancing, as it usually seemed to do. This one was backing off. Instead, the edge of the blue sky was pushing away the wall of clouds. The wind was coming from the north, bringing clear, cold air into the valley.

The rising sun put a pink glow on the clouds and the snow on the hilltops.

dscn7891

dscn7899

Just in case we’re all getting too happy about the sunny day, I need to let you know that later in the morning, the winds changed to southeast and precipitation is sure to follow sometime soon. If only I could save some of that rain for the summer when the drought is sure to hit again.

Two More Months?

January is a long month. Thirty-one days of cold, dreary weather. March is still two months away. I look out on my garden. It looks so neglected that I find it hard to believe I harvested carrots from it just yesterday. Yes, in January! They were small carrots, and oh, so sweet! But that’s it for now until the soil warms up.

I hope the snow stays up in the hills. Misty clouds obscure the glacier on the opposite side of the bay.

I thought I could tough it out and spring would be here soon, but I caved. I went shopping for some colour to brighten up these last days of winter. Every time I look at my new orchids, I feel better, knowing that spring will come soon.

dscn7880a

Two more months until it’s spring?

Two more months till robins sing?

How am I to wait that long?

Hope the weatherman is wrong,

Talking about rain and snow.

I just wish that it would go.

Time for sunny days to be.

Two more months? You orchid-ing me!

 

dscn7888

Winter Apples

As it snowed heavily all around today, the Captain brought in some of this fall’s apples we had stored in our workshop. How bright they look against the snow. I think the smaller red one on the left is a MacIntosh, and the other three are called Wilmuta, which is a cross between Jonagold and Gravenstein. The Wilmuta is a great winter apple. It matures in October and keeps well in a cool place. What a treat to see them today in a January snowfall. The rest of my garden is asleep under the snow, but the apples are still edible after a sleep in the workshop.

dscn7820

 

dscn7821

What sleeps in winter garden beds?

Some kale and wilted lettuce heads,

Carrots tasty, shriveled chard,

In soil that’s frozen very hard.

The chives are shivering with cold,

But in the springtime they’ll be bold

And send up shoots that say to me

Your salad’s where I’d like to be.

One day the sun will warm the soil

And Anne-li will go out and toil

Turning over weedy dirt

While working in her short-sleeved shirt.

She’s anxiously awaiting spring

So she can go and do her thing.