Weathering my patience

blogIMG_2414I find it ironic that this week’s new photo challenge theme is ‘weathered.’

In these parts, weather is all people have been talking about, it seems. Everywhere I go I hear folks discussing and complaining about how cold it is or how snowy or how bad the road conditions are.

And you know what I want to say to them? Buck up. You live in the northeastern United States where we have four distinct seasons. Count ‘em. Four. Spring, summer, fall, AND winter.

It’s winter time. It’s going to be cold. It’s going to snow in these here parts.  Deal with it, people.

January is almost always frigidly cold in this neck of the woods. Yes, we’ve been in the lower part of the outdoor thermometer gauge for a couple of weeks.

Again, must I repeat it? It’s winter time. It gets cold here in the winter. And it snows. And it can be freezing. And sometimes, the temperature sits down there near zero degrees Fahrenheit or below.

Someone in my family just told me people from our area were whining about the weather on Facebook and saying they don’t ever remember it being this cold. Well, folks, then you haven’t lived very long or you suffer from some serious memory loss. 

(Disclaimer: For all you southern folks and those who live in balmy temperatures year-round, I’m not talking about you. You’re excused. I get it. You’re not accustomed to winter weather. I understand that and I’m sorry you’re experiencing cold temperatures that you’re not prepared for.) 

I grew up right here in this little spot of my native state.  I was born here and I lived in this area until the Papa of this empty nest walked down a church aisle with me after we vowed our I do’s to one another and he waltzed me out of this region for the next 20 years. But I remember many, many winters as a child, teenager, and young adult that were downright bitter cold with not just inches of snow but feet.

And in the almost 20 years that we’ve been back in this area, we’ve experienced plenty of big snowfalls and several winters that were….well….wintry.

Yes, there have been some mild winters, but honestly, we shouldn’t be surprised when Ol’ Man Winter arrives with a blustery blast of cold weather, snowy horizons, and icy conditions.

It’s what he does.

And really, Weather Channel, since when did we need to name snowfalls? And call them snow storms? Why do you insist upon scaring people about an upcoming snow so much that they have to run right out to the store to stock up on milk, bread, and toilet paper??

So my selection for this ‘weathered’ photo theme is the weather outside my house. It has looked like this for the last couple of weeks. And it’s looked like this for many winters before this one. Even though it’s supposed to warm up today, it will probably get cold again and snow will cover the ground once more.

Because it’s winter.

If I sound a bit cranky, it’s not the winter season that’s weathering my patience, it’s people and their reactions to it.  Just like the old saying, “This too shall pass.”

“If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.” ~ Frank Lane

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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.

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

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