Friday, November 30, 2007

Winter Has Arrived

It's been pretty cold here all week and last night we received our first shovel-able snowfall. I think it was about an inch--just enough to cover the bird feeders so I had to sweep them off this morning before work.

The snowplows were out on the highways, but there really wasn't enough to plow there either, so they just dumped a lot of salt on the road to try and melt the snow instead. It always takes drivers around here a little bit of time to adjust to winter driving again and on our way into work, we saw lots of tire tracks where people had slid off the road.

Here's how things are looking in my backyard now with a little bit of snow on the ground.

This is the side yard (looking out the kitchen window). These are the trees where I usually see the Tufted Titmice--they like the fly-thru feeder hanging in the tree on the right.

It's definitely long-john weather--this is the thermometer on my deck around 3:30 PM (and the sun was shining on it!)

And since we all need practice on our winter driving skills, Mother Nature has decided to give Minnesotans a winter storm this weekend. On the map below, the white area designates all the counties that are in a Winter Storm Warning for tomorrow (Saturday).
This is a pretty darn big area and includes me in the south, Lynne and Birdchick in the Twin Cities, Marsha over in the west central area, and even Deb up north. Here in the south they're only predicting 4-8 inches of snow, due to the fact that some of our moisture may arrive as the dreaded "wintry mix" (sleet and freezing rain). Areas from the Twin Cities northward will be receiving just snow--and lots of it--up to 16 inches for the North Shore. Oh yeah, did I mention it was going to be windy too? Winds of 20-30 MPH are coming along with the snow. Should be an interesting weekend.

P.S. to Ruth: I believe this storm is moving to the northeast, so get your snow shovel ready!


Trixie said...

I hope you get to hole up and not drive. Let everyone else hone their winter driving chops. Enjoy the change in the weather, light a fire. Send some snow my way, please!

Ruth said...

Yes, we have a big three day storm forecasted with ice/sleet/snow starting Sunday. We have had snow fall every day this week. Now they say this is going to be the coldest winter in 15 years. We will see. Keep warm!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Brrrrrrrrr Ruthie. I saw the weatherman talking about this snow on tv tonight. Stay safe and warm.

We might get some much needed rain from this front. No promises though.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Trixie,
I'm all set for a weekend at home drinking hot tea and knitting in front of the fireplace.

Hi Ruth,
So far it's shaping up to be a winter like I remember from years ago. Stay safe in your first winter storm of the season.

Hi Lisa,
I hope you guys do get some rain--and that it's NOT freezing rain!

Mary said...

I feel like I'm in another world - watching a world I used to live in...

Enjoy the winter, Ruthie. It gives us time to re-energize, contemplate, and dream of the seasons we love.

Stay warm, my friend.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mare,
It is like another world....that's why I'm going to depend on you to keep posting pictures and stories of your unfrozen world so I can mentally escape to your pond with beautiful koi, all the wonderful birdies enjoying the feeders in your backyard, and seeing kingfishers hanging around unfrozen lakes.

I'm glad we have the change in seasons, but to be perfectly honest I don't think I'm very sorrowful when winter finally leaves. ;-)

Mary C said...

Well, it sounds like you'll have to depend on us "southerners" to keep you going with birds we see, etc. I enjoy seeing snow (from a distance) - but I will admit that I don't miss it! I had my share of it when we lived in Colorado (from 1967-74). On the other hand, the beauty of snow covers all the brown, dead and dying things on the ground, which is what we get to see during our winters without snow. We definitely need rain - we haven't had any for a few weeks and everyone here in California is still watering their yards.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
I think I would have a hard time getting used to no real change in seasons but I will say the winters are really not as bad as they used to be. I remember back in the 70's when we used to have lots of days below zero in the winters, but not anymore.

I saw something on the news about fires in southern California again last week. That's not a worry near where you live, is it?

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Whoa. I think it's cold here at 45 degrees today!

But I also know it's cold here when Miss P, our kitty, moves in for the winter. She has taken over Sarah's bed in my office. Sarah doesn't mind since she is IN LOVE with Miss P.

--Robin (Bumblebee)

Deb said...

You get tufted titmice? Lucky you, they are one of my favorite birds!

We are seriously getting dumped on here, snow wise.

Meggie said...

Hey Ruthie: I just home from the theatre in Ohio and we are having a snow and freezing rain mixture that's making the roads quite slick. I'm happy to be home and cozy. Your temps are certainly frigid...long john weather for sure! We gotta keep feeding those birds....

Jayne said...

ONLY 4-8"???? Ack! We'd be in full panic mode down here. Hope you all stay warm, dry, and safe as the storm blows on by. That thermometer made my teeth chatter. :c) It was still in the 60's here yesterday evening.

mon@rch said...

This was also my first "shovelable" snow last night! Although< I probably will still just drive over it!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Robin,
It takes a few weeks, but we eventually adjust to the cold.

I don't expect that Miss P returns Sarah's adoration, does she??

Hi Deb,
I watched as much as I could this weekend and never saw a titmouse. I hope they come back.

Personally, I'd take a foot of snow over a quarter inch of ice any day--hope your snow didn't turn to ice too.

Hi Meggie,
I ended up filling my birdfeeders a couple times today. The ice is tough because it covers all their natural sources, so my feeders are very popular now.

Hi Jayne,
I hope you guys don't get any snow or ice this winter. A storm like this slows us down a little, but we were really glad it was on the weekend, so we didn't have to worry about the commute.

Hi Mon@rch,
The forecast for next week is still cold, so we'll probably be driving over it for quite a while!

Mary said...


We have a fire alert today. A few sprinkles last night didn't make any difference in the dryness and 25-35 mph wind gusts today will be threat. Those California fires are scary.

Larry said...

Like the thermometer! You gals should come up with for your Minnesota gang.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Mare, that's so scary! I remember when they had those fires in Georgia and Florida a couple years ago too. I think I just need to keep on praying for rain for you guys.

Thanks Larry, it's a new thermometer--my other one had gotten almost too faded to read anymore.