Morning Eye Candy: Snowfall

Sorry–that title might have set a few of you on sudden edge. Too late for April Fools’?

Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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on Saturday, April 14th, 2012 at 6:00 am and is filed under Around the Garden, Photography.
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Article source: http://www.nybg.org/plant-talk/2012/04/photography/morning-eye-candy-snowfall/

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Merry Christmas…In February?

This winter has just been weird. The weather, despite the weather prognosticators claiming a milder winter back in fall, has been colder than usual. Today’s snowfall just makes it seems like a second white Christmas here in Tennessee. Now before those of you north of here disparage what I’m saying keep in mind that Tennessee normally only receives 1-2 decent snowfalls and by decent I’m talking more than 1-2 inches.  Rarely do we receive repeated and significant snow events, otherwise our Department of Transportation would not be running out of road salt. In the nearly 21 years I’ve lived here I remember two very large snowfalls: one in March of 1993 (Johnson City, TN) and the other in the winter of 1995-1996 (Cookeville, TN) and those were big ones (2 feet in ’93). It’s been crazy, the snow is nice, but I think I speak for most (adults – kids seems to be enjoying getting out of school so much) that we’re ready to move on! The schools usually let out 2-4 days of school each year and this year my daughter’s school system will have been out for 9 after tomorrow. Next week good weather will arrive and maybe the groundhog prognosticator will turn out to have a better grasp on the climate than those well educated weather folks who were thinking milder thoughts.* Although historically our biggest snowfalls happen in March…we could be in for it!

One thing is for sure…the white snow allows for some very nice pictures.

My blue Garden Shed in the snow with cardinal watching over the feeders.

A Towhee flitting about a potted ornamental peach tree.

There’s food around here somewhere – he’s sure of it!
“Is this really more snow?” says the white-throated sparrow.

“Yep, sure is. When is spring supposed to be here again?”

The pictures were taken about 15 minutes after the snow started here. It piled up fast but seems to be over for now with about 2 inches. I remember snowfalls in Pennsylvania that were much greater when I was a kid but it’s not about how much snow per se, it’s about how much snow we’re supposed to have. And I think we’ve surpassed our quota…just a little…

* I appreciate the hard work that goes into such an unpredictable field of expertise. The miscalculation of the “mild” winter just shows how hard it really is to predict the weather!

Originally written by Dave @ The Home Garden
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without permission. No feed scraping is permitted.
All Rights Reserved.


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Winter Wonderland: Snow Shovel Shenanigans

We had another storm again and it dumped a few inches of snow on the ground. I woke up and looked outside to see a blanket of white covering everything.

My wife and children looked out and saw a glorious winter wonderland. I saw back-breaking labor and an application of Icy Hot in my future. I’m not a spring chicken anymore, and I actually have to worry about things like hurting my back (oh, the joys of getting older), and you should, too. Here are some of the common problems people are hit with while shoveling snow and how to best handle them.

1. Back breaker: Ugh, every time I shovel snow, my back ends up sore for at least the day. It doesn’t seem to matter if it was a 2-inch snowfall or 10-inch, my back feels it. Before you head out, try and stretch out your back as best you can. Get those muscles loosened up so you can minimize injury. You can also use an ergonomic shovel that is made to be a bit easier on your back.

Try to push as much snow as you can, as opposed to throwing it with the shovel. Picking up the snow-laden shovel can easily pull a muscle in your back, especially if it is the wet, heavy snow. It may not seem like much, but snow can be heavy if it is packed together. When it’s all said and done, don’t forget to put some Icy Hot or other ointment on, as well as a pain reliever like ibuprofen.

2. Overexertion: This is primarily an issue with older people and those who are very much out of shape. If you do not get much physical activity, then shoveling the snow can be like running a marathon. Your body can easily be fooled into thinking its not doing to much work, because the cold weather will keep you from sweating a lot, but when you stop, you will feel your heart pounding in your chest. There are many people who suffer heart attacks while shoveling snow.

The best way to beat overexertion is to take your time and to take plenty of breaks. The snow is not going anywhere, so it won’t hurt to work for 10 minutes and then take a break, work 10 more minutes and then take another break. This simple act could save you a major medical problem. If you get winded and your chest hurts when shoveling snow, then it’s a good idea to see your doctor to make sure you don’t have any heart problems.

3. Motivation: I hate shoveling snow. When I see that white on the ground, I am immediately in a bad mood. It’s easy to say to yourself, “Why even bother? It’s just going to come back in a day or two with the next snow storm.” As much as I wish that I could leave the snow where it lays, it’s not just my problem. Sidewalks are public walkways, and often school children use it when walking to and from school or the bus stop. I don’t want to responsible for a child being late because he had to trudge across my snow-covered sidewalk or fall down and become injured. If you hate it so much that you can’t even bring yourself to do it, then hire a local child to shovel it for you. I have three boys, and when they get a little older, I can guarantee you that snow-shoveling will be a family affair.

No one likes to shovel snow, but it is one of the necessities of life when you live in the arctic tundra of the Midwest and other areas. Follow these tips and make sure to stay safe.

Image Source:flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/5298189948/

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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!
Posted by PFZimmerman

The snowfall we just had in the Southeast isn’t normal for us. Should we worry about snow on the roses?

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Winter’s For The Birds!

Cardinals seem to shine in the snow


We’ve had our first snowfall and with it bitter cold weather.

River Oats

Native wildflowers, grasses and purple accents pop in the snow.

Muhly

This cold weather is for the birds!

They puff up in the frigid air


and flock to the feeders!

some are more generous then others at sharing the fat rich sunflower seeds.

No matter, there is plenty of food for all!

White Throated Sparrow thanks Fairegarden for the id!


On a day like this all the birds are welcome!



