The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

February Observations: Snowy, Snowy Night

7 Comments

Well, the cabin fever has set in. It usually overruns me in February which is normally why I head south. If I could choose any month to nix among the four seasons, it would be February, but this year I’m toughing it out. Not without consequences, however, like maintaining my sanity for one. I find myself flashing back to Don McLeon songs …

“Starry, starry night (only I sing snowy, snowy night) …

Catch the breeze and the winter chills

In colors on the snowy linen land.”

And snowy it has been. Not one, but several blizzards, and I do mean the old fashioned kind of blizzard with inches of precipitation per hour out-snowing even the north country plows and a drift in my driveway up to four, no five, maybe even six feet high! Literally, snowed in, but I guess I will be in shape for digging in the garden this summer by shoveling the snow this winter. It has been the kind of snow one needs to shovel just so the snow blower can blow. Knock down, drag out drifts, now all shellacked in ice from the recent rain/snow mix. That shellack is particularly hard on wildlife I contemplate (hard crust or ice covers snow on my Cornell Project FeederWatch tally sheet), but this white out snowfall earlier in the month was wondrously beautiful – a lake-effect snow which is usually observed on nearby Tug Hill Plateau and not here, closer to the river. Just now, I think of a friend who recently caught a glimpse of a shadow gliding over the snow in a nearby pasture and looked up to see, yes, a Snowy Owl.

febsnow1

febsnow2

febsnow3

And then there is a line from American Pie that repeats itself over and over in my head …

“… But February made me shiver, with every paper I’d deliver.”

These icicles from my second story window made me sh-sh-shiver. Brrr.

febicicles

My bluejay gang has a few more members – I saw five of them all at once stopping in for their peanut treat when normally there are two or three. The word on the peanuts is out. There are at least two titmice who now also regularly visit the “peanut bar” (which used to be my back deck railing, but is currently the frame for a hopefully-soon-to-be-all-season-window on our new back porch). And then there are the three amigos – crows – now perching on the fringe, as close as they dare to the peanut bar. When it is really cold I put peanuts further out on some of the tree stumps as they are very cautious. They don’t miss a trick. They really are quite striking against the “snowy linen land.” Even the squirrels are getting squirrelly. I have seen more of them, more often this past week.

Peanut Bar

Peanut Bar

The weather forecast is warmer, 30’s (°F). Warmer nights, too – double digits! Last year I wrote on my calendar that a robin was singing on the morning of Feb. 28, just three days from now. I can’t wait for the snow to recede and reveal what is underneath, but it is semi-snowing/raining now and in a last ditch effort to save my sanity, I’m going to switch out Don for Jimmy and “Turn Up the Heat and Chill the Rosé.” Then again, I may be shooting holes in my freezer.

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Author: Kathy Sturr

Author of the Violet Fern blog, artist, and master gardener.

7 thoughts on “February Observations: Snowy, Snowy Night

  1. Kathy I am SE off the lake and we have had 14 ft of snow due to lake effect…I am done with winter and it has been cold too…but I did see red-winged blackbirds Monday so the season is shifting…last yr I saw red-wings on the 28th.

    I agree leaving the area in Feb. is a good idea.

    • Oh Donna thank you for letting me know of the RWBB sighting! They are a sure sign of spring and can’t be far from here. Last year they showed up here on March 2. Today it is freezing rain – like salt in the wound. Hope you aren’t subject to that. I am done, too!

  2. Kathy, I hope I can offer you some hope from a few hundred miles south of you, in southern Pennsylvania. It’s been a colder than average winter here (although virtually without snow), but as I was walking to work this week, I realized I was hearing an incredible racket of bird chatter (newly arrived starlings, I think) as well as cardinals singing their spring mating song. Today I noticed the first tips of bleeding hearts pushing up through the soil. Spring will come!

  3. That is a lot of snow! I bet the birds appreciate the peanuts. We have had one very small snowfall which then froze for two weeks. (Now watch we’ll have a snowstorm next week 🙂 )
    It’s still been cool and wet. March usually feels long to me because we still get so much rain out here in the Seattle area.

  4. dear kathy, i can’t imagine what it’s like to live with all that snow. I’m sure you do get sick of it, but it does give you amazing photo opportunities. The photos are lovely. The one of the icicles amazing. Fascinating post.

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