posts tagged with 'snow'

April snow brings... ?

As if this season weren't strange enough already—with everything cancelled, and days at home stretching endlessly while weeks rush by—on Saturday we woke up to snow falling heavily on the daffodils and forsythia (and, you know, everything else too). By mid morning there was a couple inches on the ground, and as we looked out the window the scene was decidedly not springlike.

snow covering the backyard

what season is it?

The first part of the morning we contented ourselves with board games, and the older boys might never have gotten motivated to get out in the snow had not Lijah taken the first steps. Even without a promise of anyone to play with, he was heading out.

Lijah in the snow in his snowsuit, wearing a big scarf

he knows what to do

It wasn't too long before Zion also got suited up and joined him, and they played for about an hour—climbing on the snowy playhouse, throwing snowballs and regular balls, and making snow angels. They got very wet. Harvey didn't make it outside until Jack invited him out; they missed the best part of the snow but seemed happy enough playing in the light misting rain that followed it. Once they got launched they all got plenty of enjoyment out of just those few inches of snow. Not as much, perhaps, as the first-grader who told me in our Kids Church session yesterday that he and his family had built a snow fort (!), put certainly enough. After all, it is April!

Almost all the snow was melted by dark. Today we were back to our regular spring programming.

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snow day

We didn't get much snow this year. We only managed to go sledding two or three times, and one of those times there was literally no snow on the ground anywhere except the north-facing slope of the sledding hill. It was pretty disappointing. So naturally, on Monday—less than a week into spring—we had our biggest snow since mid-February. It wasn't a blizzard, sure, but it was certainly enough to notice.

snow falling as seen out the back door

accumulation

Naturally, we took what advantage of it we could. As the snow started to stick we all went for a walk in the woods; only those members of the family who determined in advance to be grumpy even minded getting snowflakes in their eyes. Then on Tuesday morning the neighborhood kids all changed their homeschooling schedules to make sure of playing in the snow before it all melted away in the bright sunshine. There wasn't enough for a snowman, but there were definitely snowballs thrown. And I'll tell you, the snow gear doesn't get any less wet in one inch of snow than it does in 20—it certainly looked like a snow day inside the house!

the boys and Jack having a snowball fight in the front yard

I think they picked up all the snow there was

Our social distancing regime seems kind of like a blizzard-level snow day that's lasted for almost two weeks, with no end in sight. So it was nice to get some actual snow into the deal!

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winter wonderland

We don't usually get good snow in December, so we were extra excited when, on the first of the month, wintery weather arrived ahead of schedule. The forecast for Sunday into Monday was uncertain, with the rain-snow line wavering back and forth somewhere over Lexington; as it happened it was well to the east of Lexington Center, and our precipitation was all snow. Then on Tuesday we had a second storm; it was predicted to be over by noon but kept going strong until late afternoon. There was a lot of snow. And we enjoyed it! On Monday the boys sledded with Grandma (in the sleety Lexington snow). On Tuesday they romped and wrestled and snowball fought with schooled friends who were enjoying a second straight snow day. And on Wednesday I got to join in with the sledding, as we traveled to enjoy some beautiful powder on a Chelmsford golf course.

Harvey standing on the hill with a sled

this is the life!

The winter weather was so beautiful that over the week I took almost a hundred and fifty pictures—more than I took in the whole month of November! (always a low month for photography, I find). Admittedly, 50 or 60 of them were burst mode pictures of the kids going off jumps on their sleds, but I also did my best to capture the winter's own artistry.

natural ice sculptures on the wisteria

ice art

Sadly, today was warm and rainy and the considerable snowpack is melting away almost faster than it accumulated just a week ago. Oh, I hope more falls soon. As lovely as our yard and our town are all the time, they're even better under a blanket of white!

the deck cleared of snow, with snow still piled high on the picnic table

I like it like this

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first snow

It snowed last night, which felt right for the beginning of December. It started late afternoon, leaving Harvey and me with a pretty slippery drive home from Pokemon League, and kept on through the night; in the morning we were greeted with about 10 inches of heavy wet snow. The boys were excited to get out in it—especially Lijah, who hopped right into his new-to-him snowsuit and was first out the door by quite a while.

Lijah posing in his new snowsuit

snow!

