One more—or yet another, depending on your perspective—blast of winter headed our way, and as usual forecasts are all over the place. They all have in common the likelihood of some snow, a little (and from some forecasters a little more than a little) ice and freezing rain, followed by rain.

And best of all: the whole thing followed by a warmup that will see 60s here over the weekend.

So whatever we get we won’t get affected by for long, at least in its frozen incarnations. The rain, some of it projected to be heavy, will have lingering effects, but we’ll just add those to the still lingering effects of heavier rains (and one big snow) from earlier in winter. The ground is wet and is going to get wetter; the driveway is muddy and is going to get muddier.

But we’re not going to snowed in, at least not for more than a day or so. And if the ice keeps itself to minimal levels, the power should stay on.

Nonetheless, I’m battening down, as I always do. Eater for drinking and flushing all stocked up. Emergency radio—named Heidi by my wife—ready to be turned on. Kerosene heater ready to provide backup heat if needed. Plenty of food for us, for Millard the beagle, and for Lightning, Chester, and Mary Grace, the cats. In an hour or so I’ll move the car to a spot above the worst of the mudway that is now the bottom part of our driveway.

In other words, ready for pretty much whatever comes our way.

And even readier for the much warmer whatever that;s coming after it.

The Snows of Yesterweek

Hard to believe, walking and working in close to 70 degree weather today, that just a few days I was walking and working in very different conditions.

Here's a photo taken during my return to the house on Tuesday, almost a week to the hour after the first flakes began to fall.

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The snow was starting to go then, but it had a ways to go before it would be gone.

I was returning from a snowy stroll to the creek, its banks still heavy with snow, though not so heavy as they had been just a day or two before:

Driven To Walk Through The Woods

A measure of excessive caution borne of being stuck at the bottom of my drive one too many times, a sense of the already slick spots on my drive, and an obligation or two late in the week prompted me to move the car to its snowplace, as I think of it -- a spot beside the road at the top of the hill.

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There, the car may well be stuck if it snows deeply enough (it won't, this time), but whatever weather comes, the car and I won't be fighting gravity as well as slickness. I will have to walk up the hill to be able to drive out it, but I don't mind that.   

Even less do I mind walking back down, either on the drive if carrying groceries and other things, or, as today, unburdened, down through the woods.

The clouds were already thickening — with rain, mostly, I believe — and the shadows in the forest were twilight-thick at three in the afternoon. Fine by me. I was in no hurry, there was enough light for me (if not my aging camera), and the shadows reminded me to take even more time. I lingered and loitered a bit, looking at favorite trees and rocks, smiling at the deerpaths I saw.

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Emerging finally at the edge of the meadow, I stopped for awhile to look at the farm beneath the clouds. They still didn't look like snowclouds, but I still didn't regret moving the car any more than I had ever really regretted moving the now motionless truck, whose rearwheel drive had more trouble with a snowy drive than the frontwheel-driven Geo.

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Neither vehicle, though, is as reliable in winter weather — or the possibility of it — as my feet.

And neither can take me through the woods. 



SteveJanuary 25, 2011 at 7:38 PM

I believe it did snow most of the day here, but it also evaporated during its descent from the sky (more common of an occurrence than one might think). Tomorrow may be a different story. Regardless, Planson and I head to Daytona tomorrow night to reconnect with the 24-hour endurance race after an 8 year hiatus. I'll see if Florida is wireless, connected and operating in the 21st century.

What Vanishes From The Meadow Lingers In The Shade

Yesterday's brief, lovely, light snow was, as I wrote, just enough — enough to coat the meadow and the trees, and not much more than that. Gone by midday today in those areas that receive full sun. Only a hint lingers in the shade at the edge of the forest.

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A bit more lingers on my drive, as I expected.

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Even the above-freezing temperatures today weren't enough to clear it. This weekend's warmup wiil take care of things pretty quickly, but until then, I'll be hiking to and from the car.

Which is no rough duty. The pantry is well-stocked, and I have no heavy or bulky goods to carry. The day's mail and newspapers, little more than that. I can take my time and when I pause it will be because I wish to, not to give my arms a rest or, as has happened more than once, rearrange things for easier transport.

 Not much snow remains in the woods, and I doubt if very much actually made it to the ground.

But what little snow lingers there is gorgeous and is itself, worth lingering over as I make my way past.

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Which I did.

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Becky MushkoJanuary 27, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Snowy Driveway AND snow-covered sidewalk here.