Winter Storm – Part 2

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

             A little warmer today.  Last night’s icy precipitation has coated streets, walks and driveways with a dangerous glaze.  The driveway (which I attempted to shovel and clear yesterday) is a bumpy crust of snow and ice.  No going outside today; too slippery, too much chance of falling.  The temperature is slowly going up; 30º at 8:00 a.m. as opposed to 1º at 5:30 a.m. Monday and below 19º at 10 a.m. yesterday.  By the end of the week it should be in the 50s. 

            Yesterday afternoon we walked through the neighborhood in the middle of the afternoon, stomping through about 6 inches of snow and avoiding icy patches.  Daisy, dressed in her Dover blanket, trotted or leapt through soft snow, so white in the sunshine it was blinding.  We walked down Q-Ranch Road and Sierra Nevada Trail.  Trees, dusted with snow and ice, bent over the trails, forming arches of green, brown and white.  It must have been about 25º, but in the sun it felt like 35º; remarkably comfortable.  Of course, we were all dressed warmly.  Deer tracks ran through the snow alongside bird and fox tracks.  A larger bird, perhaps an owl, made a snow angel while hunting. 

            The birds all huddle on the fence and perch on top of the feeders. Their feather fluff up, doubling their size – doves, cardinals, chickadees, titmice, all searching for a bit to eat.  Two or more containers of seed sit on one tray and on top of the birdbath.  The birdbath is frozen, covered by a dome of snow while the feeders have snow in their trays.  It’s hard to feed the birds now with the icy weather coating the seed; it freezes in a clump of tiny grains. 

            The owl looks out of his box every now and then.  I wonder what he thinks of all this weather.  After 43 years in Texas, I have never seen this much snow here.  Some wildlife – deer, foxes and coyotes – have never seen snow at all.  Deer tracks wind through the front yard. 

            Yesterday’s walk allowed us to appreciate this rare, winter weather.  Weather I have wished for, but for the most part of this week we were in survival mode, just trying to stay warm. 

Christine Baleshta