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Oh! Shocking! More snow!!

One of the benefits of living in Southern Maryland (or Maryland in general) is usually that we get snow every year, but it’s not a big huge deal. We’ll get a few dustings, some flurries, and maybe one or two “big” snows with 8-10 inches. The area freaks out, schools are closed, we all go play in the snow, then a couple days later it’s 40+ degrees and it’s all over. (Ice is usually a bigger problem here because of temp fluctuations and winter rain.)

In March 2009, we got over a foot of snow. In December 2009, we got about the same amount. It was nice to have a white Christmas, even though it rained on Christmas day.

On January 30, we were expected to get maybe an inch of two of snow. That turned out to be more like 10 inches or so. Today on February 5, we’re expected to get anywhere from 20-30 inches. TWENTY TO THIRTY INCHES. The estimate allows 10 inches, which would be bad by itself. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

We normally get (totally guessing here – wasn’t able to google up a good source) maybe a foot of snow a winter max, spread out over a few smaller snows. This winter – not even counting the March 2009 snow – we’re probably already over 2 feet. And usually the snowy season doesn’t even start until February or later. I’m scared! The one in December and this one have also both officially been considered blizzards. My favorite weatherman, Topper Shutt, gave this one a 10 on the bread-o-meter, which tops some storm from the 50s or something. Two top 10 snowstorms for the region in 2010 alread.

Thankfully, my office closed at 12:30 today to allow us to all get home safely. Roads were fine then, but it was snowing hard. Unfortunately, my hubby has to work tonight and tomorrow night. We’re supposed to get the vast majority of snow tonight, and things are already crazy. There was an armed bank robbery earlier today, for example. And I’m sure hubby will have to pull some people out of ditches and break up some arguments by people who have “cabin fever” because they’ve been inside their homes for 3 hours. Grr! He did take off Sunday for the Super Bowl (because he worked both xmas and new year’s), so hopefully we’ll be able to get together with my parents and watch the game on their big, fancy TV.

So I’m feeding the birdies in the mean time. They’re all going crazy over the bowls of food I put on the deck, and there are 1 or 2 smart birds who are hitting up the usual feeder on the side of the house. I also brought in a baggie of food so I can refill the deck stuff tomorrow (after I dig it out) without having to dig out the garden shed doors.

I’ll also be, very shortly, sitting in the “cat room” (spare room), reading a book and staring at the greenhouse shelf and all my seeds. Hubby is still working on getting the appropriate light fixtures before it all gets hooked up and put out in the shed. I’ll start seeds in about a month. Please not another foot of snow THIS March!

#snomg, indeed.

Friday - Snow-Ogelthorpe's Final Bow

Friday - Snow-Ogelthorpe

Well, the snow is gone. The pic at left was taken just as I got home from work on Friday. As soon as I was about to push the shutter button, the hat fell off! Talk about timing. Yesterday he was just a tiny snowball (pic in the gallery below), and today he’s totally gone, I’m sure. Yesterday was gorgeous, though. Unfortunately, I got some very unexpected very bad news about a friend of the family that made it a little less gorgeous. Still, I was able to get a lot done to attempt to take my mind off things (these things always make you think about parents, family members, and the future).

I bought some seeds and seed starting trays! I really want to try seeds officially this year. Among herbs and stuff, I got seeds for nasturtium, which I’ve never seen for sale around here and always found pretty – and wanted to try in salads and stuff. Also got a bright yellow/orange/red mix of cosmos. I’ve never ‘officially’ started stuff from seed before. Last year I had some free packets of cosmos, parsley, and basil that I basically just threw in a pot and they grew! Well, except for the parsley, but I see on its packet now that you’re supposed to soak that seed, so maybe that’s why that was a dud. I’m still usind the dried basil leaves from the summer though. I also got a large azalea pot that I’m hoping to be able to transplant all my little herb seedlings into. Then, apart from my perennial rosemary and lemon thyme, I’ll have basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, and sage (and nasturtium). I will admit that I did get the sage specifically because at the end of the summer, I got these cute little pots for $1 that say “sage” on them. But I think that’s good enough reason – I’ll figure out how to use it!

Also updates on the bird news. Thanks to @gettingdirty, I’ve identified this mystery bird (on left) as a dark-eyed junco. It’s related to the snow bunting, the bird my mom suggested, but a more common and more southern-found variety.

I have roughly a ton of pics slated to post, so I’ll try to save some so spread them out through the week. Later in the week I plan to do a “pretty weeds I have found” post, since I randomly was able to get on ID’d via twitter last night. Who says twitter isn’t great??

snowbirds1Just got my latest issue of Backyard Living mag, only to see its their last issue. Another casualty in the publishing world – I feel their pain. Today was the last day for a coworker I really like and have worked closely with who was given a bit before her layoff began. Very weird and very sad to see her go, especially since she’s been with the company longer than most.

My subscription will be replaced with Birds & Blooms, which is fine with me. I’m becoming more interested in birds (and blooms?) so it’ll be fine. But I will miss the magazine. I may now check out Garden Gate mag, which I got a sample issue of a while back and liked.

Anyway, I’m still sore today. I had to shovel our whole loooong driveway. And enough of the parking lot to get the cars out. Had to dig out some more this AM and when I got home today to get things out and be able to turn around. But man I don’t want to shovel snow for a long time.

