New Years 2008
Senate Thought Crime Bill Sponsor Responds

Maine Snowscape

category_bug_journal2.gif I had something more serious planned for the first "real" day of the new year, but the fourth and fifth (or is it fifth and sixth?) snowstorms of the season hit on Monday and Tuesday. I’m 5 feet 2 inches tall and the piles of snow at the curbs are now above my head.


These kids are from the 20 December storm. Even then the piled snow was deep enough that Mom didn’t need to find a hill for the children to play on.


Native and long-time Mainers have a lot more practice than I do at snow maintenance and these folks were clearing paths and cars on Monday, New Year's Eve, two hours before the storm ended.


Today is only 2 January, spring arrives much later this far north than in New York City, and I’ve had just about as much snow as I care to see already. Nevertheless, Mother Nature has some tricks up her sleeve that even I, in my now dampened enthusiasm for the beauties of winter, can appreciate.


Workmen started fixing the roof of this house behind mine about two months ago. I doubt they’ll have much use for that ladder to finish the job for awhile.


This is my little, red PT Cruiser (shot from my second-story window) when there were still another two or three hours worth of snow to be dumped on us Monday.


Understandably, the city of Portland, Maine, has all the right equipment for moving and removing snow. Early Tuesday morning, they had gone beyond plowing it off to the sides of the road to trucking it out of neighborhoods. This is what may be the world's largest snow blower and I'll bet it's a tricky operation driving the dump truck so close behind the blower truck that their bumpers are kissing.


As if Monday's storm were not enough, Tuesday dawned with weather predictions of another storm to begin in the afternoon that would leave an additional eight to 11 inches of the white stuff behind. A few flakes began to flurry at 3PM and the city sent out an email alert informing residents there would be a "parking ban" that night - the second in two days: no cars on any streets from 10PM to 6AM.


By dusk, two hours later, the snow was beginning to pile up a bit, but my newly-acquired, northern snow antennae were telling me the weather people were blowing more smoke than snow about the size of the second storm.


And I was right - the second storm was, thankfully, a dud. When I looked out the front window this morning, the snow had been neatly cleaned off the street during the night and there are barely two inches needing to be removed from the sidewalk.

And so it goes in a Portland, Maine, winter - until next time. After all, it's only January 2. But take a look at these birds on a wire – and on a roof – lined up at the height of Monday's storm. Snow and cold don’t seem to bother crows much, nor the seagulls (the smudge in the upper right corner) who soared as high as on a clear, summer day.


[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Nancy Leitz explains what a clever husband she has in Roy Wins the Thermostat War.]


Well, here in Seattle I am ready to see a bit of snow. I become weary with it when I am forced inside for too many days, however, but we have had only a bit of dusting this winter so we are ready! Nice photos. Stay warm and dry. Happy New Year!

I think I would not be amused by all that snow.

Not to be the bearer of bad news but we got a couple inches here in Ohio and more my be coming and it usually heads over to Pittsburgh and then NE from here. It's really cold (15) so it may not snow more.

I got up this morning and obviously Isaac had been busy before he left for school -- my walks were clear and my car was brushed off! I am so blessed to have such great neighbors!

Happy New year, Ronni. I enjoyed these pictures of snow very much. I miss it! I remember those days back in Buffalo and here in Philly weather is not half as interesting!

I remember the last time I experienced snow in Normandy, I found it exciting for about three hours, but then realized that I couldn't use my car which was covered with snow that stuck (very unusual here) and that it quickly becomes a huge amount of work. Especially for elders, I would say. And I knew that it was only a matter of a couple of days for the snow to melt and I could rely on my freezer for that amount of time.
Now you really depend on your car!
My thoughts are with you.
The photos are great, of course, from where I am sitting!

Your photos are beautiful but looking at them is as close to snow as I want to get.

We, in the Southwest, pay the price of no (or little) snow when the summer heat arrives. Nonetheless, I can stand heat better than I can snow. I have always hated being cold. So you snow lovers can keep it.

Love your pictures, Ronni. Pittsburgh is getting some snow today, but nothing like what you have or what I used to experience in Chicago. Not to make you jealous, but I was in New York all last week. Some of the days were actually balmy. They were getting some precip as I left yesterday.

