Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Old Man Winter

Winter arrived with a vengeance yesterday. We have already had some cold weather, some hard killing frosts, and even a bit of snow. But the last couple of weeks have been very mild, with temperatures above 65° as recently as Tuesday. Last Sunday for dinner, I barbecued chicken. All of that has come to a screeching halt. The change was presaged by a series of loud thunderstorms on Wednesday. By Thursday, they were predicting a major snowstorm. The Weather Service initially said that it would have started at about 3 in the afternoon on Thursday. That would have been a problem because I had a dinner that I was supposed to attend way out in the western suburbs on Thursday evening. The keynote speaker was a friend who has recently been elected to a county level office. It’s her first foray into politics as a candidate, and she ran an outstanding campaign. I wanted to be there to show my support. If the snowstorm had arrived on schedule, there’s no way that I could have made it there. As it was, I was worried about getting from the dinner back home late in the evening on back roads. Fortunately, between the dinner and home, there was nothing more to contend with than a bit of intermittent sleet.

Sometime after midnight, the storm kicked in. By morning, there was about 6" of snow on the ground. We did not go into work Friday morning- they hadn’t even plowed my street yet, and it was still snowing hard. We did get out and shovel the driveway. The ground has not yet frozen, so the bottom inch was wet, heavy slop. But we did shovel, and it’s a good thing. This morning we have seen a number of people really struggling because the slop layer is now frozen. Late morning, we went back and got up what the plow had kicked up, as well as the additional three inches or so that had fallen. I finally got into work at about 2:00 yesterday afternoon.

Now it’s really cold out. It got down into the single digits last night, and is predicted to again this evening. It is not predicted to get above freezing through next weekend, so a lot of the snow may be with us for a while here. The up side is that it’s really pretty out right now. Plus it really feels like the holiday season. In the main, I’m glad we had the storm. It’s very early for a snowstorm of this size in Chicago, but I now feel ready for winter.



At 15:51, Blogger Ur-spo said...

it looks lovely though! I actually miss major snowstorms.

At 18:25, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, we had such mild weather in PA that my daffodils are actually popping through the ground! It turned colder over night after the t-storms moved through here, but we had not snow, only rain.

At 08:20, Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

OMG...I don't think that I could survive a winter like that. Although it's pretty, my limbs would freeze off!

Love the paint color of your house...assuming that this is your place.

At 07:42, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if I could live someplace where there was no snow. Your house looks great!

At 18:55, Anonymous Rhea said...

I love your part of the country, but the weather -- ow. Here in Boston we had a bit of snow today, our first snow of the season. Didn't even stick.

At 19:54, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I love it when the snow sticks to the evergreens and the bushes. It truly puts one in the holiday mood.

At 16:33, Anonymous mark h said...

Your HOUSE is perfect for a Christmas Card Picture ! It's beautiful in the snow, and at the very same moment, I'm thinking........you MUST own a snow-blower if you live in Chicago, no? Didn't sound like when you had to plan ahead to make sure you had it shoveled clean. IT DID remind me of a time living in Utah.....a foot of snow on a long driveway is a BIG job..... BUT...........yes, then you KNOW Christmas is getting close. Thanks for bringing the feel of winter to us!

At 07:52, Blogger Doug said...

Thanks to all for the comments.

Steve- Thanks for the favorable response to my house color. In reality, it's rather shabby aluminum siding. We are seriously considering peeling it off and re-siding the house next year.

Rhea- thanks for stopping by the blog. I grew up in your part of the country, and I agree that the winters are much harsher here than they are in southern New England.

MArk - I hate to admit it but it's true. We have no snowblower. Shovelling is done by hand.

At 09:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no desire whatsoever to deal with the slop layer or being holed up inside not able to go anywhere. Keep the snow in your neck of the woods, OK?


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