Saturday Situation Report: Snowy With a Chance of Snow

Our backyard Thursday morning
Our backyard Thursday morning

My recent blog posts have not been cancelled because of the weather. The reason I haven’t been posting is because I’m bone lazy. However, the weather lately has been so noteworthy, I thought I’d make the effort to note it.

I took this pic (to the left) through my kitchen window Thursday morning. By the time the snow finished falling, we had about 10 inches of fresh fluffy stuff on top of what remained from previous snows. In case you’re wondering, that round thing in the foreground is a little patio table.

2014-02-15 11.14.14
View from the front door.

It warmed up a bit yesterday, and the snow started to melt, making the beginnings of a slushy, puddly mess. The sloppies didn’t progress very far, though, because it snowed again last night and this morning. It hasn’t quite buried our mailbox yet, but it’s working on it. (See it sticking up from the snowbank in the lower right quadrant of the shot to the right?)

About all that shrubbery to the left of the driveway, as well as the little stack of firewood in the first shot: we had some trees cut down this fall. Craig cut and stacked the trunks and large branches and plans to sell the firewood after it’s cured for a year, as we no longer have a wood burner.

We do have a gas fireplace, and we’ve used it a couple of times. But being in the living room, it makes the front of the house too warm while the rest of the house gets too cold. The ideal place for a wood burner would be the basement, so the heat could radiate up and warm the whole house.

Craig and our son Art (whom Craig put to work the last time Art and Jennie visited) dragged the remainder of the tree rubble from the backyard and piled it in the front, awaiting the man with the chipper. But then it got cold and snowed, got colder and snowed more, dumped some freezing rain on top of that, and then snowed a few more times, and… As you can see, even if the man with the chipper were to come now, he wouldn’t be able to do anything because the branches are all frozen to the ground. Which means that mess will have to remain in the front yard until spring.

I took this shot in 1995 (96?) in New Philadelphia, Ohio, when it got down to almost 30 below zero F, so I could prove in the future that I didn't make it up.
1995, New Philadelphia, Ohio, with the temperature almost -30 F. I took the photo so I could prove it in later years. The thermometer is a little hard to read, but if you can enlarge the photo you might be able to see it better. And yes, that old back door was badly in need of paint. Our house back then was pretty much of a wreck everywhere.

Funny thing about pictures of snow: everybody takes them but nobody cares to see them. Do you know how many photos of snow I threw out when sorting through my parents’ old pics? Photos of snow, and of flowers, autumn trees, and all sorts of things that are beautiful to see but can’t be satisfactorily captured in a photo? I don’t know how many, but it was a lot. I don’t usually take pics like that, but I did this time to illustrate this post. Nobody cares about the snow, but people do like images in blog posts.

One thing Craig has always liked best about winter is ice fishing. In Ohio, there were several winters when he wasn’t able to fish because it wasn’t cold enough for long enough at a stretch. (As you can see from the photo above left, the winter of 1995-96 was an exception.)

This A few fish year the weather’s been perfect for fishing, but what with the work we’ve been doing in the house as well as having to learn the places to fish around here, he only went out for the first time this past Wednesday.

In Maryland, there’s a limit of 15 on the number of bluegills you can catch in a day. This came as a surprise, because in Ohio, you could catch them by the bucketful. Which is what Craig used to do. I took these pictures of him fishing on our pond in Jefferson, Ohio, along with a portion of his catch.Fishing thru the ice I’m not sure of the exact year, but it was  somewhere between 1979 and 1983. Fun fact: he still wears that same pair of felt-lined boots when he goes ice fishing.

Wednesday afternoon, he fished on Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park and caught his limit fairly quickly. We ate some for supper on Thursday and I froze the rest for another meal. Yum! He’s hoping winter holds on long enough that he can fill the freezer.

Just about everyone else is longing for that mythical event called spring. Though we’re not seeing any signs of it yet beyond the days increasing in length and ticking by on the calendar, Craig andOnce upon a garden I are thinking about gardening. We have enough backyard under all that snow that there’s space to put in a small garden. But the soil in these parts is very rocky, and we expect it will be difficult to prepare the ground. Raised beds would be a good solution, but expensive. We’re not sure how we’ll deal with the situation, but we do know we won’t be gardening on the scale we did in Ohio.

As a reminder that spring is, in fact, on the way, I’ve added another flash-from-the-past photo, probably taken sometime in the late 1990s. That’s our youngest daughter, Rustie, in the background, not a scarecrow.

Next time I post, I plan to talk about writing, since this was originally supposed to be a writing blog. I hope it’s not spring by the time I get around to it.

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7 thoughts on “Saturday Situation Report: Snowy With a Chance of Snow

    1. I imagine it does! The snows are by no means limited to Western Maryland. The patio table looks even funnier now, as the snow started melting the following day and then it snowed again the next. Now it has terraces on it — reminds me of that hillside the highway department terraced a few years ago along I-77 in Philly by the 250 exit to prevent rockslides. It looks just that silly, but required no taxpayer money.

  1. Yvonne, would you know I posted one of my snow pics from Atlanta on my desktop? I plan on keeping it until spring officially starts. Are the bluegills tasty? Do they have scales? They look pretty small, must be difficult to clean.

    1. Snow in Atlanta is rare enough that it’s worth taking a photo of! I used to work with a woman who always had pictures of sunny beaches on her desktop in the winter to remind her that it was warm and sunny somewhere.

      Bluegills caught through the ice are wonderful eating! I’ll have to cook you some — doing anything next weekend? Ha ha. We keep talking about visiting but the distance does present a problem, unfortunately. Anyway, they do have scales, and they’re small. We cut off the fillets and skin them, and the rest goes into the garden as fertilizer. Except we don’t have a garden to bury them in this year so they go in the trash.

      When I say “we” cut off the fillets, I mean “Craig.” I sometimes help him, but he’s a lot better at it than I am, thanks to all the fish filleting he’s done over the years. He used to be able to fillet a fish in about 2 minutes flat. It takes him longer now, though, because he’s out of practice.

  2. bluegills, ahhh, haven’t had any for years…I have some in my freezer right now that I bought at the farmers market at the fairgrounds…how are you fixing them? Been wondering about your snowy winter…love the snow…maybe you could find a bigger piece of land just to plant a garden…you know, like a victory garden in an empty lot…

    1. I usually dredge the fillets in a gluten-free homemade version of Bisquick seasoned with salt and pepper, then fry them. They’re too small to do much else with them, though I’ve tried baking and broiling them too. Your winter’s been plenty snowy too, hasn’t it? From what I hear, it’s pretty much like ours.

      Our yard is big enough for the sized garden we’d like, as we’re not interested in having a big one anymore. The concern is with all the rocks. We won’t know what we’re facing until we start digging up a garden spot, but it might take us a year or two before we have it de-rocked enough to run the tiller through without breaking a tine. We’re thinking of building something with all the rocks we pull out of the garden — maybe a fire pit for barbeques.

      Was thinking of you recently when I noticed how all the cars were covered with salt film. I remembered taking you to Buehler’s one winter day and you remarked how odd it was that all the cars in the lot were the same color. They weren’t really, but it looked like it because they were so covered in salt.

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