Sunday, February 10, 2013

Not Snowed In

Friday night's blizzard came as expected, and then some. On Saturday morning, we had a brand new three feet of snow on the ground! Three feet!! Well, I asked for snow, didn't I?

We spent Saturday morning starting to dig our way out, but with no plows coming down our street, we could only get so far. After clearing a path to the road and digging out one car, we spent the rest of the day lazing around indoors and enjoying our newly snow-covered surroundings.

Today, we picked up right where we left off: Snowed in, but working on getting out. Hello, car, we knew you were under that mountain of snow somewhere!

Our neighbor was nice enough to push a lot of the snow around with his truck, but our street still just sort of came to an end in a wall of snow after a few houses -- no one's getting out that way!

Yeah, this is a lot more snow than we're used to getting, especially all at once. I posted a picture of the bird feeder in our front yard the other day, at the beginning of the storm, and here's that feeder again today for comparison:

The birds have been making good use of the feeder, and this Song Sparrow stopped by (to say "thank you"?) while we were shoveling:

After a good stretch of work, we managed to free my car, and then, happily, a huge plow came barreling down the street. Freedom! :D

There was exactly one thing I wanted to do today, and with the route from our house now cleared, I took my chance. I bundled up, grabbed my brand new snowshoes (a Christmas gift I haven't been able to use yet for lack of snow), and headed off for the woods.

And I have to say, I totally and completely lucked out, because I actually achieved my goal. The road situation around here is very bad right now: most roads have only one lane plowed, if that. (A lot of people are still snowed in.) I had no hope, really, of actually finding a park entrance cleared, but I felt like I had to try -- with threats of rain and 40 degree temperatures for tomorrow, this was my only chance to get to walk in the fresh snow. So I drove to Naugatuck State Forest, and as I expected, the entrance and parking area was buried under deep snow. But miraculously, a plow had cleared off a small section of the shoulder a few yards away from the entrance, making a spot big enough for exactly one car. So I parked there, got suited up, and headed off into the woods, where it was just me, the snow, trees, and birds. In short, it was perfect.
Some very snowy woods
A snow-covered lake
Wind-blown waves in the snow's surface
Lots of little birds were flitting around in the trees, and one big bird made an appearance as well. This Turkey Vulture was feeding on a dead something (hidden behind a snow bank) near where I parked my car -- I startled it from its meal, but it resumed eating when I left:

Wow, you are one strange looking bird up close! (Also, extremely cool.) Hey, are you smiling?

A White-breasted Nuthatch also came close while I was walking, and I got to admire this very handsome creature from above:

And from below!

I know, this is a very strange angle for a picture, but you have to admit, that's an extraordinarily pretty pattern under the nuthatch's tail:

I didn't see any animal tracks at all during my visit, which surprised me a little. It felt pretty amazing, though, to be the first one to walk through this snow:

In the end, I spent a good hour and a half tromping around, and while I didn't actually go very far, I was pretty exhausted by the end! I love my snowshoes because they let me experience places like this, but between snowshoeing and all that shoveling, I anticipate that I'll be pretty darn sore tomorrow!

But really, it was worth it. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. :)


  1. Snowshoeing can really wear you out, but it would really be tough slogging without them! Nothing like the feeling of being out, alone, in the woods - just your thoughts and nature all around you.

  2. Wish we could have shared some of that snow here in northern NY. We got only a few inches and that has now been rained on. Yuck! Snowshoeing through virgin deep snow is one of life's great pleasures. And huge efforts! Most animals tend to stay burrowed up after big snowstorms because it's just too energy-draining to get around.