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Snow 2

The cedars aren't gonna come out of this one well. One was already bent over from the last time we got a heavy snow, some years ago, and now two more have joined it. Instant weeping cedar! Just add snow!

Lots of ice. Lots of snow. Everything's okay so far, beyond the cosmetic damage on the cedars...and two young pines...but it's one of those where there is a potential to go really bad and you can't do anything to prevent it from happening, so you go about your day and keep looking out the window to see if any of the trees are looking...scary.

There are a kajillion birds on the feeder. They vanish the instant it turns to freezing rain (or this morning's delightful freezing mist!) and return when it goes back to snow. Birds are remarkably intelligent about things that matter to birds.

Lotta sparrows, lotta cardinals, lotta juncos. Yesterday was wall-to-wall doves, more than I've ever seen in the garden at one time--I counted fourteen--but they're gone today. Very few chickadees. I suspect ice storms are hardest on the teeny tiny birds. Thrush-Bob is demanding frequent mealworm delivery and expects his water thawed on demand.

We were on the road for about twenty minutes yesterday, just as things started, getting gas for the generator. It was bad. I nearly ditched the car, even with ten years of Minnesota winter under my belt, because there is no amount of skill that can compensate for the guy in front of you stopping way too fast. I breathed on the brakes, slid, steered some direction that didn't kill us, so it must have been correct. There was a conveniently placed driveway, and we stopped before sliding into the drainage ditch. (Kevin commended my reflexes, which is nice. Apparently "Guided Graceful Slide" is still on the active skill list.)

So we're all still alive. Glad I work at home. (Despite that, I have the urge to scream "SNOW DAY!" and spend the day in pajamas, but y'know.)

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Good luck with Snowmageddon 2: The Revenge. Stay safe.

Out of curiosity, have you ever done any Andy Goldsworthy-style land art?

You can buy bird-bath water heaters, which are a rugged heating coil you plug in (an outdoor outlet is helpful here) and leave on, under the water. The birds don't mind the things, and they do keep it thawed. It is important to remember to keep your bird bath topped up if you use one, though.

Not something you would need all the time, but very helpful at times like this.

I stayed off the roads in any wintry precipitation when I lived down south just because of the other drivers. I can usually do pretty well, I follow the cardinal rules of icy driving: Go slow. Go slow, no seriously, slower. SLOW. Like you said, the other jackasses on the road... harder to compensate for.

Our first winter here in Kansas was pretty exciting, just for teaching my Mississippi born and bred husband the fine art of snow driving. He's into it now, says it's almost as much fun as muddin', and he gets to use his big truck to pull people out of snowbanks now, rather than mud holes.

I have been known to trudge through the snow shaking off smaller trees to keep them from breaking -- this used to really amuse people when I was in college trekking across campus....

Where I work has been closed for two and a half days. They planned to open today but it was still snowing so they didn't. My goat shed was frozen shut this morning. I'm finding the slush more difficult than the snow was.

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A lot of places that did open today are closing before dark so folks won't have to deal with black ice.

I look out my window at a morning that may produce a little rain, and grumble about summer having been stolen.

Meanwhile Victoria.au has raging bushfires all over the place, and in South Australia the Bangor fire has been burning for 30 days, is now contained after burning over 30,000 hectares (~115 square miles), but not yet under control.

Anyone who says "the weather is normal" is nuts...

While waiting for the subway in an underground station this morning in NYC I was joined by several sparrows. I saw them the last snowstorm too but not in between so I think/hope they can figure out a way out once it stops snowing (I also hope they are smart enough to avoid the third rail).


in Charlotte, my tiny apartment porch birdfeeder has had at least 2 dozen goldfinches, plus a lot of juncos, chickadees, sparrows, titmice, and the resident pair of cardinals. it stopped snowing a few hours ago, and is now melting as quickly as it fell, but there's still about 6 inches on the ground.

Meanwhile here in MN we got a dusting, not even a half-inch, and that was ALL.

Something is clearly Not Right with the weather.

Even folks like me who have lived in snow and ice most of their adult driving lives go off the road once in a while. It's a game of percentages, and when you lose your save against ice it is all up to your reflexes to make it result in the least amount of peril possible.

Sounds like you did great. With luck you won't need to worry about it for another 10 years or so...

If the trees have got snow & not ice on them, you can gently shake a lot of it off.

Don't you get to spend most of your days in your pajamas?

Oh and best bird was a goldfinch clinging to an icicle hanging from the suet feeder,using it as a perch so as to better reach the eats.

I lived on a military base in Germany for three years a couple of decades ago, Hahn Airbase-- 'Happy Hahn Hidden High In the Hunsrucht-- that was famous for having mist at least 150 days of each year. It did, too, and in the winter the mist would freeze in delicate, narrow crystals to the treebranches, layer after layer, until at last they couldn't support their own weight and would explode in this ridiculous Disney sort of shower of glitter. Amazing. It'd only work if you had a number of successive days of freezing mist, though.

That must have been so beautiful!

It really was... though not so much if you were *under* a tree that decided to go poof. It got freaking EVERYWHERE and melted really fast.

It always amazes me how some people totally ignore the weather conditions and just drive as normal. Glad your driving skills were better than the guy in front. Lunatics on the road sounds like a very good excuse to declare a snow day!

Good luck! Hope you come out of it as lightly as we did. Just a bit of lingering wet on the roads, so black ice early tomorrow; that should be the last of it. We never lost power.

That's why I hate driving in wintery weather anywhere that doesn't usually get really wintery weather. The other people have no clue what they're doing.

Meanwhile, today I wandered outside in just dress pants and a work t-shirt with no issue. In Iowa. Our weather is being indecisive at the moment. It's been going from -20 to 50 to -20 again.

Honey Badgers would spend Snow Day in pajamas, I bet.

Glad you made it home safely! Best wishes for your birds and trees. I read a recent article suggesting Atlanta may lose a quarter of its trees to the storm, with heavy icing and strong winds not playing well with drought-weakened trees. Possibly the fewer trees will then lead to a stronger urban heat island effect, weakening trees further.

Pictures! This is a great opportunity to take pictures.

i've spent all day in pajamas! I wish I had went out for chocolate!

The cedars may surprise you

We had a pair that flanked the doors of our first house, they were more bush than tree, but at least twice ice had them split and sprawling, and they popped right back up after the stuff melted.

And birdbath heater, huh. I may have to get one of those for the outdoor cats water. We have a window with an air conditioner in it that we don't pull (we just cover the inside, its under the porch roof so it is sheltered and on the south side). I could wrangle the cord out under the A/C. On the other hand I hope we won't be living here too much longer, we are planning on taking the outdoor boys with us and an immersion heater would be good at the new place too. AND it might have an outdoor plug-in, it's a modern house. WOOT.

I just got a heated water dish for the outdoor cats. Technically it's a 3qt heated dog dish, but I figured that in MN winters the water loss to evaporation is significant enough that the additional volume was a good idea.

Meanwhile, in Germany, it's been in the 40s and 50s. There's something deeply wrong here.

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