Tag Archives: wind

The Winter of the Wind

Each year since moving to the mountains, more than a decade ago, it has snowed on Valentine’s Day.  Sometimes just a couple of inches, sometimes a foot or more.  This time of year has been noted for it’s cold and it’s snow, but this year is different.  There has been very little snow, mountain snow showers, yes, a trace here and there, but only one really measureable snow of about 3 or 4 inches. The temperatures have yoyo’d from parka cold to 80ºf (27ºC), definitely not mid February in the mountains weather.  The trees are confused, already they are budding out, some of the maples have tiny leaves.

But this has been the winter of the wind.  Our log home is in a hollow with a mountain gap to the northwest and the wind at times howls through that gap sounding like a locomotive bearing down on us.  We have experienced that wind many times in the decade, but it seems this year like a constant force.  It howls and rattles.  Our home is a large sturdy structure with a three story west side of logs on a stone faced concrete footer wall.  It isn’t going anywhere, but some days it seems like the whole house is shuttering.  The window choice of the log home company from whom we purchased are not the best, though they are double hung insulated windows, we have hung insulated Roman shades on those windows.  The ones on the west end of the house have been closed more times this winter than most winters in the past.  Opened in the late afternoon to allow in the sun’s warmth, then closed again at night to block the chill from the wind. Today is cold, mostly cloudy, and a high wind advisory again.  Tomorrow it is going to be spring like again and calm, reaching unseasonable temperatures for most of next week.

The Virginia and West Virginia ski resorts are probably fretting this year, having difficulty even making man made snow at night.  On our way home from out son’s house last weekend, when the temperature was rising to 80, we passed one of the resorts, they had two long parallel man made runs with snow in the otherwise very unwinter like surroundings.

The winter has produces some beautiful morning skies.

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It’s Back!

It has snowed all day.  Nothing is sticking, it is mountain snow showers, but the high was at 7 a.m. and it was below freezing then.  The wind has howled all day long.  This weather system according to NOAA is the system that spawned the major snowstorm up the east coast of the US.  And yesterday it was in the upper 60’s.

My new parka has been most welcome today, as this was school and preschool days, a book reserved at the library arrived and needed to be collected, parts to fix the kitchen faucet came in, a special order from the grocer also arrived, plus it was Spinning Group day and one of my fellow en-actors at Smithfield House Plantation was coming to give me a lesson on how to warp the backstrap loom that was acquired a few months ago.  The spinning group was large and boisterous, having a lot of fun while D and I sat on the floor and got the loom set up and got me started with weaving on it.

Because of the arthritis from old shoulder and wrist injuries, drop spindle spinning, my portable spinning has had to be curtailed.  There is another type of portable spinning that involved a spindle that is supported in a bowl or dish in your lap or on a low table and my interest in learning this has been piqued.  One style was purchased online, then a different style was found on the fiber social network, and in inquiring about purchasing it, found out the gal selling lives just a few minutes from eldest son.  We already have a weekend trip to see them scheduled for this weekend, so I will get to meet this other spinner who is also homesteading a small acreage and pick up the spindle directly from her.  What a fun coincidence.

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The bottom one is the one we will pick up Saturday.

Graupel and wind

Winter arrived again yesterday.  We had been experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures, lots of rain, and I feared for the garlic and asparagus mulched over in the garden.  The garlic has sprouted some, but I know from experience that it will be okay.  Some cloves might be a bit smaller, but it will still form.  The asparagus, I am really worried about.  This will be year 3.  The year I can actually expect to harvest some of the delightful spears, but the crowns won’t survive if they sprout and then freeze.

Yesterday was sunny off and on and the temperature dropped more than 20ºf between the time I dropped grandson at his bus and sunset yesterday.  More drop occurred during the night and though it isn’t as cold as a few weeks ago, today we have mountain snow showers and high wind, serious wind chill.

The chickens came out to scratch for their grain that was tossed on the ground and all went back in the coop.  Too cold and windy for their preference.  I don’t blame them, I don’t want to be out in it either.

When I dropped granddaughter off at preschool, I stopped and bought more grain to make chicken food, I was nearly out. It was cold in the garage while I worked on that and as I added more straw to their coop to help keep them warm.

Later, we picked granddaughter up from preschool, bought a bowl of soup for lunch, picked up a book I had reserved at the library, mailed a box of yarn to a charity and came home.  Cuddled in my chair with knitting, a book, and watching it snow, I knew that I would have to go out again in a few minutes to pick grandson up from school.  Back home from that, I don’t plan to venture out again.  A cup of tea, my stress free chair, maybe a blanket and I will stay put until time to cook dinner.  Even though I don’t want to go outside again,  the chickens will need some scratch, their pop door closed, and whatever number of eggs they laid today collected.  I guess that means yet another venture into the cold.

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The next couple of days are expected to be even colder.  Maybe the wind will at least die down.

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The iris and jonquils think it is spring.

Abysmal Day

It blew gales, the rain coming from all directions at once, whipping around the house, whistling and shaking screens.

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The driveway looked like a river, culminating in a pond in front of one of the garage doors,

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And created a new, but temporary creek between the house and the gardens.

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Actually this is what is supposed to happen, though the pond in front of the garage door shouldn’t.  That is the result of the grands digging there where the softer soil has washed down the edge of the driveway.

When the rain quits and before it freezes, the tractor will have to be driven up to clean the culvert on the uphill side of our driveway.  The crushed gravel has washed down across the road again and about half filled the ditch.  Maybe a tractor bucket or two of that will be dumped and smoothed in front of that door. The design of the garage is raised enough that this water does not come in, but it is a mess to get to the cars.

The chicken coop was opened, but their food was put inside.  They didn’t venture out until the heaviest rainfall slowed.  I could hear Mr. Croak out there voicing his displeasure.  The high temperature for the day occurred early and though through Wednesday, it will still be mild, the rain should finally quit and a bit of drying out to occur before the cold arrives on Thursday.  Wednesday night’s low will be Thursday’s high and winter will return to the mountains.

Sleepless in …

The wind has howled like a freight train plowing through the house all night.  I don’t sleep well when it does for fear of it toppling the shed roof over the heatpump and taking out our heat.  It woke me at 2 a.m. and that ended my night.

This is what we awoke to find

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yes, snow blowing sideways.  Note the small flag next to the post.

I went out to put food in the coop and open the pop door and because of the direction, there is a small snowdrift in the coop.  Their water bucket is frozen solid.  I left if outside as it is supposed to get up to the mid 40s later, so hopefully it will thaw.

I don’t know when the wind is supposed to die down, but the weather gods are telling us we are expecting 2 to 4 inches of white stuff before it does.  Not what I expected this morn.