Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mother Nature is Weird

Replenished Wood Shed

I think it was around the 17th or 18th of February when everyone started talking about snow. You will note in the photo above there is lots of uncovered grass. The January thaw which began in December right after a minimalist white Christmas continued all through January and half of February.

Oh, not that there wasn't talk of snow. The weather channels and sites always seemed to threaten snow. And there was a small, slight chance here and there that issued an inch or less which because of temps instantly melted. Snow became something which happened in Boston or Maine, and all but the ski areas here seemed rather grateful. So when the talk of a major storm heading our way first started we all rolled our eyes and said, Oh, yeah, sure in unison.

I was nursing the last of two cords of wood (October and November called for more fires). I was looking at the garden beds and planning for spring but there was just something about the wind or lack there of. Or maybe it was my esp or close connection to the earth since I live on it. I called my firewood supplier and had him deliver another cord. He actually bought me rather more than that on the 21st of February. It began to snow on the 22nd. I was rather surprised when there was actually snow to drive through.

First Tracks

The weather prognosticators started talking of the week long back to back storms which could drop feet instead of inches. Like, yeah, when has that happened in this decade?

And to prove me right in my skepticism the clouds parted and the sun came out. I hopped in my trusty pickup with the four wheel drive and went to photograph my changed domain.

Gang of Four

I was no sooner back and uploading my photos when the sucker hole closed and it began to snow again.

Big Blue on the 26th

New Mexico is not known for days without sunshine. The natives get restless quickly. I am not sure exactly when I decided this was not going away. I was in denial for a while. I had plenty of wood and kept the wood stove going 24/7 because there was no sunshine to take advantage of the passive solar studio. I was burying myself in the studio with a new painting while the goddess of snow was burying my house. Daily I would push broom off the 4 to 8 inches of new snow off Big Blue and go out in part to prove I could but mostly to tend to my pet clients. The camera went with, and I now have such a large selection of snow photographs I was getting bored of taking another.

On the the 27th the sun broke through oh, so briefly. Sun glorious sun. Surely the storm of the century was over? No.

The Fence Line

The 28th was the most snow yet to date. There are chances of snow through Wednesday. Today and Monday some weather people say we could get a foot more. 

Still coming down

But some of it could be rain. The accumulation of the white stuff in my yard is chest high on my labradoodle. But yesterday when it was warm enough to unzip my jacket while shoveling snow. I actually remembered I love the stuff. It is beautiful when it comes without wind and you measure it in inches and not feet.

Shoveling snow

This in day eight and it is still snowing at report time. There is not a cloudless sky in our forecast till Thursday. But it is all good. This could end our drought. It will add moisture to the trees in the forest to retard the May wildfires. And it will recharge the aquifers from which our wells pump. In more than a week we have made up for two months of no snow.

Albuquerque is calling it the storm of the century with their 8.6 inches. Wimps. We have had bigger one day amounts (2006 with 6 feet) but I cannot remember more days in a row of snow. It is hard to say how much we got in total because it begins to weight itself down and pack up. The temps have been such in the days and the ground unfrozen and dry when this began so a lot has already soaked in thankfully. And because of the mountains some of my more distant neighbors have gotten more than me here in the Banana Belt. We have not seen the peaks of the mountains for days. The ski areas always muddy the waters with their measurements as they vie for the spring breakers.

Over next weekend it will be in the 40's with that great New Mexico sun back. It will be mud and flood time. At least briefly. The Little Coyote in my backyard may exceed its banks. And all us cabin fever locals will venture out to the coffee shop to talk of the storm of the decade. We will compare notes on who got more. And debate this storm over others we remember. But we have already agreed that Mother Nature is weird.

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