Well, we finally had a whole week of winter at one time with [morning] temperatures in single digits (even below zero a couple of days) and snow four days in a row. That kept the snowmobilers riding through the weekend, but trails hit by the sun are bare again with all that traffic. There were a few accidents, four went in the open water of the Inlet channel and one snowmobiler hit a pressure crack on Indian Lake. A rescue vehicle going to that accident went through the ice, [they] self-rescued and got out. The injured snowmobiler was brought to shore and a waiting ambulance.
We hit all kinds of weather and temperature changes going to Utica two times this week. Starting out in the dark on Friday, [Feb. 9] the temperature was near freezing with a misty rain that tried to freeze on the windshield, but as we went further south the skies nearly cleared and we even saw a sunrise in Utica. The clouds moved in during the day, but only a few short showers passed through and it was mostly clear on the way home.
Winter held on for another week, giving snowmobilers and skiers some snow to play on…but be careful of ice conditions with all the freezing and thawing we’ve had this winter. Punxsutawney Phil and Ellie George’s Paradox Pete didn’t see their shadows, so we can look for Spring most any time. Since we’ve had six Spring Breaks so far this winter, that won’t be anything new.
We just had our sixth January thaw since winter began in December and the driveway is bare again. The turkeys were picking grit from it to break down the corn in their crops. There have been from nine to thirty-three [turkeys] here daily at the feeders which have been spooked by hikers or skiers on the trail out back a few times. There were twenty-three here this morning [Jan. 31] and after they went down the ski trail, they got into quite a squabble. Some of the males must have been showing dominance, and by the sounds coming from there…feathers were flying.
Last Sunday [Jan. 14], the temperatures started off at a low of 17 [degrees] and went down daily every morning to a low of -8 [degrees] here this Sunday [Jan. 21.] [We had] some new snow nearly every morning (the most being five inches on Thursday.) This gave the skiers and snowmobilers something to play on (if they could stand the cold temperatures and wind.) There were a few accidents on the trails and highways. The most dramatic was a small car that passed a chip truck tractor trailer over near Blue Mountain. Before getting back in [the] lane, it was hit by the state plow truck. The car was cut in half as it hit the plow of the plow truck broadside. I heard the driver of the car only got a black eye from the accident…lucky guy. This was all caught on camera from the DOT plow truck.
Winter has arrived a couple of months late, and the snowmobilers and skiers finally have enough snow to play on. This last three inches of snow that came yesterday morning [Jan. 14] was the best snow we have had all winter (and [we had] no rain following it when it stopped.) I saw a few people skiing down the trail behind the house and heard many snowmobiles going up the road out front. Sitting in my chair upstairs, I can see their lights coming down Limekiln Road from near the top of the hill to the ski trail parking lot. I know when it snows, as I can see the lights of the town crew plowing the road in the dark and I can also see them as they are plowing out the parking lot right from my bedroom window.
It is finally white outside, but with possible warmer weather [and] rain and snow coming this week, it may not last very long. Last Thursday night the temperature plummeted to near zero [degrees] with the stars and moon shining bright most of the night with no wind. All lakes in this area froze that night with a coating of ice. Not very thick, but they were mostly ice covered. [The ice is not thick] enough to walk on (and certainly not [thick] enough to snowmobile on.) Check any ice [thickness and conditions] before you travel on any iced-over, snow-covered lakes.
Winter is still late to arrive…and stay white outside. This morning [Jan. 1,] it is white, but just enough to cover the leaves. Out in Webster on Saturday morning [Dec. 30,] they were getting lake effect [snow,] but it was not sticking to the unfrozen ground. It brought several birds to the feeder my son had out behind his pool which was good entertainment before going to the wedding in the afternoon. My grandson, Nathan, and I [captured] several bird photos, trying to catch a good one of the leucistic male Northern Cardinal [at] Jason’s feeder.
It is a white Christmas here at Eight Acre Wood, but just barely…with leaf cover showing through the
white stuff. Santa would have needed a motor vehicle (and not a sleigh) in most of the United States this
Christmas. I mentioned all the events going on this week in our lives including Christmas, the full moon, and our granddaughter’s wedding on December 30. [However,] I forgot the big one…and that was our 60th Wedding Anniversary [on] Wednesday, [December] 27. I surely would have been reminded if I missed that one, for sure. When you marry the girl next door, you cannot forget these things.
Well, winter went away in a heartbeat as it poured all night last night and I battled running water all day today (December 18.) It had rained most of the night and I looked out at the pond just after breakfast and a wooden box was swirling around over the outlet of the pond. I quickly put on my boots and rushed down as water was running everywhere. As I went down, I saw that water was running out of the safety valve outlet ditch at full stream. I had only seen this once before when the outlet pipe got plugged.
So far, the storm coming up the east coast hasn’t done much in this area other than rain. They are predicting that it is going to change to snow overnight, but who could tell with this up and down weather we have been having. Some people to the south of us in Tennessee got hammered with tornadoes just outside of Nashville with six people killed, hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed, and thousands without power. The warm weather to the east clashed with the cold air coming from the west, causing these tornadoes. It was a thin line looking on the weather map, but if you were in it, that’s where the tornadoes happened.
The fourteen inches of snow we got last weekend [is] now just a memory. What I see today [Dec. 4] is about two inches of wet slush with a combination of rain and wet snow falling outside, [and a] temperature of 32 degrees. The way my little intermittent brook is flowing today, we must have gotten well over an inch of rainfall yesterday [Dec. 3]. The outlet of my pond is flowing a full tube this afternoon, with mink tracks in the snow around the open water. I pulled all my pine marten traps last Thursday and only got two this season. With the beechnut crop as good as it was, these little critters are hard to attract to any bait when they have nuts to eat. I didn’t see an influx of mice around the garage, even with the big nut crop. I did have some chipmunks and a few gray and black squirrels move through my feeder area, but [it was] not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Looks like we will finally be getting some snow. Tug Hill is getting more than their share, being downwind from the big, open Lake Ontario. Depending on which way the wind blows, we could get a
good shot of the white stuff. Just yesterday, [Nov. 27] we had the ground white followed by rain at 28 degrees, making for a mess. That wet stuff doesn’t like to be blown or plowed. Luckily the driveway is frozen, so I don’t blow away some of the crushed stone along with the snow.
Winter keeps trying to put a white coat on our landscape, but it melts the next day. The cloud cover made for some nice sunrise and sunset photos. The waxing moon is just a slice of itself which may be hidden in the clouds tonight [Nov. 19]. It was beautiful right out our upstairs windows last night [Nov. 18]. Don Andrews caught one of those nice sunrises over [the] Old Forge Pond one morning. My grandson, Nathan, got a super sunset over Utica the night before. That shot will probably be his screensaver for a while until a better one comes.
Here we are in the third week of November and there is no snow on the ground. The temperatures dipped low the last couple nights (18 [degrees] the first night, Nov. 12, and 12 [degrees] on Nov. 13) which put a skim of ice on the pond. There is a lone muskrat in the pond. [It] will be looking for a “get out of pond” card soon as there is no vegetation left for it to eat, as I pulled it all out. On the night of Nov. 6, there was a great show of the Northern Lights. Some folks in Indian Lake got a great photo which some friends sent [to] me.
Locally, some folks saw it [Northern Lights] over Seventh Lake, but no photos [were] taken (that I’ve seen.) Looking at the forecast [on] Saturday night [Nov. 11,] there was another show expected and my grandson. Nathan, and I were prepared to get out and get some shots. [Unfortunately,] that didn’t happen as the clouds never parted. It was [expected] to peak just after dark, but the clouds stayed overhead right through the night.
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