Rollin’ in the front yard

blogIMG_2608Everyone was talking about it yesterday.  All over Facebook.  Pictures and exclamations.  Even my husband came home telling me that his barber had talked about it when hubby was getting a hair cut after work.

Snow rollers.  That’s what they are.  If you never heard of them, join the club.  I’d never heard of them either nor can I even recollect seeing them.  But there they were scattered all over our front yard with a few in the back yard too.

Before I heard all the hub bub about them, I happened to look out my window at the snowy landscape (we have a large 2.5 acre yard) and thought, “It looks like someone threw snowballs all over the yard!”

But there were no telltale human footprints in the snow, just long patterns looking like snow had been rolled through the yard.  Kind of like when you roll snow into big balls to make snowmen.   So I grabbed the camera and braved the elements (and man, was it ever cold!) to take pictures.  Then I did what everyone else apparently was doing, searched the internet to find out just what in the world this phenomenon was.

Turns out they’re called snow rollers and only occur under specific weather conditions and are not that common.

According to my not so conclusive research, snow rollers are caused by snow being blown along the ground by the wind.  Well, we certainly had the snow.  We also had the wind making the wind chill factor feel like it was freezing my face off while I was photographing these rarities.  The odd thing about these rollers is that, unlike a human rolled snowball, they either look like a doughnut with a hole in the middle or a Little Debbie Swiss Roll.

The ones in my yard were the Little Debbie variety.  Apparently the precise conditions needed to form snow rollers are these:  “the ground must be covered by a layer of ice to which snow will not stick; the layer of ice must be covered by wet, loose snow with a temperature near the melting point of ice; and the wind must be strong enough to move the snow rollers, but not strong enough to blow them apart.”

Whatever the reason for their appearance, they were fun to see and fun to watch as they rolled through my yard.  And of course, for this camera happy person, fun to photograph.

Enjoy my photos in this slide show and if you feel like singing a little ditty to the tune of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” while you look at them, I’ve even written some lyrics for you.

If you come over to my place
Bet you’re gonna find something you’ve never seen
You won’t have to worry about being cold
Cause you can see the pictures right here on your screen.

Ol’ Winter keeps on comin’

Outside it keeps me runnin’

Rollin’

Rollin’

Rollin’

With the snow rollers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you want to see more about this rare occurrence, check out this video from weather.com: Snow Rollers

©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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20 responses

  1. One thing I know for sure, I am sooo thankful I left snow country so many years ago. Don’t miss it one bit! However love your blog showing me all about it as I sit snug, or is it smug and warm?

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  2. Wow! Never heard of snow rollers. Thanks for braving the elements to get pics to share with us. Who knows what we’ll have by morning?! Started snowing here around 4 pm and is supposed to snow all night. 8 to 10 inches, they’re predicting…. photos forthcoming!!

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  3. Isn’t it wonderful the things we learn from our blogger friends? I have never heard of a snow roller! Thanks for sharing and the pictures are great! Have you ever heard of tapioca snow? I hadn’t heard of that either until I saw it.

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  4. Pingback: Tapioca Snow | Virginia Views

  5. Way to go for braving the elements and capturing such astounding shots! What a neat weather phenomenon. I’ve never heard of snow rollers, and having spent most of my life in heavy winter country — I’m surprised. But what a treat, to see these little presents from Mother Nature! Again, thanks for heading out into the cold to share these with us!

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    • Melissa, so great to hear from you!! I’ve lived in snow country a lot too and I had never heard of these ‘presents’ either. It was worth the trip outside so bundled up I could barely walk…kinda reminded me of being a kid again. 😉

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