More snow

Still, there are many advantages to high winds, snow drifts and -17ºC maximum temperatures. One of the less obvious is that when you get home from shopping for groceries and you’re hungry but your Vinho Verdi is still at room temperature, you just have to stick it in one of those snow drifts and by the time you’ve assembled your cheeses, olives, bread and pickles, it is already chilled. The other big advantages are left as an exercise to the reader.

We had yet more snow last night.  That makes 20 times this winter we have had our driveway ploughed, as compared with 14 times all last winter and it’s still only January.

Still, there are many advantages to high winds, snow drifts and -17ºC maximum temperatures.  One of the less obvious is that when you get home from shopping for groceries and you’re hungry but your Vinho Verdi is still at room temperature, you just have to stick it in one of those snow drifts and by the time you’ve assembled your cheeses, olives, bread and pickles, it is already chilled.  The other big advantages are left as an exercise to the reader.

This is where we park our cars, after the driveway was ploughed:

Cars in the snow
Cars in the snow

Yes, I didn’t get the wheelbarrow moved before the first snow fell.

The drive is now only as wide as the blade on Tony’s plough.

Next are some of our resident wild turkeys.  If you saw some of the earlier posts, you’d know that they have long, powerful legs, but now the snow is about 30 cm (1 foot) on top of the ice from the ice storm at Christmas time, which was on top of more snow, they look like ducks floating on the water with their legs hidden.  A couple more had been by earlier to break the trail but it is still heavy going so they are travelling in what we naval experts would call line astern to make it less work. They can fly quite well for around 500m, usually just clearing the trees which are about 20m around here, but it seems that they still stick to trudging through the snow; flying is for emergencies only or in the evening when they go to roost in the trees.

Turkeys in snow
Turkeys in snow

Winter has been here too long and it’s only January

Snow storm for Burns’ night.

We’re having snow storms for Burns’ night. Rather appropriate because he was born in a snowdrift.

He also wrote about snow

“But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, it’s bloom is shed;
Or, like the snow-fall in the river,
A moment white, then melts forever.” – Tam O’Shanter

but it doesn’t apply here because the rivers on our property are iced over.

Here is the view from our window, with a couple of woodpeckers and a blue jay at the bottom left of the centre pane.

Snow and woodpeckers
Snow and woodpeckers

The next one is the same window but just as the wind came and whipped up a couple of snow devils.

Snow devils
Snow devils

 

Too cold for most pictures – wimpy photographer

A few pictures of our frozen landscape.

This is the first time since we moved here, 20 years ago, that the water has “disappeared” from the little creek under the driveway. I could still hear some running water so it is not solid, but there is no water to be seen. This is where it runs out of the culvert on the driveway, on its way down to join the Pigeon River. I haven’t been down to the river as it is very icy so I don’t want to risk falling in, which could be fatal.

Frozen creek
Frozen creek

This is the roof of one of our bird feeders. There are layers from the various snow storms and ice storms. The gap is because of a wind storm that blew out the middle layer of softer snow, leaving an ice “bridge” across the top.

Icy roof on feeder
Icy roof on feeder

The black/gray squirrels only come out when it is above freezing but this red squirrel has a network of tunnels under the snow and even stuck its head up when it was -33ºC.

Subterranean squirrel
Subterranean squirrel

They know we’re sick of turkey leftovers

The turkeys are so confident we have had enough turkey for a long time that they came within 3m of the house, so I got some close ups. First sign of spring – a robin.

The turkeys are so confident we have had enough turkey for a long time that they came within 3m of the house, so I got some close ups.

The male is drab compared with his mating finery in the spring, but still has his beard hanging from the middle of his chest.

Bearded male turkey
Bearded male turkey

He probably thinks his females are very pretty; I’m not so sure about their faces.

Turkey closeup
Turkey closeup

But even in the winter, I have to admit their tail feathers are gorgeous

Turkey tail feathers
Turkey tail feathers

We normally get our first robins in April.  I was just thinking of switching back to Fahrenheit because -12º sounds much better than -30º when I saw this robin in the bush.  Did its alarm go off too soon? Are we going to have a really early spring? Regardless, it is not going to find many worms for a while.

Winter Robin
Winter Robin