captpackrat: (Camera)

Just a light snowfall...



Icicles hanging from the roof.



I've had this incense for a couple years now and only recently realized the adapter they included with it is just a spent .22LR shell with a screw through it.
captpackrat: (Weather - Dr. George)
First snow of the season today.  We've gotten about 2 inches so far and could receive a third overnight.

This means I have to start feeding the sheep and goats, since there's no longer any visible grass for them.  I need to buy some more alfalfa cubes, since we're low.  We've got plenty of pellets, but they tend to eat those too quickly; the cubes take some time to eat.  Fortunately the new goats have finally figured out that the barn makes better shelter than the deck.  I still locked them in for the night, anyway.  They don't need to be wandering around in the snow tonight.

I'm a bit worried about my SO.  He doesn't get off work until Midnight, and then he's got to drive home in this.

Snow away

Mar. 21st, 2010 10:27 am
captpackrat: (Weather - Dr. George)
We got about an inch of snow Friday night.  Saturday morning when we headed out to do our weekly shopping, the ground was completely white.  The high temperature for the day was near freezing, and the sky was hazy all afternoon.  But by the time we got home that evening, the snow had completely melted.

We really don't need any more precipitation.  The ground is extremely muddy around here, and many of the area rivers are at or above flood stage.  The Hydrologic Information Center website says that 174 gauges are reporting flooding, with 22 reporting major flooding.  Another 136 gauges are near flood stage.  The Missouri River at Omaha is reporting 27.6 feet; the flood stage is 29 feet.  At Brownville, the Missouri has reached 37.3 feet and is rising; at 38 feet the Cooper Nuclear Power Plant begins flooding preparations.

Fortunately the forecast appears to be dry for the week ahead, with temps in the 50s.
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
So much for any hope of getting my car out of the garage.

Yesterday, most of the snow had melted.  The only remaining snow was some of the giant drifts, and even those were rapidly shrinking into nothingness.  The driveway was extremely muddy and I could see some considerable erosion in the neighbor's cornfields.  The grass was just beginning to turn green again and the sheep were tentatively grazing.

This morning, however, I was greeted with a sea of white.  It started raining yesterday evening and turned to snow overnight.  It's a very wet, sticky snow so there's no drifting.  Some of the flakes are enormous, more like snowballs than snowflakes.  It looks like we got about 1-1/2 to 2 inches so far and it's still coming down.

The forecast calls for snow from now through Saturday.  They claim there will be little or no accumulation, but that's what they originally said about today.

Snowmelt

Mar. 7th, 2010 05:52 pm
captpackrat: (Sheep)
There is so much snow and it's all starting to melt at once that the little waterfall in the creek just south of here is absolutely roaring.

The snow has melted enough that we've been able to let the sheep and goats out of the barn.  The goats have lost a bit of their tameness, but they're quickly remembering that I'm the good guy.  I'm going to need to retrain them to dance on their hind legs for treats.  The ram is more affectionate than ever; he's absolutely just the sweetest thing now.

There's still over a foot of snow on my side of the garage.  That area is shaded by the woods, so it'll probably be weeks before I can use my car again.  It's been trapped in the garage since December!

I'm even beginning to see traces of green in the grass.  It'll be nice to have the sheep back on grass instead of feeding them expensive alfalfa.
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
I just missed the guy with the giant snowblower, so I didn't get any pictures of it in action.  It was probably quite a sight.

Here's an idea of what it had to contend with:

That stick in the middle of the picture is a yard stick (0.914 meters)



My roommate's black Labrador retriever frolicking on top of the snow drift.  He likes to play King of the Hill.
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
I haven't really been outside since the last snow storm, which allegedly dropped just 4 inches.  This morning, I was woken up by my roommate who needed my help opening the gate because someone was here with a snow blower-equipped tractor.

