January 17, Thursday around lunch time, the weather began to change. It had been raining for several days. There were predictions of 6 - 12 inches of snow. With a meeting canceled, I went to the grocery store as we were out of milk. Driving near the schools, I noticed traffic. The schools were letting out early. I slowed down and waited while the policeman motioned for us to drive through. I should have known what to expect at the grocery store. It was packed. I really got one of the last gallons of fat free milk. This was before the snow even began to fall. The store was filling up with parents and grandparents coming in with children.
I had to wait in a traffic line to leave the store. Whew, I thought as I traveled down the mountain road to home. Unloading the groceries, the rain began to turn to slush with sleet mixed into it. When Ray came home for lunch, it had begun to change from tiny balls of sleet to snow. And so it began, the winter storm. I started taking photos every hour just to see the changes in our back yard.
There are other photos of the birds who seemed to know snow was coming long before we did. They were at the feeders all day. Three pairs of cardinals came to feed. At one point, two females were orange beak to orange beak staring each other down. Juncos, goldfinches, woodpeckers, sparrows, nuthatches, tufted titmice, and lots of cardinals were feeding while the snow fell.
At this point, the lights flickered. Thank goodness, we continued to have power. The neighbors parked their cars in front of the flatness of the road in front of our house. We did not check to see if the mail had come, but there have been times when it did not.
Snow seemed to fill every crack and crevice of everything outside. Ray swept the evergreen trees free of snow. The butterfly bushes were so heavy with snow. They bowed their branches.
Standing outside the door to take this last photo, I noticed my footprints went deep into the snow. Ray measured the snow from where this photo was taken. There was eight inches of snow on the deck. The birds took advantage of the footprints, especially the juncos to hop into the flatness. It was almost as if they disappeared and quickly flew up to the feeders.
This morning the sun shines. The sky is a crisp blue. When the wind blows across the yard, the snow falls softly from the branches. With the trees so tall, the snow is caught by the wind scattered and like powdered sugar falls wherever it may.
I had promised my grandson to save him a snowball. I will venture out in boots later to make a few small snowfalls to put into freezer bags to store until he comes Easter.