Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thursday Thirteen 273: Snow Day

We have had some CRAZY weather through here the last few days. After a week of Arctic temps, Monday was a "balmy" 40F. Rain and thunderstorms entered the region about 11:45pm Monday night. It rained all day Tuesday, resulting in a couple inches of rain here and a new record high (54F) on Tuesday. The temp started to fall off during the afternoon and then hovered just above the freezing mark for several hours. Early Wednesday morning, the rain transitioned to snow, which fell throughout the day. The "official" total recorded at the airport is 5.3 inches. However, we here south of The Lakes actually measured around 8 inches.

Madison schools were all in session today, with the exception of private/Christian schools. Just about every community surrounding us also canceled classes. Yeah, some days it sucks living in the city. Though some friends had to work, I had a snow day. Since I was already layered up, I took my camera for a walk at noon. Yes, just for all of you, I walked the three-mile round trip trek I usually avoid in winter. I saw a few people out with shovels and snow blowers, and even a couple other intrepid souls walking, but not along the bike path. I could tell by the depth of the snow that the path had been plowed at some point mid-morning, which made the going a bit easier. Here are a few of the 60-plus photos I took today.


I took this one from my front window before leaving for my walk. They were not the only ones to get stuck in the snow at top of our cul-de-sac.


Some pines were bent in half by the wind and weight of the snow.


Other pines fared much better.


While the main road through our neighborhood was plowed every few hours, side streets such as this one did not get done until evening. In fact, they did not plow my street until 10:15pm (and did a pretty lousy job of it, too).


Sumac fruit covered with snow. The fruit provides food for birds during winter and early spring.


Fence at top of a hill that borders the bike path. I thought it quite picturesque in the snow.


A look down the bike path. You can tell by the ridges along the sides of the path that it had been plowed at least once that morning.


Owing to extreme drought, this creek bed was dry as dust all summer long. As you can see, it is quite full now. That is because a) we received more than two inches of rain in 24 hours before the snow fell b) many storm drains are covered with snow, ice and debris c) the nearby retention pond it flows into is iced over and d) the ground is too frozen to soak it up.


This is the bridge that spans the creek. The path leads west (left of photo) over the bridge towards the NE entrance of Grady Tract/UW Arboretum. There is also a "spur" turning south at the bridge that connects to another bike trail. Though the path I was walking had been plowed, this spur had not. It wasn't only the deeper snow that made this short section harder to navigate.


See that sort of greenish-gray stretch in this photo, between the snow and the trees? That is rain water that pooled along the side of the path, and even across the spur at some points.


As you can see from my bootprint, there was slush and ice under the snow through which I was wading, making the path a bit tricky to navigate in some spots. It was nice to return to the main path.


Some of last year's leaves still cling tenaciously to an oak tree.


One final glimpse of the creek. Though a bit blustery at times, and despite being exhausted when I returned home an hour later, I'd say the walk was well worth the effort.  










30 comments:

Shelley Munro said...

I'm glad my walk was a virtual one! I'm also glad I live in New Zealand and a sub-tropical climate. Pretty pictures though.

Ron. said...

Here in the very northeastern corner of VT, right on the Canadian border, these are the sights we usually see. Not so far, this year, at least; and last year we had almost no snow. the planet's certainly changing, I think.

Beautiful photos. Thanks.

CountryDew said...

Beautiful. I love that last shot; I could almost see the water moving!

Kimberly Menozzi said...

I know it's hard to live in those conditions - I've done it before, and been stranded in my home on top of a hill (not a mountain, so it wasn't for long, thank goodness) - but your pictures make me want to be in the middle of it all!

I'm also heartened to know they cleared the bike path (at least once)! One day, I want to be one of those people who rides year-round, and that's the sort of thing which encourages me.

Thanks for sharing your pics! Happy TT to you! :)

sandyland said...

both lovely and brutal

anthonynorth said...

Looks cold, but beautiful.

Paige Tyler said...

Snow is pretty, but not my kind of weather! Great pics!

*hugs*
Paige

My TT is at http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com/

Heather said...

Shelley: Yes, you had it easy on this walk, LOL. Glad you liked the pics!

Heather said...