I had no idea the snow drifts had gotten this bad.  The massive drift across the driveway has evolved into a glacier, about 4 feet deep at it's worst, extending completely across the driveway from the house to the barn, and from beyond the gate to the garage.  Fortunately the area around the gate was a mere 1-1/2 to 2 feet deep.

The gate was stuck closed tight as a drum, so I started digging out the side I could reach and digging out the path where the sliding gate slides.  The biggest problem is that the guide wheels were set at ground level; the holes underneath had become packed solid with ice.  Without the guide wheels turning, you have to shove the entire weight of the gate across the metal wheels.  We cleaned up under the wheels as best we could, then it took myself, my SO and our roommate all throwing our weight into the gate to get it open.

That was the first half of the gate, which is enough to get most cars or pickups through, but a big tractor like that needs both halves of the gate opened.  Because the ground slopes upwards on that side, the other half of the gate is a swinging gate.  That meant clearing everything in front of it.  The top foot or so was snow, easy enough to move, but underneath were thick layers of very hard ice which took a lot of work to break up.

Unfortunately, it took so long for us to get the gate open that the guy with the tractor left.  Hopefully he'll be back tomorrow.

The forecast last night called for temperatures as low as -23°F (-30.6°C), but it only got down to -5°F (-20.6°C).  Starting tomorrow the temperatures should return to a more normal winter level, with highs in the 20's instead of below zero.  There's a very slight chance of snow Monday morning, but it shouldn't amount to anything at all.  Hopefully this will be the last of the snow for the year.
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
-13.9°F (-25.5°C) this morning.  Just a few degrees warmer than the coldest temperature I've ever recorded, which was -15.5°F (-26.4°C)  in January 2007.  We had an inch or so of snow this evening.

The forecast for the next week doesn't get above 11°F (-12°C), and we're looking at another chance at a record low Friday morning.  There's a chance of snow every single day through Wednesday.  The snow drift down the middle of the driveway isn't getting any smaller and probably won't for several weeks at least.

Snow Mice-r

Jan. 2nd, 2010 05:00 pm
captpackrat: (Hiding in the plants)


This little field mouse was hiding underneath the truck my roommate had parked down at the end of the driveway before the recent blizzard.  She nearly got run over when we moved the truck and she was none too happy about her shelter suddenly driving off.  It was freaking cold, I was half-blinded by the glare from the snow and I was using my #3 camera, so I'm surprised it came out as well as it did.
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
It finally stopped snowing this morning.  Can't really tell how much snow we got because it drifted so badly.  There are patches where you can still see the grass peeking out, and other areas deep enough to drown a Great Dane.  Nearest NWS spotter reported 15 inches.

The mysterious stranger with the plow came around again, but although our front gate was wide open, he didn't continue inside; he just plowed up to the gate and stopped.

I went out briefly today to measure the depth of the snow drifts.  There's a massive drift running more or less down the length of the driveway, about 30 feet wide and nearly 200 feet long.  When I started climbing into it, it only measured about 24 inches deep and the snow was pretty firm about half way down, so it was fairly easy to cross.  But I forgot the ground slopes downwards on the other side of the drive, so about half way across it started getting deeper and softer.  When the snow swallowed my yardstick, I knew I was in trouble.  I had to lay down in the snow and scoot my way across.  By the time I managed to make it back into the house, I was soaking wet and exhausted.

Looks like the Ratmobile will stay in drydock for a few more weeks, at least.

I hope the whole winter isn't like this.
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
It's been snowing since the evening of the 23rd.
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
The NWS is forecasting 8 to 12 inches of snow and winds of 25 to 35 MPH, with higher gusts, so we're gonna have huge snow drifts again.  The drifts from the LAST snow storm two weeks ago are still nearly a foot deep.

The sheep & goats are locked in the barn so they'll stay nice and warm and the front gate is wide open, just in case the guy who plowed our driveway last time comes around again.

