Snow flying, more than falling

The last couple days have been ones of staying inside where it’s warm, and just watching the snow. All day, it just seems to hang in the air, never landing, driven by the wind. It taps at the windows with a thousand icy fingernails, finding weak seals in the older windows, and making ice rimes. It doesn’t get much farther than that, as the ice then seals the window against further infiltration.

There are some times when I wonder if Wheaton can sense the weather: This morning, at pretty much the usual Buddy-this-is-too-early-why-won’t-you-let-me-sleep time, he was barking at me, ready to go out.

God had made a break in the snow, and the winds had come down to only about 15 knots. So out we went, down to the paper-box at the end of the lane. Thank you Lord, for thinking of your child, and making a short break in the weather. And so out we went.

The snow, driven by the wind, makes a hissing sound as it becomes driven across the meadows by the wind. You can hear it coming, the hiss getting louder and louder until it hits your face like sandpaper, hissing against your coat. Once we entered the trees,  the wind-driven snow rattles its way through the bare branches in its rush to find somewhere to rest. The trees still don’t slow it down much; it still stings when it finds bare skin.

I’d grabbed a camera, thinking there might be a shot or two to make, and managed to make this one, while leaning against a gust; which explains the off-kilter horizon. I really don’t believe in doing too much touchup with PhotoShop, as each mouse click takes you further from the reality of the shot.

Here, the snow had drifted around the individual trees in the hedgerow, and the wind had scavenged it right down to the surface of the lane. This was the result of the wind relentlessly snatching up handfuls of snow and driving it along. As we were walking, I saw a ‘snow devil’, a whirlwind of snow picked right up from the ground and newly airborne on its way to a drift somewhere. Such a thing is on my list of things to photograph, but it is a very difficult shot. Maybe someday God will put me in the right place at the right time and I’ll be ready.

This afternoon, we have a 3-foot drift on the side of the house, thanks to the continuous wind and snow all day. These drifts will be deeper tomorrow, but hey, I’m not going to go looking for excuses to check. In any case, the road surface will likely still be visible, but I’d hate to see where the missing snow has gone. Again this was early this morning, and not after a day’s worth of wind-driven snow.

My neighbor with the farm farther up the road reminded me about the last really deep snow we had, maybe ten years ago. He remembered grumbling that he needed a CAT to get to his CAT. The machine was buried above the seat (about 5 feet). But he had a cord inside his barn for the block heater, and all it took then was a broom to sweep off the seat and the instrument panel so he could sit down and see to get it started. Raw power and engine heat pretty much took care of the rest. I’m glad to have him for a neighbor, because when it gets really deep, he’s the first guy to get cabin fever, and so digs out the road for himself and the rest of us.

May God keep you safe and warm in his arms.


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