Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And now for storm number 4

To get ready for storm number four, my lead shovelman and I have spent hours each day moving snow around. Storm # 3 was Saturday and even allowing for the stuff to settle down and lose some of its fluffiness, here is the pile by the letterbox on late Tuesday afternoon as we prepared for the arrival of storm # 4.
This fellow seems quite inscrutable despite his surroundings. He came all the way from Bendigo, Australia where I doubt he ever had to deal with the likes of this!
The wind is blowing so I had to resort to taking this through the front window. Now keep in mind the front porch is somewhat protected by both the wall you see at the back and the roof. But with blowing snow, even this will need shoveling out.
And here on the deck you can see the effects of the wind driven snow. Ordinarily the wind comes from the opposite direction and this door is protected. Not this time.
Looking out the front window I can barely see that the snow plow did come down the street just before dawn. I'm not sure how long we'll have to wait until it comes again. Looking further over to the main road we were watching the unusual sight of three large pay loaders with back hoes; the buckets are being used to scoop up snow and then dump it over the guard rail into the median area. There is just too much snow to continue plowing it because the piles become too large and dangerous.

I think we will wait until tomorrow to work on our snow removal - we utilise the low tech method of snow shovel and snow blower. With the wind blowing the windchill is around 0 F even as the air temperature is 25 F. And I'm told that even if we move it the wind will blow it back so I guess we'll wait and do a huge job tomorrow.

The sewing machine is calling me and I think I'll answer it's call.

This one's for you, Milde!

And with yet another snow day before me, how to keep busy? Actually, I've got plenty of things I'd like to be doing, just so long as the electricity stays on. But mindful that we could lose it and because I could only buy the last bag of rolls left on the shelf at the supermarket yesterday, I thought I better get busy and make some scones this morning. That is after the electricity came back on at 9:30am or so. Tuesday night I thought I could prepare some chocolate treats, mint brownies, for Casey and I as a reward for all our efforts at snow removal.

And because I thought we might need a break from all these snow photos, I set up this vignette to make you smile Milde. I developed a new technique with the blueberries so I would not have the angst of purple scones; no, instead this time the berries seem to tumble out the side...

In January I joined a local group of artists; the greatest proportion of the members are painters and I have enjoyed seeing what they paint and how they set up still life subjects. Some of the members are photographers and I am not of course in any way trying to compete with them but rather, to learn from them. In the listing of members I appear as quiltmaker. This photo is not quite a still life but it's the thought that counts.

And remember all those cuttings of rosemary for remembrance? I fear I may have to replace all three of my rosemary bushes in the spring. Trying to hedge my bets I have three different varieties planted in three different areas. But they are all looking mightily beaten up by this winter weather we have been having. At least in this shot, taken only five days ago, you can see the rosemary bush. Now it is totally obliterated by the blizzard conditions we have today.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yes, more snowy photos

And, lo, a tree hatches in the front yard! I just happened to be out and about at the right moment to capture this image on Sunday morning after the big snow event. And since there has not been a lot to do lately except deal with snow I wanted to post some more photos. Not only was there a lot of snow falling in this storm but high winds caused drifting which created some amazing snow sculptures. Below, enjoy the view out the front window. The railing height is 36" and you can see the snow is almost up to that level.

See how the snow built up on very narrow ledges like the top railing of the screen around the ac units and the framework on the top of the pergola.
Can you believe how the snow has curved around the copper roof on the bay window? Later in the afternoon it fell off - perhaps because of all the vibration as I manhandled the snowblower along the front walk.

Just look at those icicles! They do look spectacular but when the sun shines on them they melt and drip and the water falls onto the small part of the deck that is cleared of snow and becomes...a 2" thick slab of ice. I might just as well have left the snow covering the deck.
After Casey and I had spent our fifth effort of snow shoveling on this storm I took a walk up the street to see how far away the snow plow might be. Turning to look back down the street I saw this view. It would be pretty if I knew how to edit out the footprints and trails in the snow.
Finally, I needed some reminder that seasons do change so I went browsing in my old photo files. And found this shot taken on April 3, 2008 when Casey and I went into DC to the tidal basin to view the cherry blossoms. I enjoyed the serenity of this composition.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Are we almost done with this white stuff?

I am thinking you will be tiring of yet more snow photos. But I sure am taking a lot of them lately. The first one below is from my usual spot out the computer room window showing the bird bath under the dogwood tree. This was taken on the morning of Wednesday February 3 after a "light" snowfall the night before (there have been so many I have forgotten the amount of this one). But I include it for contrast with what comes next:
You may have seen the news that the mid Atlantic region got walloped by a big snowstorm beginning yesterday (another Saturday today and, so it goes, another snowstorm). It is not over yet but I am hoping the worst is past. But here is the same view taken mid afternoon today.
And now, the evidence. I leaned as far as I could out the laundry room door and plunged in the yard stick. You'll see it says there is 25" of snow but the snow banks higher behind it.

Casey and I first shoveled the driveway and the deck around 5pm Friday at which time we cleared maybe 3 - 5" of snow. Then we shoveled again from 9pm to 10:30pm but it was so heavy going then that we only got the driveway done.

At 3:00am Saturday we lost electricity. Now we were in a fix because the snow was so much that we needed to use the snow blower. But the only way I can get that monster started is with the electric key start. And without electricity I could not start the machine. The snow continued to fall. Around noon, hallelujah, the power came back on. So we went outside and struggled for almost two hours until the machine ran out of fuel. In that time I got the area in front of one garage cleared plus a wide enough space to get that one vehicle down to within 5' of the road. But since the snow plow has not been during daylight hours there is too much snow to get out onto the road anyway.

Right now we are taking a break and building up our energy and courage to make another assault on the snow around 4:30pm. It does seem as though it is tapering off. I hope so. This for sure is the record breaking storm they predicted with likely as much as 30" or more before the current storm passes over.

The advance forecast is not encouraging as it suggests more snow on Tuesday.

Glory be, enough already. I might go sew for an hour (while I have the electricity that is!) before we suit up again to go outside.