The clever chickadees are almost always first on the scene, but, I must admit~

My heart belongs to the Tufted Titmouse!

Erysimum

Elsewhere in the garden~the wallflowers are still standing~

Do stop over to see what other bloggers are celebrating their First Snowfall with Nancy!


Warmest thoughts of you all,
xxoogail

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Winter’s For The Birds!

Cardinals seem to shine in the snow


We’ve had our first snowfall and with it bitter cold weather.

River Oats

Native wildflowers, grasses and purple accents pop in the snow.

Muhly

This cold weather is for the birds!

They puff up in the frigid air


and flock to the feeders!

some are more generous then others at sharing the fat rich sunflower seeds.

No matter, there is plenty of food for all!

White Throated Sparrow thanks Fairegarden for the id!


On a day like this all the birds are welcome!



The clever chickadees are almost always first on the scene, but, I must admit~

My heart belongs to the Tufted Titmouse!

Erysimum

Elsewhere in the garden~the wallflowers are still standing~

Do stop over to see what other bloggers are celebrating their First Snowfall with Nancy!


Warmest thoughts of you all,
xxoogail

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The First Snowfall

Tonight Middle Tennessee is resting peacefully beneath a blanket of snow. Bitter cold set in here as it has in much of the eastern United States.  With the cold came swirling winds and all this white stuff.  So far this winter cold we’ve been experiencing is about 20 degrees below the normal averages for our region. December has been extremely cold! What I find interesting is that two years ago on December 12th we also had our first snowfall of 2008 (more on the 2008 December Snowfall).

I’ll take more pictures tomorrow when I actually go out in the snow but here’s a glimpse of what we’ve had so far! I also posted a couple webcam videos of the snowfall on The Home Garden Facebook page – not extremely riveting videos I’ll admit – but snowfall is always exciting to see the first time each year!

On the front porch.
The Blue Garden Shed

The Patio under snow
On Tomorrow’s Garden Agenda:
Sledding!
Hot Chocolate
Maybe a snowman!

Don’t forget to visit Nancy’s First Snowfall Project!

Originally written by Dave @ The Home Garden
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without permission. No feed scraping is permitted.
All Rights Reserved.


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The Ups and Downs of Using Snow Throwers

Every year after the snowfall, I promise myself that I am going to buy a snow thrower, and every year after the snow melts, I tell myself they are a waste of time and money.

For those of you blessed with warm weather climates, there are basically two ways to remove snow from a sidewalk and driveway. You can shovel it, which can be back-breaking work (and more than one person has had a heart attack while shoveling snow) or you can buy a snow thrower.

This machination basically acts as a snow till. Starting at one end, you turn on the snow thrower and the blades under the machine rotate and catch the snow. The snow is thrown out of the way, thus clearing a path. Growing up, I would see people with these and think, Why would you spend your money on that? Snow shoveling isn’t that big a deal. Then I got older.

Suddenly, lifting up that snow with a shovel takes a lot more effort, and it usually leaves my back aching for several days afterward. If it is a particularly bad snow storm or one that last a few days, my frozen butt is out there several times a day making sure that people don’t slip on my sidewalks and that my car can get out of the driveway.

My neighbor pulls out his monster, and the driveway is clear in five minutes. Then he’s back inside with hot cocoa. It’s during this time that I usually curse the idea that I didn’t buy one when they were cheap during the summer and vow to get one come spring. I am way too cheap to pay full price during the winter.

When the spring finally gets here and the snow melts, my mind once again reverts back to the old ways. It’s probably been several weeks since I shoveled snow, and my back has since recovered. In other words, I am invincible again.

I convince myself that the snow thrower isn’t worth it and that shoveling wasn’t a big deal this year. Ugh, when will I learn? Let me say, for the record, that a day after I shoveled snow, snow throwers seemed like the best thing since sliced bread. OK, now it’s in print and I can’t change my mind this year.

Image Source:flickr.com/photos/11897810@N02/1205439160

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Role Reversal: Spring Cleaning in Winter

Here in Illinois, we had our first snowfall of the season this past weekend. Mother Nature dropped about six inches on us and followed it with bitterly cold temperatures and arctic winds.

Had it been warmer, my wife and I would have been outside with the kids building snowmen and having snowball fights, but it was too cold for the little ones. We were then kind of at a loss for what to do during the weekend. My wife would have been happy watching 24 hours of the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas shows.

I looked around the house and saw the perfect time to get things cleaned up and ready for Christmas. Needless to say, the idea of spending our snowed-in weekend cleaning the house was met with a chorus of groans.

In my opinion, winter is the perfect time to do your spring cleaning. You can’t go outside either because of the snow or the cold, the kids have winter break from school and even the place where you work shuts down for a couple days.

By winter cleaning, I am not talking about vacuuming the carpets and getting out the duster. I mean a complete cleaning job. Move the furniture and get that six-month-old cheese curl and dust off the top of the ceiling fan blades.

It’s time to scrub out the toilet, get the mildew off the shower and clean out the dust behind the refrigerator. Don’t forget that Christmas is coming soon, and you are going to be getting new things like toys for the kids, appliances and knick knacks, all for which you need to make room.

Be liberal and throw away or donate everything that you don’t need or want to replace anyway. We went into my children’s toy room and threw away tons of toys that were broken or too old for them. They protested until I told them that we would be buying more toys.

The only downside is that you end up with a lot of garbage bags. If your town or city does not have unlimited trash pickup, then think ahead and buy those garbage stickers so you can put your 20 bags of garbage on the curb.

It may seem like the waste of a weekend, but the satisfaction of waking up to a pristinely clean home is amazing. Also, the cleaning is out of the way, so when spring comes along, you can actually go out and enjoy it.

Image Source: flickr.com/photos/eyeliam/2290688775

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