Snowstorm!

Several days without power, but with snowy beauty.

A large snowstorm passed through New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday. At our house, snow fell for about 26 hours. It was warm (33º), so the snow was wet and heavy, accumulating to a depth of 8″ … but I just know that higher elevations would have seen fluffier snow that got much deeper. Can’t wait for a chance to get out and hike some mountains!

Home, during a heavy, wet snowfall.
Snow on the solar tracker.

Unfortunately, the weight of all this snow caused many trees and branches to fall, blocking roads and knocking out power and Internet across the region. We are fortunate to have battery backup – which lasted for about 17 hours, fed in part by our solar tracker soaking up the post-storm sunshine. In turn, the batteries can be refilled by a propane generator. (The relationship between the two is complicated and buggy, but that’s another story.)

I took the opportunity to ramble around the backyard – local authorities asked everyone to stay off the roads unless necessary – and try to improve my ability to find interesting compositions and to expose properly for snow. Check out the gallery; at the end is a bonus: bald eagles spotted high in the trees during my afternoon walk, including a short video of two eagles taking off to fly across the river and greet a third bald eagle in the trees over there. (Apologies for the low-res iPhone photo and video… it’s all I had with me.)

Snow on the backyard fence.

P.S. Grid power is back! After about 39 hours.

Winter arrives

Finally! Winter has finally arrived, bringing us a snowstorm to paint the barren ground white and dust all the trees in a blanket of fluffy powder. At 7am, when the woodstove was humming with a cozy fire, and the children are all snug in their beds, I went out for a quick look around. I measured the snow depth in the driveway at 9″, and the snow was still falling fast. Two hours later, I went for a long walk, enjoying the swish of my boots through the shin-deep snow and the squeaky crunch of each footstep. On return, at 9am, the snow was now 12″ deep on the driveway – three inches in two hours – and still falling hard.

I don’t have much time to be photographic this morning, but here is a quick gallery of photos. Perhaps my favorite was this little mouse, who I first spotted hopping along the roadside. He seemed to be looking for something – perhaps the entrance to his underground home, now lost under the deep snow. He let me get closer, and eventually he scampered toward me through the deep ruts left by the few intrepid morning drivers. He found shelter between my legs, tucking in his tail, clearly grateful for a moment of peace as my legs blocked the falling snowflakes. We shared this spot, at the center of the road, snow falling quietly all around, until a car came rumbling along. I picked him up and set him beside the road, and we both went back to our day.

A mouse shelters under my legs.