Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful...


The storm of 2004 left us with just over 9 inches of snow at our house. I remember it because it was so deep that I didn’t go anywhere for over a week. This week has been similar week, in that I only made it in to work once this week. I was scheduled to work today as well.

Instead I’ve been watching it do this:

I set the alarm for 5:15, took my shower, and got ready for work. I peeked outside and it was snowing lightly; we had about an inch. At 6:00 am Beloved went down to start the car, telling me he’d wait for me down the road where our car is parked (because we still can’t get up our driveway). Moments later he opened the door and said, “We’d better walk down together. It’s much worse than it was yesterday morning.”

It all ended with a couple of conversations with my boss telling me, “I don’t want you to risk coming down. I’ll call someone else.”

All morning the snow has fallen and the news forecast tells us the worst of the storm is yet to come. As I’ve watched at my window the last few days, I’ve noticed that our winter birds are out and about searching for food.

So of course yesterday, I purchased some wild bird seed. They’ve been so forlorn, perched on the dog’s dish, looking for leftovers. Our usually mild winters mean that many different types of birds hang around without much care. In this weather, one can’t help but feel sorry for these feathered friends left out in the bitter cold.

One bird we see a great deal of is the Dark-eyed Junco. It’s a familiar winter bird that is easily identified by its dark hood and white outer tail feathers. With dark eyes and pinkish legs, these tiny birds range in size from around 6 inches and feature a wingspan of 7 to 10 inches.

These snowbirds are found in the middle latitudes and appear in most of the northern states. In many states they simply remain year round and do not migrate. Those Juncos that do travel tend to have longer wings for their migration flights. These wee birds, weighing in at a mere ounce, are those we most often see at the bird feeders this time of year.

When I last measured, we had nearly 6 inches of snow, but we expect much more. I’m glad I picked up some wild bird seed for those hungry little birdies! And even though I’ve been trying all morning to get a picture of this beautiful Junko that has been feasting on the goodies I threw out this morning, I’ve had no luck. He’s a bit shy and simply hides in the branches of the Rhododendron outside our door.

Here is a picture I found online

With only a few days left until Christmas, I’m hoping that all this white stuff melts away soon. I love the snow…for about 24-hours. I think the birds and I agree on the fact that we are both ready for some good old fashioned Oregon rain; except then we will experience some major flooding due to the snow melt.

I guess when it rains, it pours!


Patti said...

i am sitting here in my shorts and bare feet. but tomorrow we drop into the 40's for a high. in texas-speak that is like your teens. brrrrr.....

Sandcastle Momma said...

I'm wearing shorts as well. It's warm here in FL but we're supposed to have a cold front come through that will take us down to the 30s tomorrow night.
Your photos are so beautiful and it looks so inviting but to think of having to go to work and the store in that is really scary!
It sure does look nice for staying inside though.

Janie said...

It was 72 degrees here today.

I can't even imagine snow like that!