Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Last snow of winter

Even if the snow (and sleet and freezing rain and rain) I had yesterday turns out not to be the last snow of the season, it will be the last snow of winter.  Spring arrives tomorrow, so I feel rather confident of that prediction.
This snow is not, strictly speaking, an onion snow. In this area, an onion snow is technically a spring snow that arrives just as the first onion sprouts are pushing through the ground.  Onions are the earliest of the spring plantings.  The onion sets, as they are called, are planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring.  If you are planning onion seeds, you would have started them inside already, probably back in January.  Over the years and here where I live, the term onion snow has morphed a bit to mean the last snow of the season, whether or not the onions are planted.

In any event yesterday I had about three inches of snow before the precipitation went through nearly every other permutation of precipitation that is possible. This morning I noticed that the raccoons weren’t out around the chicken pen overnight, which means I got a good night’s sleep for once.  One small deer walked down the middle of my driveway and chewed on the juniper bush for a while. The juncos arrived to check out my birdfeeders. They found them empty, as they have been for nearly two weeks before the raccoons began their nightly attacks. I was impressed that the juncos remembered I used to have bird seed for them.  I took pity and put out another scoop of seed. I hope that gesture doesn’t come back to haunt me.

I enjoyed watching, too, the dismay of the white-breasted nuthatch.  Normally, that one feeds from a tube feeder and I haven’t replaced that one because of the raccoons. The poor nuthatch could see the food in the platform feeder, but kept looking for the tube feeder and didn’t seem able or willing to attempt eating somewhere other than the tube.

The mountain is especially quiet again. Skiing closed Sunday for the season.  The skiing action is never noisy, but I do get used to the distant sound of kids calling to each other or whooping as they head down the hill. The slope lights are off too, now, so when you factor in the overcast and foggy sky, it is quite dark without even the reflected light from the slopes.  I enjoy the change, but it will take another day or so for the current reality to feel normal again. If the clouds ever clear, perhaps I’ll even get to view that comet.


Scott said...

Beautiful image over the pond, Carolyn. Really spectacular!

We only got a bit of sleet pellets, and no snow from the most recent storm; otherwise just rain.

The grackles have taken over my bird feeder. Yesterday's suet cake was the last (alas), because the woodpeckers will miss it, but I can't afford to go through a suet cake/day.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: Thanks! Mother Nature does all the work when I take a photo. I just press the shutter. I know what you mean about suet cakes--too expensive to give every day. I've taken to splitting them in half, though. At least that way the birds can get a bit of one, though I know they'd eat the entire thing if I put it out there.