Snow blows

Dec. 10th, 2009 04:21 pm
captpackrat: (Dead)
The worst thing about snow isn't getting stuck at home, unable to drive anywhere. It isn't having to carry water and food all the way out to the barn instead of the animals coming to us. It isn't the dogs going outside and coming back soaking wet. No, the worst part about snow is having to shovel the steps and the deck.

There was much too much snow to have bothered with salt (and I couldn't find the stuff, anyway), so the bottom layer of the snow ended up melting and refreezing. Shoveling snow isn't that bad, breaking up sheets of ice is the real pain.

I managed to find the salt bucket; someone had moved it to the garage and didn't tell me. They also didn't seal it properly, so the whole top layer was one solid mass. It took a lot of pounding with a screwdriver to break it into semi-usable chunks.

One of the neighbors plowed our driveway this morning. Unfortunately, the front gate was closed, so he stopped there and turned around. Now there's a big mound of snow in front of the gate and the remaining 200 or so feet of driveway inside the gate still has 1-2 feet of snow. At least now the UPS truck can pull up to the gate.

No chance in hell of getting my car out of the garage for at least a week. With super-wide, nearly worn-out ultra-high-performance tires and no Positraction, I'd get stuck within a few feet if I tried to pull out.
captpackrat: (Gadget Curious)


Silly squirrels.

Buried

Dec. 9th, 2009 01:18 pm
captpackrat: (Default)
NWS storm report says we got about 12 inches of snow, which appears to be about right. The wind is really strong outside and although it's no longer snowing, the wind is really whipping the existing snow around. There are several drifts across the driveway, including one nearly 28 inches (70 cm) deep!


That's a yard stick sticking out of the snow bank.

I'll take more pictures later; it's much too cold right now. It's about 6°F (-14.3°C) outside right now, with winds gusting to 22 mph (35.4 kph), making for a windchill of -11°F (-24°C).
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
First time I've seen a Blizzard Watch. There's also a Winter Storm Warning. We got about 2 to 2-1/2 inches of snow last night and the forecast calls for another inch tonight, then 11 to 13 inches Tuesday.

Highs Wednesday will be around 9°F with winds gusting to 35 mph. Can you say "wind chill"?

Definitely not going anywhere for a while.

EDIT: Just took a look at the national severe weather map. Holy Moley! Winter weather statements stretching from Los Angeles to Michigan, affecting some 18 different states. That's one heck of a storm.

Uh-oh.

Dec. 6th, 2009 05:03 pm
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
* Snow accumulations: as a result of these two systems... total
accumulations by Wednesday morning is expected to be generally
in the range of 10 to 13 inches.

It's just getting worse.

Snow

Dec. 5th, 2009 11:49 pm
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
Sunday: A chance of snow in the morning, then snow in the afternoon. Snow in the evening. Total accumulation 2 to 4 inches. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Monday: A chance of snow in the evening, then snow likely after midnight. Light snow accumulations.

Tuesday: Snow. Moderate snow accumulations. Snow likely in the evening, then a chance of snow after midnight. Areas of blowing snow. Light snow accumulations.

Wednesday: Areas of blowing snow in the morning.

Thursday: A 20 percent chance of snow.

Snow

Oct. 10th, 2009 08:37 am
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
It's snowing.  In October.  And not just a slight dusting, there's at least a couple inches of accumulation so far.  Everything is covered in white.

The goats and the young ram are out playing in the snow; you can see the tracks from where they've been running around.  Our elderly ewe, who's normally the leader of the flock, wanted nothing to do with it and was hanging out in the barn doorway where it's warm and dry, at least until I let the dogs out, then she came racing over to protect her flock and to hit me up for food.

I'm glad I did the grocery shopping yesterday.
captpackrat: (Weather - Dr. George)
April 5th and it snowed.  We didn't get much here; most of it melted by the time I got up, though there was some snow accumulation between the rows in the soybean field behind the house.  Some places north of us got as much as 6 or 7 inches.

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