I am just down the road a piece from you in Massachusetts - near Newburyport where we think we have had record snowfall in December. However you have much more. My advice - buy snowshoes- makes climbing around on all that snow much easier! Take up cross-country skiing - nothing like an outdoor winter sport to make all that snow more appealing. And when the roads are clear - load up on long underwear! All the snow will be gone by April. Meanwhile - that ladder on the neighbor's house is right in place for removing snow from the roof and preventing ice jams.
Welcome to a real New England winter.
Great photos too -

Forgive me, but as a lifelong Buffalonian I'm LOL! We have the reputation, but as far as I'm concerned, you can have the snow.
For me, the secret to enjoying it is to not have to drive in it. I agree with others: X-country skiing changed my attitude about winter. With osteoporosis (and presently nursing a broken wrist from a slip on ice), I may take up snowshoes. A friend tells me she feels much more secure on them, and it gives her a better workout.

Guess I'll stop complaining now about Boston's snowy winter thus far.

Anonmom: Gone by April? I don't think so...We had snowfalls in Portland last year until at least halfway through April?

I remember marveling one year in New York City that it snowed so late - on 4 April. According to the natives here in Maine, that and beyond is normal.

Looks like Minnesota, although we haven't had that much snow for the past several years (global warming?). As someone else said, it's fine so long as you don't have to drive in it.

Ronni after looking at your pictures I am so glad I live in Nashville, Tennessee. It is bitter cold this morning. Like 20 degrees. We have something in common I am 5ft 2 also. Since discovering the blogging world about 4 months ago I am finding much pleasure in about a dozen sites. Yours the first I read every morning. Thought of having a blog but just reading them and doing all else that needs tending to seems the day is gone. I can surely see how one could become addicted to the blog world. When I see the number of blogs that many people read and then they also write the thought comes to mind where do they find the time. But then yesterday I had a 2 and 5 year old with me. My granddaughters.
Stay warm Ernestine

Wow, beautiful pictures but I know snow can get old fast when it limits getting around. In the Pacific Northwest there hasn't been much snow for several years but I do remember such years from the past. I guess I don't mind so much 'driving' to enjoy the snow which for us is the Cascades or Eastern Oregon, and then leaving it there :)

Seeing your pictures reminds me why we chose to move south when we retired. I put up with Wisconsin winters for over 30 years and never learned to love snow. I did enjoy cross country skiing but despised ice skating as my feet were always cold.

The photos are all so beautiful. We've had to get used to the snow shovel in Santa Fe... no need for it in NYC!!! It makes it a little harder to get out when the heavy snows come. Nothing like that bodega across the street in NYC!

I am with Darlene all the way. Are you wishing you had moved south, Ronni?

kenju: not at all. I'm never more miserable than in hot, humid weather. I don't object to cold or snow - if I didn't have to dig out the damned car.

It's four definitive seasons I like, that mark the passage of time so dramatically.

Hey, Ronni, didn't you know it's a dry heat in Arizona? I have never been more miserable than I was in Massachusetts in the summer when the temperature was 90* and the humidity was almost as high. I had to move back to Arizona in August to cool off. ;)

The pix add so much to this kind of commentary. TY for including them.

I was born and raised in Schenectady, New York. I had relatives who visited Miami. I remember peering at a snowbank over my head, bundled in one of those nylon snowsuits children wore in those days with stout rubber galoshes and a scarf swaddling the bottom half of my face.

And I thought -- God has put me with the wrong family. I remedied the mistake by moving south of the Mason-Dixon line as soon as I was old enough to do so. My mother and bother could not stand the sultry Chesapeake Bay summers and would not visit. So I guess these preferences are not always genetic.

I, OTOH, eventually reached my mecca, Florida. I admit the summer can be too hot, but I've been in Austin in the summer and that's hot enough to make your head explode. A summer place in the Rockies would be nice. Hahaha.

Tennessee summers are horrible. We have four seasons, but I only like two of them - fall and spring. I love central and northern Arizona and know what you mean, Darlene. Guess I'm stuck here but might be able to spend some time there in the summer.

Great photos, Ronni! Hang in there!

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