Not that everything was joy. While there was enough snow to cancel school here in town, it was mostly rain closer to the ocean so I had to go to work. The boys were torn between going to my parents' house, as they usually do on Mondays, and staying home to play with friends (with Mama, who was working from home for the morning). I ended up deciding for them, and nobody was happy. Yes, Harvey got to play with Jack; but he ended up in a neighborhood snowball fight and as I understand it both gave and received some unkind blows. And Zion was bitterly angry to see, as we drove towards Lexington, the snow changing to rain, and he showed his displeasure with some unkind blows on the back of my seat with his feet. Actually, I shouldn't say nobody was happy; Lijah was completely content.

When Harvey arrived Grandma took the boys sledding. She says their impressions were mixed, but judging by their level of tiredness this evening they must have had a least a couple good runs. The only exercise I got was shoveling—the snow better stick around long enough for me to have some fun in it!

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snow at last

The first part of the winter has been pretty disappointing from a weather perspective, so we were delighted to finally get some real snow Saturday night. Well, almost real snow; there was enough warm air involved somewhere that the precipitation that fell all day Sunday was really more like sleet. Never mind, it accumulated to a sufficient depth and piled almost like normal snow. The boys spent a good amount of time outside in it both Sunday and today, even though the conditions weren't perfect for outdoor entertainment: Sunday (when church was cancelled to give us more playing time) was so wet they needed to change their mittens every 15 minutes, and I don't think today's temperature broke 10°F. Never mind. First snow!

Zion and Harvey with the other kids playing in the snow at the end of the street

the neighborhood at play

It's amazing to think of it, but this was the first time this year Lijah put on his snow gear (Harveya and Zion spent some time out in the significant but short-lived snow we had back in mid-November). I was glad to be able to find him snowpants and boots that fit, since I hadn't thought about it at all before Sunday morning. Good thing he has two older brothers! To be honest, he's not totally enthused about the cold weather. I heard him saying he wished it was summer. Oh well, can't please everybody. Harvey and Zion will sleep well after their hard playing outside this afternoon, and even Lijah survived the arctic blast for couple minutes. All of them certainly earned their hot chocolate.

Zion making a silly face in Sunday's snow

snow silly

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welcome winter

November 15 is a fine day to have the first snowfall of the winter, but we still weren't ready. It wasn't possible for me to be ready. We did some things, sure; I worked the day before yesterday afternoon getting the leaf pile off the lawn and picking up garden stakes, and yesterday morning I sent the kids out to pick up at least some of the toys scattered all over the yard. And we found at least some cold-weather gear for everyone; we had to, since the middle of the day we needed to go out to the last homeschool coop park day of the year (the first one to take place in solidly below-freezing weather!). But then when we got back from running and playing in the park we ran out of steam for serious preparations. Instead we did some reading and some deck-building and some napping, and then hosted Harvey's friend for a couple hours. Good winter activities. But nothing to make be feel ready for three inches of snow on the ground before 10:00 last night!

snow piled on the table on the back porch

winter!

Well, that's not totally true; in one respect we were fully prepared. Seeing the snow in the forecast, yesterday morning we busted out the white paper and scissors and made snowflakes. They're up on the windows now. And all the scraps on the kitchen floor made a pretty convincing facsimile of fallen snow. Although they were a whole lot lighter to sweep up than the actual snow was to shovel this morning: the snow changed to rain early in the morning so clearing the front walk was like trying to move wet cement. The rain didn't slow down the kids any, though! There was a two-hour school delay here in town, so Harvey's friend Jack rang the doorbell a little after eight and, after we invited him in for a couple pancakes, the kids spent a delightful couple hours romping in the sodden snow. Now it's getting colder again, and the rain has changed back to light snow. It looks like things'll be white for a little while yet. I'm OK with that.

the boys making paper snowflakes at the kitchen table

let it snow!

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snow days

As of a few days ago the garlic and rhubarb were up in the garden, and the daffodils and crocuses growing fast in the beds; I assume they're still growing, but it's hard to tell because yesterday we got like two feet of snow.

lots of snow on the back porch

pretty good for one storm in March...

