I happened to be photographing birds one day when a sudden snowsquall occurred. It was some of the heaviest snow and the largest flakes that I’ve ever seen on the farm. It only lasted for a short time but it was fun to watch. It was so heavy that I had to manually focus the camera.
It’s been a bummer of a winter. A couple of weeks ago we were scheduled to get some light flurries several times during the day. As it turned out there wasn’t much to it except several times during the day we has some spectacularly large snowflakes. They were over an inch in diameter and larger than anything I’ve seen on the farm. I grabbed my cameras and started photographing birds during these brief heavy flurries.
This last photo was taken of the large snowflakes against a background of White Pine trees.
After a snowfall I walked out through the prairie to get some photos of last summer’s flowers.
I photographed these birds about a month ago. It turned out to be the last snowfall of the season, unless we get an early spring snowfall.
This was the last time I saw any House Sparrows. They had been around in large numbers most of the winter but I was gone for a week and when I returned they were gone.
This was one of the rare times this winter that I was able to photograph female Northern Cardinals. There were several of them around during the snowstorm.
We had, what has turned out to be, a rare snowfall earlier in the week. Unfortunately I was out getting a Measles shot because of some nut cases refuse to get their kids vaccinated. As a result I missed most of what was a beautiful snowfall consisting of large flakes drifting out of the sky. This brought the birds out in full force.
Overnight we had a fresh snowfall. The next morning it was clear, bright and very cold but the wind was not blowing. The snowflakes were hanging on all of the summer flowers so I walked around the prairie and took some shots just before the wind started blowing.
April was a wild month. It snowed almost every day for the first three weeks. The last week of April was unseasonably warm. We had temperatures as high as 80 degrees. Our Crocuses came out and were gone in a few days. The Daffodils were just about to bloom. On the first of May I thought about taking the snow blower off of the tractor and power raking the yard but I ran out of time. I spent most of the day stacking firewood cut last fall but not stacked because of an early December blizzard.
Later in the day I started to hear reports of colder weather and a little snowfall on the way. First reports were that it would stick on grassy areas but not roads. It started snowing in the evening and it was sticking on grassy areas but the totals had been moved up to 5-7 inches.
When I woke up the next morning I had over a foot of heavy wet snow and no power. When I reported the power outage there were already over 4,000 customers without power. I was thinking of putting some early seeds in the garden today but that’s my garden in the foreground.
I thought I could get some bird photography in but the wet snow was blowing against the windows and it looked like rain on the windows. I had to manually focus the camera because of the falling snow and the water on the windows.
Fortunately I had some good books to read but after reading most of the day I got a little bored and decided it might be a good idea to try and blow out the driveway so the power company could get in to check the lines. The power lines on our farm go out through the woods so it is one of the places where they usually find downed power lines. It was tough plowing because the snow was deep and wet. As I drove along the snow in front of the blower kept rolling into a ball. I had just about finished when the blower became clogged with snow. I decided to call it a day.
By then I was just about out of firewood because the only heat we had was from the fireplace. I had a little wood in the garage and had almost taken it back out to the woodpile the day before but fortunately I didn’t. With the snow blower out of commission I decided to get a sled down and bring some more wood in using the sled. It was tough going with heavy wet snow.
Late in the day my wife and I decided to drive into town and get some water from her office so we could flush the toilets, recharge our phone batteries and get some hot food. As it turns out the road had not been plowed and when we drove down our hill there were six trees partially blocking the road. We had to weave around them almost going off the road at one point. Once we reached the main roads they were fine. We returned via a different route only to find that the roads had been plowed.
About 2:30 this morning I saw the power company trucks drive up to the hours. One person got out and started walking the power lines down through our hills. Not a job I would want in heavy wet snow. It was still snowing. About 4:30 we received a call that power had been restored. When we woke up it was still snowing out.
A couple of weeks ago we had, what I think, was the last major snowstorm of the year. There is nothing like a good snowstorm to bring birds into the feeder. They typically are not nearly as shy as they are on a nice bright sunny day. A good snowstorm means some great bird photography. Most of the usual suspects turned up during the storm.
Northern Cardinal male
Common Redpoll male
Northern Cardinal female
More bird photos from the last snowstorm can be found on my website.
You would think that when you get to be an older adult you wouldn’t get excited about a snowstorm but that’s not the case. My wife and I love the winter and can’t wait for a good snowstorm. Sunday we got our wish. This past weekend we were scheduled to get some snow but as it turned out the storm track dropped south and we ended up right in the middle of a major storm it.
Gone South for the Winter
We could hardly sleep. Every couple of hours we were up looking out of the window and turning the lights on to see how hard it was snowing. We had a fair amount of snow by sunrise and it snowed all day on Sunday sometimes hard. We ended up with over a foot and a half of heavy wet snow. If it had been colder we would have easily had several feet.
When I woke up Monday morning it was snowing again. Large flakes were just falling from the sky. It was cold out so what was heavy wet snow on Sunday had turned into powder.
No Grilling Today
We were scheduled to get some strong winds but they had not started blowing yet so I headed out around the farm to get some photos while everything was covered with pristine snow.
After wandering around in snow that was well over my knees I decided that since the wind wasn’t blowing I would see if the tractor would start so I could blow out the driveway. It started and I was amazed how easy it was to get the driveway cleared now that the heavy wet snow had turned to powder. Normally when I blow out the driveway I’m covered in snow because the wind is usually blowing hard. This morning I had some of the best blowing ever.
A couple of weeks ago we had our first snowfall of the season. This brought a variety of birds to my feeders. It was the first time in quite a while that I had seen Northern Cardinals around. With the warm weather they have apparently had plenty to eat in the woods.
Northern Cardinal – Male
Northern Cardinal – Male