Here's how things started out yesterday.
By midday, it looked more like this:
The roads still looked fairly clear, but the snow was coming down hard and fast. A bit of wind had started to kick up, but with temperatures in the 30's, it was no big deal to go outside... and get really incredibly wet. Katydid and Farmerboy were absolutely soaked when they came inside. I hung their clothes up by the fire to dry and prepared to get a very sick Pip down for a much needed nap. The boys' window looks out onto one of our crabapple trees, which looked like this:
This particular tree was damaged by the huge tree that came down last year (and is still being cut for firewood.) The heavy, wet snow and the weight of all those crabapples pulled the branches all the way down to the ground, but a brief check this morning doesn't reveal any broken limbs.
The winds really started winding up about 4 PM yesterday afternoon, which is when I called Andy at work and told him I thought he ought to come home. The town where Andy works is only 12 miles away, but it's at a lower elevation and farther away from the lake effect snow belt, so our weather here is often worse than theirs there. And one of the roads he has to drive home gets A LOT of wind. In a snowstorm, that means white-out conditions. Andy said he was just leaving. Thirty minutes later, he called me on his cell phone and told me not to worry, but he was stuck on a hill behind a tow truck that was pulling a car out of a ditch. About an hour later, he finally made it home with a story to tell about digging the van out and how he was glad that he still had all the camping equipment with him.
By this time, the snow was "falling" horizontally in a 30 mph wind. After he changed his clothes, he went out to check on the chickens, whose coop he had hastily "winterized" this morning by throwing a big blue tarp over it. Remarkably, the chickens seemed none the worse for wear, and a couple of the Wynadottes were even scratching around down on the ground. We all tend to like our Dominiques the best because they're smarter and friendlier than the others, but the Wyandottes have definitely lived up to their cold-hardy reputation! (Of course, we'll see how they do in January, but hopefully by then we'll have fixed the coop in a better location and given it some clear plastic sides!)
The power flickered enough times last night that we got out all the candles and the lanterns, but it never went out. This morning Andy informed me that the snowblower was not going to work on the layer of frozen slush covering the driveway, and that he was going to attempt to fix the tractor (which had died out there by the chicken coop). Now he is shoveling, so I'm thinking the tractor wasn't fixed that easily. Here's what it looks like here this morning:
That's the view from our front window.
Here's a view of the deck:
With the wind it's hard to tell how much snow we really got, but I'm thinking at least 6 inches. (Andy says he thinks 8-10.) We're supposed to get 1-4 inches of lake effect snow today. But, since it's October, it will all melt in the next few days, and it will look like Halloween again. Until then:
We're in a time warp. (You can't see them, really, but as I was snapping this picture a couple of juncos flew by and one landed on the outdoor fireplace. If it weren't for the leaves on the birches, it would look exactly like December.)