Ron. Yes, it is definitely changing, and anyone who says differently is delusional. We had extreme drought in my area last summer, with temps near 100 -- our average summer high is 85 -- and the winters have been atypical as well.

Heather said...

Thanks, Anita! I'm glad I could get close enough to the creek to get a few photos without going for a swim. And I have to say, I love my boots. Even in the slushy areas, my feet stayed nice and dry. My pants from top of boots to knees, however...LOL.

Heather said...

Kimberly: Major storms can certainly slow a city down, no matter how large the metropolis. As for the bike path -- after that blizzard in December that dumped 18 inches of snow on us, the bike path was scraped clean while they did a half-ass job on my street (seriously, it was awful). Madison is considered a top city for bicyclists year-round, and they are constantly adding or improving trails.

Heather said...

Thanks, Sandy.

Anthony: It wasn't too bad when I started out, but an hour later the temp had dropped 4 degrees and it was getting windier.

Paige: Aw, come on...I think you need to experience it at least once. *VBG*

Jana said...

I utterly adore the picture with the bridge. :)

But...Brrrrrr....*shivers*

Alice Audrey said...

We got some snow, then it warmed up and rained and some of the old snow as well as all the new melted.

Heather said...

Thanks, Jana. Believe it or not, it's actually a lot colder today than yesterday, and will be colder yet Friday. They've already issued a wind chill advisory tonight through noon tomorrow. *shivers*

Heather said...

Alice: Most of the snow we had melted a couple weeks ago with "mild" temps, rain and dense fog. Then we had Arctic temps for a week, then set a new record high during a 24-hour rain event, followed by eight fresh inches of snow yesterday. There were more than 150 slide-offs reported yesterday. Now we are in the grips of another Arctic blast. :-|

Pearl said...

woah, that pine is really feeling the weight. the bridge photo is a classic. you could keep it to make your Christmas cards.

Heather said...

Thanks, Pearl. I do like how the bridge and creek photos turned out. : )

I am Harriet said...

Wow- you really got hit.
We got a slight dusting just south of you.

http://harrietandfriends.com/2013/01/13-groundhog-day-facts-background-and-folklore/

Heather said...

Harriet: Yes we did, lol. Most communities in our area reported six to ten inches. At least it wasn't a foot and a half like the pre-Christmas blizzard!

Stephanie Sullivan said...

Oh my gosh...I am sooooo jealous over your snow! I've seen snow maybe three times in the past five years. *sniff sniff* Send some my way! :)

colleen said...

Snow can be a gorgeous photo-op. I love the bend of that big tree. Looks like you got more than us (8 inches about a week ago).

Jennifer Leeland said...

Some great pictures, Heather. I watched carefully about Mother Nature's strange moods the last week or so since I know so many people out your way.

Heather said...

Stephanie: LOL...you know I would be more than happy to share, were it possible! *G*

Heather said...

Colleen: Snow certainly has a way of changing the landscape and providing some gorgeous photo ops. Believe it or not, we did only get eight inches Wednesday--but there were still a few piles of it leftover from the big blizzard that hit near the end of December. Looks like were in for a bit more tonight.

Heather said...

Thank you. The weather has just been crazy lately, hasn't it? From Arctic cold and heavy snow across the Midwest to severe storms across the south and up the east coast, it has certainly kept meteorologists busy.

Kay Oft said...

Love your idea for using a photo walk for your T13 ... Great pics and a fun way to document memories in a more detailed way. Not as much snow here in the northeast but definitely frigid temps. Too cold for me to brave an snowy photo walk. LOL will save that for a springtime T13 with flowers and sunshine. :)

Heather said...

Thanks, Kay, I'm glad you enjoyed the walk. Much colder the last few days -- no way I would walk three miles today. Two miles to the bus stop was almost too much. I was surprised to see that the windchill is at 2F right now, as that wind is downright brutal.

Alice Audrey said...

Seems like every year about this time you make me glad I moved. :)

Heather said...

Oops: Correction to above comment to Kay -- it was 2 BLOCKS to the bus stop, not two miles. Duh...

Alice: What, like you don't get snow? Or is it the inconsistant temperatures/weather that does it? *g*