Friday, April 19, 2013

Happy Spring in Minnesota -- Ha Ha Ha!

It's like a really late April Fool's Day joke -- one that doesn't seem very funny anymore.  Just when buds were beginning to swell and I thought "Spring at last!" we get this --  knee-deep snow in my yard, with more on the way - and that was on top of the other storm we got last week!   Minneapolis got 9 inches at the airport this time around, breaking the 1984 record for snowfall on that date and making this the 4th snowiest April on record in the metro area.  St. Cloud, MN, officially got 12 inches, Duluth got 18.  Hard to say what I got, because it is still drifting  all over the place, but it is at least a foot deep in flatter areas.

Enough is enough -- I'm sick of shoveling snow!

Here is a view of my chicken coop, taken from the back porch around 7:30 this morning (To see more detail in any of these shots, click the pic to enlarge):

Needless to say, the chickens and geese will not be going outside today.  I'm not looking forward to slogging down there to feed them, either.   This is a good day for everybody to stay cooped up inside.   Since the plow has not come down my back road yet, and probably won't be here for a long while, I can't go anywhere anyway.  This certainly is not the "1-4 inches" originally predicted!

Here's a picture of my sukkah frame in the front yard.  (A sukkah is a special booth for a Jewish harvest festival.)   A couple seasons ago, I left the covering and top of the sukkah up too long, and the snow collapsed the whole thing.  (Read that story  and see a pic).  This time around, I was smart enough to remove everything down to the bare frame in the fall.  All the snow you see on top is clinging to nothing but the 2-inch diameter support poles.  Which just goes to show how very wet and sticky this stuff really is.  If it melts off too fast, there could be flooding, although since we are on a hill, we are reasonably safe from that.  But rivers are already rising in places like Iowa and Illinois, where this came down as rain.

My dog Jasmine was not too happy about the deep snow, either -- her disgust is very clear in this photo.  No way we could go for a walk today -- I just put her out on the chain to do her stuff.  She slogged out to her usual spot by the edge of the trees, then came  right back in, to flop on her bed in the mud room.

My other big dog, Gypsy, stayed out longer, but she wasn't too thrilled with deep snow, either.   She just pooped by the steps, barked in answer to the dogs down the road, then called it done.  Sherlock, our mini-schnauzer, usually goes out the front sliding door off-leash, but today he refused until I cleared the snow off the porch and shoveled an area for him at the bottom of the steps.  I can't blame him -- the snowdrifts are way over his head.

Willow tree at the edge
of my dirt road.
In spite of this late storm, there are still some visible signs of spring.  One of the first we see around here is the greening of the bark on the willow trees -- which you can see here, in spite of the blowing snow swirling past it.  While I was taking this picture I also saw pussy willows in bloom.  Normally I'd be cutting some of those to bring inside as a spring bouquet, but today I was not about to slog down there into the ditch to get them -- especially since things were starting to melt before this storm, so it could be swampy under all that snow.

The buds on this black maple are in my yard are beginning to swell.  The wind was shaking the branches so hard, the picture came out a bit blurry, but you can clearly see the reddish buds through the coating of snow.

This kind of storm does produce some really nice shots, because it sticks to everything, creating a sort of fantasyland.  Shoveling it, on the other hand, is another story.  It is heavy and sticky, clogging up the snowblowers and creating a lot of business for local chiropractors.  But since the snow is still blowing around and the plow has not been down our road yet, there's no point in clearing the driveway yet.  We're  going to just hunker down and get ready for the Sabbath this evening -- wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom, Peace and blessings!


Anonymous said...

This is a bit much even for Minnesota: ) but it's not that unusual. I can remember year's ago when I was on my kid's school board(In St. Paul) we were planning to have the Minnesota State Band play at a parent's night. I suggested we do it late in the school year because we didn't want to have to cancel it because of a snowstorm. We planned it for late April and wouldn't you know we got a blizzard and the only ones there were the band and me because we lived a block away :) Hang in there--this too will pass, JoAnn

Nekkid Chicken said...

Holey Smokes, That is just crazy to see your place blanketed. Man, we are already dealing with temps in the 90s. Talk about two ends of the spectrum.

Stay warm,

Yonassan Gershom said...

JoAnn: We did the same thing with our Cub Scout community service project --we were going to do spring cleanup at the Audubon Center, picking up stcks and such around the buildings, etc. That was SUPPOSED to be today -(sunday April 21) for Earth Day - needless to say, we postponed it.

Also, i remember years ago (1970s) it got a whole lot colder in MM in winter -- 40 below was not unheardof up on the Range. Been a while since we've seen that. Climate is definitely changing!

Yonassan Gershom said...

Wel yeah, Nekked Chicken, you folks down in Texas are getting that extra warm weather now because the Jet Stream is so screwed up -- it's dipping way down south and pulling all this cold air down with it, burying us in snow. At the same time, it's trapping the hot Gulf air down there -- and where the two meet, it's making tornados and such.

When I went out to the coop on Friday, I saw that the wind and heavy wet snow brought down a big tree. Snapped it right off. Luckily it did not hit the building.

Yonassan Gershom said...

And here we go AGAIN - it's Monday and we finally got dug out so I could go into town for some supplies, and now it is snowing AGAIN!!!! Will winter never end?

Anonymous said...

Winter in Minnesota seems like it just doesn't want to leave. I feel for you. Hang in there! JoAnn