So we had a blizzard last night. I only know because we decided to turn on the radio to see if the wind was going to shift, and the National Weather Service announced we were having a blizzard. Based on what I experienced while out in the dog yard, this must have been the third blizzard here this winter, because I’ve worked in similar conditions several times already. Basically, I couldn’t face south, because facing into the wind meant being blinded by snow and having my face frozen by the -20°F windchill. Snow was drifting, so I’d be walking along in ankle-deep snow then find myself in thigh-deep snow.
This morning, it doesn’t look much different than before the storm. Everything is still white and snow covered. Pretty much every hole (like the dog poop pit) is now filled in, and there are banks of snow around anything as big as, or bigger than, the dog houses. We didn’t lose power, which happened the last time I think we had a blizzard, and our heater exhaust didn’t get blocked, so it was pretty painless.
It’s currently 3°F, and we’ve gotten around 14″ of snow. Maybe more. It’s hard to tell, because the wind is gusting around 20 to 30mph, creating drifts that are waist-deep in places. I’m about 5 minutes away from suiting up and spending the next 90 minutes out there, feeding the dogs and making sure their houses are snow-free.
I first went out at 6am, in the dark, because the wind shifted and was blowing snow into the dog houses. I could tell, because a lot of them started barking and it woke me up. I’d only been in bed for a few hours anyway, and had been sleeping fitfully. I stumbled around the yard, completely blinded by the driving snow and fogged up glasses, turning houses and trying not to think about all the tacos and margaritas I had consumed at a party last night, rolling around in my upset tummy, occasionally reappearing in wet burps. Blarg.
The days are definitely getting longer, which is good! I can now start evening dog duty around 5pm, and still have light when I finish. Around mid-December, I was starting at 4pm, and having to use my headlamp before I was finished.
I saw sunbeams streaming through the clouds this afternoon, so I got out the old Nikon and fired off a few exposures. That’s about as high on the horizon as the sun gets during the winter here, so going outside or driving means squinting a lot. I’ve started putting lotion with sunblock on every morning, to combat the effects of squinting, bitter cold, and wind on my face.
It finally snowed a bit last night, but not enough to make it any less slippery on the sheet of ice that’s covering everything above 1000′. It’s another beautiful day, and I think we’ve had more clear, sunny days this winter than we did the entirety of this past summer.