I measure it at 18 inches, actually, but I hear from neighbors with reliable information that we actually got over 20; either way, it was enough to close school for two days. So our schedule—never particularly rigorous to begin with—was thrown out the window so our kids could entertain their friends who were suddenly deprived of their usual weekday framework. I missed school today too: I'm taking part in a class at work, and it was cancelled today. It's interesting and engaging material, to be sure, but I don't think I'll even get too old to appreciate a snow day.

Especially one like today, with some sun and reasonably mild temperatures. Just the thing for spending a few hours shoveling! I still fully trust that March will go out with a lamb, but it has plenty of time yet—and we have another 8-12 inch storm forecast for next week. Flowers or snow-forts, we'll enjoy whatever we get.

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still very lion-like

Harvey's tiny snowman, with him building a big one in the background

snow, man!

The weather continues to be wild. After a summer-like warm spell it's hard to feel ready for a blizzard, but it's still winter and we're in New England, so. It could have been worse; the front half of the storm, all day Wednesday, was all rain. But overnight Wednesday to Thursday brought plenty of snow—heavy, wet, solid snow, just right for epic snowmen. And for bringing trees down too, as it happens.

About a third of Bedford was still without electricity yesterday evening, and there are limbs and trees down all over our neighborhood. We didn't lose anything important; the neighbors' lilac breaking onto Leah's car wasn't really a problem.

Harvey clearing Mama's car of snow

pretty heavy

We had friends over for most of the day, in order to help their parents out with school being cancelled. After they left Harvey and I enjoyed some relaxing outside time. Even with dry wood from our newly-built woodpile shelter our fire wasn't totally successful—too much snow in the fireplace—but it made a nice smell and some cheery smoke. And nothing could be more successful than Harvey's snowmen. We can still enjoy winter!

the face of Harvey's snowman

with real home-made charcoal!

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freedom!

Lijah in the cargo bike in the snow

out and about!

After two solid weeks of below freezing (often below zero!) temperatures, and a couple of blizzards (well, almost blizzards) it was nice to feel a little warmth again the past couple days. Monday it almost hit freezing, and yesterday it blew past the freezing mark to reach the high 30s for a few hours. Positively tropical. We celebrated by getting the bikes out for the first time in quite a while.

Past time, too: our destination was the library, where we had many overdue books to return. But never mind the fines, it was lovely to be out and about under our own power again. It would have been lovely had the sidewalks been better cleared; going uphill we needed to be in the roadway or we wouldn't have been able to make any progress at all in the slush (at least the sidewalks are now plowed at all, five days after the storm). Even in our sleepy little town some drivers didn't appreciate sharing the road in the middle of the afternoon, which made me a little grumpy. I don't like being honked at. But we made it, and returned our books and got new ones, and I got to take a little nap in the children's room while the kids looked at books. Fresh air is tiring!

Harvey's bike in a snowy bike rack

a capable machine

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first snow

Most times the first snowfall of the year is exciting just for being first, but it doesn't amount to much on its own. Not so this year. After a warm summery beginning to fall we were only just getting used to cold weather, so a legitimately snowy day today was kind of a shock. Exciting though! Mostly for the kids—some of the adults I talked with yesterday evening weren't looking forward to the forecast accumulation—but even some grown-ups got caught up in the spirit. Our street saw a pretty vigorous kids-vs-parents snowball fight for a little while this afternoon; especially nice since the parents forced to team up aren't always on the best terms otherwise.

The only bad part about the snow is, as always, the yard wasn't ready for it. It's not very likely that this snow will stick around til spring, but it's possible—and as it started to fall I was very aware that in that case a lot of things would be lost and/or ruined. It's always bad—I'm not a particularly organized gardener (or anything)—but it's even worse this year because of my current construction project. I'm putting up a playhouse for the kids, and it's kind of a significant endeavor. I spent the first part of the morning racing to finish framing and sheathing the roof, to keep at least some of the snow from the interior (there's still mostly no walls, so it won't be bone dry—but roofs do help). Then I had to put away the remaining lumber, so it wouldn't be buried forever under its tarp. By that time the tools I'd left lying around were beneath at least an inch of snow... I hope I found them all.

All in all, though, I count the snow as a total positive. We had a super fun day, and we're looking forward to more snowy fun tomorrow. Zion was very disappointed when he heard the forecast calls for sunshine; I told him the winter would bring lots more snow. Just maybe after the playhouse has walls.

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