Monday, December 21, 2009

Solstice snow

Weekend snow total at the cabin: About a foot.
Electricity: Remained on except for several flickers. The little town 4 miles from the mountain was out for about an hour on Saturday afternoon.
Chickens: Doing fine, thanks, though I couldn’t lure them outside the pen and into the snow.
Dogs: Crazy. What is it about snow and dogs? Mine act as though they’ve run wild all their lives and have never had a moment’s training when they see snow. They don’t heel. They don’t sit. All they want to do is run and run and run.
Walk to the car: A quarter mile
Plowed out: Not yet (but promises for today)

The nor’easter that buried the eastern cities didn’t hit quite as hard here as it did a bit further east. I ended up with about a foot of snow. On Saturday, the snow fell at about an inch or perhaps even two inches in an hour. Add in the wind, and it wasn’t quite a whiteout but it was close enough.

The snow was light and fluffy. I’m not sure I could have made a snowman even if I’d tried. I could almost broom it off the front deck, it was that light. This is the kind of snow I’m more likely to get in mid-winter than the last day of fall. Usually, the early-season snows are what I call "concrete" snows that have enough water in them to make a really wicked snowball.

The snow ended late Saturday evening, and on Sunday morning I was out shoveling and then playing in the snow a bit. It was tough to do much snowshoeing—too fluffy. I sank down to the bare ground, I think.

The feeder birds arrived at my feeders in droves. The back deck was littered with juncos and chickadees. For the first time ever, I actually saw two Carolina wrens at the same time. I’d always known there had to be two, but they always took turns at the feeder, and I’d never seen the pair together before. I didn’t have anything unusual show up at the feeders, but I certainly fed the masses. I filled the feeders three times on Saturday.

My photo today was taken yesterday evening at sunset. As today is the solstice, I wanted a photo showing the sun at its southernmost setting. The sunset is firmly in the southwest and not too far from south-southwest. By June the sunset will be in the northwest. By my opinion, which I know counts for nothing, the day after solstice should be the first day of the new year. What better time to start a new year than the day the light begins, however weakly, to add minutes to the day’s length again?


The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

I wish we'd have received even half your snow. What we had Saturday was pretty, but light and much had disappeared by yesterday evening. More snow fell last night, but again only an inch (measured optimistically) and apt to be gone in a day or two.

Dogs do love snow. And I guess chickens don't.

Hey, I'm with you on starting the new year after the solstice. And personally, I'd like to see the seasons reckoned the way they used to be—with midsummer and midwinter being on the solstices, and the mid-points of spring and fall coming on the equinoxes. I expect no one cares what either of us think, however…

Carolyn H said...

Griz: I don't suppose we could secede from the Julian calendar?...

okay, I'll send you a few inches of snow. Not a lot mind you, but I could probably spare a few inches.

Carolyn H.

Cathy said...

Ah you did post! it didn't show up in bloglines.

Anyway. I got about 4 inches and it didn't start until after I got home from on Saturday. It was such a grey day too. I was so glad to get home and have a cup of tea. The was annoying part of the storm is the wind. It was still blowing today and I was getting tired of hearing it. Not helping was the day kinda drag at work.

Glad to see you are ok along with all your criiters

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: Have I shown up in Bloglines yet? I may have to look in to that. Thanks!

Carolyn H.

Cicero Sings said...

I read the paragraph about dogs out to D. The other day, first morning after a snowfall, the little bugger got out and went wild ... running up the street one way, tearing past me, hell bent for leather the other way (no grabbing him), barking his head off. Then up and down the busier road. There was a lot of snow so traffic was slow. One car, a cop car stopped so others would be aware of the little guy but I still couldn't catch him or make him come, treats or no. I finally herded him off to a quieter area. He hadn't seen that kind of snow in a while and he was barking and just gone wild. Needless to say, I was having mini heart attacks. D finally pulled the car up and he ran around to the driver's side and D grabbed him by his harness. He is a terrier and I've read that they have a very, very hard time coming when focused on their own agendas ... and his agenda was fun in the white stuff.

Carolyn H said...

Cicero: All I know is that snow makes dogs wild. It's one of the few bad things about winter. Mine won't get over this until around February.

Carolyn H.