Of course, though it got as low as 17 degrees today, its supposed to be 65 degrees on Saturday. That’s good, because my mom got an email that our Springhill Nursery orders had been sent! Hopefully there’s not a foot of snow and ice in the gardens when it all comes in!

Today’s note to self: Check out namethatbird to name the birds I can’t identify with my book (or the ever-awesome gardenweb forums linked in my blogroll). I think I’ve decided the stripier one from the previous post is a female house finch, but I’m still not sure about the black and white one. Also think I can add red-winged blackbirds to the list of bird visitors. I have some pics I’ll save to post for a nonsnowy day.

me and snow-ogelthorpe

me and snow-ogelthorpe

So we DID get a crapload of snow! Hubby had to get up at 5am to clean off the driveway some more (parking the cars there did help) and get ready for work. They sent SUVs to come pick them up. They can’t really drive the Crown Vics in this weather.

I called in to work and at 6am a message said “we plan on opening at 11am, so call back at 9:30am and check.” wtf. Come on! There was no way I could get out my driveway anyway as it was still snowing this AM, and it had already covered from where Will shoveled out this morning. So I called it a day and went out to clean off the deck so it didn’t fall down. Luckily they DID decide to close work. I’d be pissed if I had to use one of my precious few days off for this!

Again, some of you may not be impressed, but I am! I don’t think we’ve had this much snow here in about 5-6 years, since when I was in college. It’s just about a foot I think, in the nonsnowdrifty places. It’s fun! Wish Will was off so we could play. I did manage to make a snowman though! He’s kind of funky looking. Apparently I was channeling Ogelthorpe from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Also it’s hard to make a snowman by yourself. I am now told that I should have rolled the snow into a ball (I thought that only worked in cartoons?). Maybe if I go back out again later I will. I have to play in the snow while I can 🙂 But it’s super windy out, and I think it’s even still snowing (or is that just blowing snow? It’s hard to tell) so meh. It’ll be interesting to see what the work/school situation is tomorrow.

The birds have been loving my offerings of food, which is fun. Here’s a video of Alice yesterday intimidating the birdies.

Also, can anyone ID the mystery birds indicated below? I’ve looked through my bird book, but these are stumping me. The black/white ones don’t appear to be chickadees, and I’m not sure if the brown stripey one is a pine siskin or some kind of sparrow or wren…?

Today is the first day of March. It’s the first day the Bruster’s, a delicious ice cream place, is open for summer hours. And between this afternoon and tomorrow, Southern Maryland is expected to have up to 1 foot of snow. I will point out that on Friday, 2 days ago, it was 65 degrees.

Now it still hasn’t started snowing here yet (just rain and sleet), but who knows. My husband, who is a cop, has to work tomorrow AM, so he’s less than happy. I have to remember to call in to work to see if they’re open. I’m also supposed to participate in Read Across America tomorrow, so I’ll have to keep an eye on the school closings situation.

Now I know a lot of people are probably thinking “ok, 1 foot of snow, alright.” Well 1 foot of snow in Southern Maryland means CHAOS. I don’t really get it, because we DO get some amount of snow here every year. But any amount of snow basically equals EVERYBODY PANIC. Schools are routinely closed for any amount of ice or snow. If it snows while students are in class, expect an early dismissal. It’s kind of crazy.

So we’ll see what happens. We’ve taken preventative measures and already salted the driveway and parked all the cars in the driveway up the hill in an attempt to help my husband get to work in the AM. (If there’s any ice on the hill, you’re not going anywhere. We have a driveway up a hill and then a large flat “parking lot.”)

very sad cyclamenIn cyclamen news, it looks like crap (also excuse the crappy macbook cam pic). As I read more about the plant, it prefers to be in temps around 50 degrees and will get sad if it goes about 70. How is this a houseplant? Hopefully it’ll hang on until it gets warm enough (but not too warm!) and I can take it outside and plant it for the spring. After some reading, I moved it to a room with more light (our UMD/Terps-themed office! Where I am currently typing!) and am watering it less per suggestions, but I dunno…Any other ideas? Regardless of the state of the cyclamen, look forward to some snow pics soon (hopefully). Also have some adorable ‘cats clicking at birds’ videos I might have to post. I’ve been spoiling the birds lately (note to self – need to get more bird food and look for a container the mice can’t eat through) and the cats are, of course, loving it!

My mom got me a finch feeder to go with my regular bird feeder a while back, because I love the bright cheery yellow finches. But I’ve lamented forever that we seem to have none at my house. I looked out this AM and there was a little redish bird at the finch feeder! Now I’ve seen them chowing down at the food bowls on the deck as well. Looks like I’m going to have to get some more finch food. So today I broke out my bird book and identified some birds. I’ll have to keep on top of this a little more to see what all we have here.

black cap chickadee

black cap chickadee

male house finch

male house finch

male house sparrow

male house sparrow

white throat sparrow

white throat sparrow

I know in addition to these, we of course have Blue Jays and Cardinals. I really like the house finches, even if they are common. I’ll have to keep an eye out and work on my bird pic taking skills. Unfortunately, clicking cats frequently seem to blow my cover.

Tomorrow I will attempt to post for bloom day. Hubby got me a really pretty cyclamen for Valentine’s Day! Good job buying a potted plant instead of crazy expensive cut flowers. I gave him props 🙂


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