Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Weather Watch

The Weather Channel predicts "the storm in the Central U.S. will bring blizzard conditions to the Midwest."  Their map shows the track of heavy snow, high winds and rain in all shades of green, gray and purple.  West-central Wisconsin, where I live, is the color purple (translation:  snow = 6-12").

my driveway and State Rd 25
the view from my kitchen window

It's been snowing all day - that kind of light, nearly invisible, but steady, mist-like snow.  Not much accumulation yet.  Hardly an inch.  The forecast:  a foot or more over night, then blizzard conditions all day tomorrow.  Perhaps the biggest accumulation in years - with winds gusting over 30mph, white-outs and a windchill of -20F.

The storm will pack a wallop - worse, newscasters have been saying all day, than the storm that brought down the Lake Superior freighter "Edmund Fitzgerald" on November 10, 1975.

Across the river, MN/DOT has actually issued a "no travel" advisory.   They announced they're not sure they can keep the plows on the road in southeastern Minnesota tonight.

I'm not going anywhere.  My Prius will stay in the garage until the sun comes out (over the weekend).  

The birds at my backyard seem to sense what's coming.

The ground, perches, poles and trees were full, all day long.  Black-capped chickadees alternated between the sunflower tubes and suet cages, sharing them with the woodpeckers (Downy, Hairy and Red-bellieds).

American Goldfinches in their winter drab plumage were ubiquitous, reluctantly sharing the tube feeders with the Purple Finches.  House Finches?  I spotted only one all day - a big bright red male.  The others must have hunkered down at our neighbors farm. 

Dark-eyed Juncos spent the day digging though the light dusting to get to their millet.  A lone gray squirrel and Mourning Dove hung out under the sunflower feeder.   The Blue Spruce tree in my front yard will be full of birds tonight.

I plan to go outside tomorrow - only to fill the feeders.  My boots, jacket and snow shovel are lined up by the back door.

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