I knew sleet was starting the moment the first pellets clattered onto my stovepipe. The sound ebbed and flowed as the precipitation changed from sleet to rain to silent snow and back around to all three again.
This morning I felt as though I was in that scene from Dr. Zhivago, where Omar Sharif and Julie Christie meet in a ruined mansion where all the furniture is covered with snow and ice. If you ever saw that movie in a theater, instead of on a small home screen, you’ll know the scene I mean. I can still remember the audience gasping at how beautiful that was.
Pennsylvania’s hilly and twisty roads do not make for fun driving on icy roads. And conditions can change from one hill to the next, so it’s never a good idea to think driving is safe just because one spot isn’t as bad as it might be. Just wait until you go around the next curve.
This kind of weather brings out the feeder birds at my cabin. They can’t forage when everything is covered with ice, so they arrive at the feeders well before dawn, anxious not to miss whatever handouts they can find. Then they hang around the feeders for much of the day, waiting for something more.
Even without the sound on my stovepipe or the waiting birds, by dusk last night I knew a storm wasn’t far off. The field atop the mountain next to Roundtop was filled with 16 deer, all grazing. I often see deer there, but 6-7 is the typical number. With so many there at the same time, it was pretty obvious they needed to fill up while they still could.
Once the storm finally clears the mountain, temperatures will return to a winter-time range. Still, the temperature will not drop to the dead-of-winter range where they should be. But it’s better than March.