As I started writing this on Sunday afternoon, the snow was gently wafting down past the upstairs windows. Every now and then a startlingly brilliant flash of red would appear as two male cardinals fought over who is the boss of the bird feeders. Even though the feeders are at ground level, the spat rose to the height of the second story as the birds settled their argument, albeit, grudgingly, and went back to scrounging in the snow for sunflower seeds. Another Sunday afternoon, another blizzard.
This blizzard, for me at least, lacks the intensity of a December/February assault as much of the snow is melting simultaneously. However, I've not been out on the roads driving, so what that is like at the moment, I can only hazard a guess. Slippery, I'm sure.
With all of the snow on the ground, the stuff that falls off the roof of the garage behind the house is making it increasingly difficult to get to the chicken coop. I have been skiing around the house to get to them at night, while Carl braves the snow piles to reach them in the morning. Spring is truly very close, especially now that the days are getting longer, but it will be awhile until all of this fluff is melted. These pictures were taken a few days ago, but it has been snowing over twenty-four hours now, so it will be quite interesting to see what daylight brings.
With the extra hour of light tonight, I was able to set off on my evening walk an hour later. In no time at all, my black coat was plastered white. Going west with the wind was relatively easy, but going back east was not pleasant as the wind-driven flakes were sharp when they smacked me in the face. Thank goodness for walking backwards again, as it made both my knees and my face much happier. I was amazed at how fast my tracks were disappearing as by the time I reached the end of my route and turned back for home, there was no sign I'd ever been there at all.
I kept plodding on until I hit my 10,000 step mark and finally came in for the night. By the time darkness fell, the road was white and the driveway was just a little less than knee-deep.Having this much snow in March isn't unheard of, but there have been years when we'd have crocus blooming in the past by now. This is a truly old-fashioned winter, though it seems we had a nice reprieve earlier in the year.
Just last weekend, we had a lot less snow. And some sunshine. I guess the forecast is for snow to continue until at least noon Monday and then we can all get our shovels out and set to removing it.
I spent the last two weekends touring twenty-two newly built and freshly remodeled homes with Joel and Audrey and our friends who are thinking of building a new home. Carl didn't care to join in on the tours as we are done with remodeling projects for now, so he stayed home and worked on his projects. I enjoy the house tours, but have to admit for the most part, they are all very similar to each other right down to the floor plans and color schemes. Really, the only change since 2018 when we last went on the tours was the trend to go from gray flooring and walls and white painted trim to 2023's white painted trim and beige walls and flooring. In other words, white painted trim and cabinets was pretty much standard, unless the woodwork was painted (or stained?) very, very dark, almost black. But the vast majority of the floors were a pale color of white oak hardwood or luxury vinyl tile and bedroom carpeting reminiscent of unbleached tan dinner napkins at fast food restaurants. I guess it's what sells. The open concept house plan is also still very much in style, too. Kitchen, dining and living rooms are one vast area often with lofty ceiling heights reminiscent of an arena or a barn, but they are dramatic, I'll admit. Lots of natural light, which is nice, but at night, I'd feel as if I were in a fish bowl. I guess that's what curtains were made for.
There wasn't one house in my price range and some were in the true nose-bleed territory of a seven figures, gigantic 6000+ square foot homes with basketball courts and home theaters, indoor pools and mother-in-law suites. That's where the fun comes in, to see what these mansions are really like on the inside. I truly do not envy the people who call them home, to each their own. Just don't ask me to clean them!
Other than curiously touring new homes, late winter has been broken up by a few odd occurrences. One night around 9:30pm Carl and I were watching TV when the unmistakable sound of rapid gunfire not coming from the show we were watching got our attention. We scurried into the living room and shut off the house lights when more shots were fired. There was a car just past our house parked on the road facing us and by their headlights I could make out a few people milling around.
Joel called simultaneously to ask what was going on down here and proceeded to drive out of his driveway and follow for a short distance. Before he got close to it, the car left. There was no way to identify it as it was covered in snow.
I walked down the road after they left, worried something or, heaven forbid, someone, had been shot. Thankfully, all I found was over thirty shell casings in the road, some 9mm, some 45's. Target shooting out here in the country isn't unheard of, but that many rounds, that late at night isn't normal, so we did call the authorities. When they arrived, there wasn't much they could do but collect the spent ammunition, ask questions and take photos. I could see the tracks in the snowy field that showed the shots had been fired into the field and not in our general direction. There was no footprints of anything in the ditch or field, animal or human, so I guess they were just having fun with guns in the middle of the night. It's what I choose to believe, anyway. It's been quiet for a few weeks now, thank goodness, but you never know.
In a completely different twist, my friend Terry asked me to attend a Donkey Basketball game at our local high school two weeks ago. I haven't ever been a fan of basketball, but the thought of people having to ride donkeys in the gymnasium while trying to score points was worth the pain of sitting on uncomfortable bleacher seats. I believe the official tally for the entire game was two points, by the way.
Just watching the players try to mount their steeds and get them to move was funny enough, but add in one donkey who defiantly bucked non-stop launching any wannabe rider, and another donkey who would stop suddenly and lower his head so the riders slid off his back was hilarious. It was the most fun I've had at a basketball game ever.Turns out, donkeys really don't like basketball, either.
Winters are long around Wisconsin, but they certainly aren't boring around here.
Lovely shots of the Cardinals agains the white snow. Relatives in Ohio tells me they have a fun sounding calls too. I'm looking forward to the weather warming up so you can share a garden post again.
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