Our elevation above sea level and harsh winter weather sometimes produce some interesting sights, among them trees permanently bent by the winds coming over the ridges.
Sometimes the effect is subtle and only noticed when other objects are nearby.
In other areas it’s more pronounced.
Even the fence posts take on a life of their own as the rocky soil and the effects of frost heave cause them to dance and weave across the landscape.
The nor’easter that brought blizzard conditions to much of the East Coast and buried Mom’s part of the state in more than a foot of snow was much easier on us but we still got our share of winter weather. Strong winds overnight and about 6 inches of powdery snow produced white out conditions at times and drifting snow kept the plow operators busy.
All that has changed now and, while it is still unusually cold for this early in the season, we have clear, sunny skies and the world looks fresh and clean.
These are a few of the shots I got while out running errands this afternoon.
The Wytheville water tower can be seen outlined against the far ridges in this frame, shot through the windshield while returning to town from the gun shop out of Rte. 21.
Note to self: When field stripping Laura’s target pistol for cleaning never, ever, ever hit the slide release while removing the barrel assembly!
Another shot, from a different angle along Barrett’s Mill Road, with the water tower silhouetted against the ridges.
The white scar on the ridge in the distance is a clear cut for high tension power lines.
Some enjoy the snow more than others. Buddy is a real snow dog. When he’s not romping or rolling in the snow he likes to stick his snout in it and run along like that until his head is completely covered! My biggest challenge has been trying to stop laughing long enough to get photos of his antics.
Merry Christmas from the creatures, large and small!
Random shots from around town, some edited and others straight out of the camera.
While Frankie and Mom were shopping Buddy and I took a walk and found a few burdz to keep us amused.
Best laid plans and all that. Frankie has taken a few days of vacation so that we can go home to see Mom. Mother Nature has decided she doesn’t want to co-operate.
The plan is for us to leave town when Frankie gets off work Monday afternoon. I’m hoping the weather guessers are wrong but it looks as if we’ll be following a snow plow for the first 75 miles. Then again, we may not even get out of town until Tuesday!
While we’re on the western ridge of the New River Valley and usually get more severe winter weather, Roanoke is in the bottom of another valley and it looks like road conditions there should be much better than what we’re expecting
The further east we travel the better the forecast. The trick will be getting far enough east to take advantage of the better weather.
I like the “mostly sunny” in the forecast for Petersburg on Monday and that 37°F will feel almost warm after what we’ve been dealing with!
Not seeing the dreaded S word in the forecasts for the eastern part of the state is most welcome…….if it holds true. With my luck the winter weather will follow us all the way home! Once we make it home I won’t even bother looking at the online forecasts……..until it’s time to return, that is.
As always, whether or not I’ll be posting while we’re away depends on Mom’s neighbors. If one of them is kind enough to have an unsecured Wi-Fi network I will be posting. If not, I’ll have several blogs ready to upload when we get back. If y’all don’t hear from us for the next week behave yourselves and know that we’re thinking of you.
Now, to dig out the luggage and start packing!
Yes, I’m well aware that winter doesn’t officially begin until December 21st but, when standing in 4 inches of snow while my wild child Lab pup runs amok in the 16°F (-9°C) air, that’s close enough for me. In between gales of laughter at Buddy’s antics I managed to capture a few burdz in the tree overhead and thought I would share.
Downy woodpeckers, female on the left and male on the right.
Another male keeping a lookout from the upper branches.
Tufted Tit mouse, above and below
With the leaves off the trees and frigid winter temperatures the burdz are more numerous and easier to see. The number of species visiting Frankie’s feeders also increase. If you like burdz stay tuned.
Despite the bright sunshine it is frigid out in Burd Town today!
This little guy didn’t seem to mind the cold.
He didn’t seem to mind me standing so close, either. These were all shot hand held while standing under the tree the feeders hang from.
He seemed content to wait for us to fill the feeders while he perched on a branch and supervised.
And, of course, Buddy was by my side, on the lookout for marauding kitty cats. The stray cats infesting our neighborhood got a rude surprise when Buddy moved in. Like Sam, he has that “soft” mouth Labs are famous for so I really doubt that he’d hurt any cat he caught but he sure loves chasing them out of the flower beds and away from the feeders.
The surprise for the cats was Buddy’s speed. He is not only larger and more muscular than Sam was; he’s a LOT faster! When he first spotted a pair of cats staking out the feeders from the flower beds he let out a little whoof and the cats turned to give him a “we know how long that lead is and how long it takes a dog to get here” look.
Then he launched off the porch and was on them in the blink of an eye!
I haven’t seen any cats in the yard since.
Reposted from my Blogger page.
The view through the windshield while Buddy and I waited for Frankie to get off work Sunday. Yes, it is snowing in this shot but that pile of snow is not on Godzilla’s hood. It’s what the plows left in front of my parking space. Keep in mind the top of Godzilla’s hood is nearly 5 feet off the ground.
While Buddy and I were out investigating the yard yesterday this Titmouse landed just a few feet away from me. I could almost reach out and touch him.
I shot this Pine Siskin from the open door of the shed as I was putting out some seed for the Mourning Doves. The doves feed almost exclusively on the ground. Usually they find plenty to eat, seed spilled from the feeders by the smaller birds, but it’s buried under about 6 inches of snow now.
Buddy is following in Sam’s
foot paw prints. The first thing he does when we put him on his overhead lead is head straight for the flower beds in search of trespassing felines.
“There be kitty cat tracks here!” As I type Buddy is crashed out at my feet but judging by the way all 4 paws are twitching and the tail is thumping on the carpet he is on the job even in his sleep!
The view from the back yard, looking north.
No picnics today unless you’re having ice cream sandwiches.
That’s all I have for now. I hope to get some more today as Frankie gets off early but after checking the fridge and cupboards last night I discovered Wal-Mart needs some of our money so we’ll be fighting the crowds in the grocery section for a while. We still have snow showers blowing through and I do mean BLOWING! so I have no doubt that there will be a mob in the store buying up all the bred and milk.
Meet Buddy, Wonder Dog in Training
Laura and I dropped Frankie at work this morning and headed straight for the animal shelter. After meeting Buddy Monday morning we wanted to be first in line when he became eligible for adoption this morning….and we were. As a matter of fact, we were waiting for the animal control officer to show up to open the shelter!
Buddy is a Fox Red Labrador Retriever, estimated to be about 3 years of age. We’ve already discovered that he’s a chow hound, likes to play fetch with a tennis ball, isn’t real thrilled about getting a bath and has decided his favorite place to watch TV is right next to my chair.
It will take a little while for us to adjust to each other but I foresee a beautiful friendship. I think Sam would be pleased.