Monday, March 31, 2014

Final Last Snow of the Season

I am reporting my snowfall totals for this winter because I have promised my daughter that we have seen the last of the snows.  Actually, the snow we had last Wednesday was the one I promised her to be the last.  Yesterday’s storm gave us another inch of snow, but it was only a rain event at her school about one hundred miles south of here, so I’m arguing that my promise has not been broken.  At Blue Jay Barrens we have had 22 snow storms this season and a total of 44 inches of snowfall.  In addition we have had three more storms that brought a total of 0.8 inches of ice.

This most recent storm began as rain and ended as heavy, wet snow driven by a powerful wind out of the north-west.  The snow was melting rather quickly, but the temperature suddenly dropped and the wet snow froze into a hard crust. 

The north side of the ant hills developed a nice cap of snow.  The south side was sheltered from the cold wind and retained much of its heat.  The snow never got a foothold there.  By mid afternoon the temperature was in the fifties, the snow was gone and the ants were out working on their mounds.

The Indian Grass has taken a lot abuse this winter, but it has managed to remain upright.  Dozens of sparrows have spent the past few months roosting and foraging in the tall grass stalks. 

Some patches of grass were pushed almost to the horizontal.  By the end of the day they had rebounded considerably.  I’ve noticed that wet stalks have the ability to bend without breaking and tend to regain their shape as they dry.

The top of the hill is always a pretty sight when covered with snow.  Many of the late spring blooming prairie plants are already beginning their growth and they won’t be put off by a little late winter snow.

Snow cover makes it easier to see the open fields on a distant hilltop.  Those fields are used for hay production and are already showing a lot of green.  Once the trees put on their leaves, the distant view will be lost.

This former site of a Multiflora Rose infestation is looking clear and free of roses.  I’m thinking about removing a couple of these trees to allow a little more sunlight into the field.

It’s easy to tell the direction from which the storm winds were blowing.  The snow was half an inch thick on the north-west side of the utility pole.

I love taking photos from this position because everything in the picture is a part of Blue Jay Barrens.  No matter how much things change on neighboring properties, this view should remain relatively constant.

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