Thursday, March 22, 2012

Early Spring Snow

No one predicted it. No one was expecting it. Even when, at 11:30 pm Tuesday night I watched the rain that had poured down all day switch over to snow, there was no indication of what was to come. But by Wednesday morning, up at the ranch several inches of snow lay thick all over everything. And it was STILL coming down. The predicted 'possibly a few flakes mixed in with the rain' and 'highs in the 50's' for Wednesday didn't materialize. It snowed all day long, temps barely got above freezing, and by nightfall, disaster had struck our part of Oregon. The city of Eugene had declared a snow emergency. Trees were snapping and falling all over the place, including up here. Our morning packwalk sounded like a battlefield, with limbs snapping and falling and entire trees thudding to the ground, along with powerlines whipping from the weight of the heavy, wet snow falling off of them, causing so many power outages that we gave up resetting the clocks. The last time snow like this had fallen in Eugene, it was 1969. And the last time this much snow had fallen this late in the season was in 1995. By this morning, the snow was up to the top of my Muck boots, which measure 21" tall. I think this would be the first time that I've had lambs and calves playing in the snow on the ranch!

Today, temps aren't predicted to get much out of the 30's, which means that while snow will melt, it will likely freeze tonite, making tomorrow even more of a potential disaster than yesterday. Hopefully a lot will melt, the roads will be clear, and things won't be as bad as they could be. Our biggest concern is the trees - while no leaves or buds have popped out on them, the heavy, wet snow bent a lot of limbs up to and in some cases beyond their breaking point. We even lost limbs off the big Doug firs, something you don't see very often, as the Dougs shed snow really well. The old red barn roof and the poo flinger have a large limb off one of the ancient Oregon white oaks lying on them; Juan will be over later to cut it all up and haul it off for firewood since we don't need it.

But one thing is for sure. I don't think there is a place on earth more beautiful in the snow than our piece of paradise out here in the Coast Range Foothills of Western Oregon. Lots of pictures; enjoy the slide show!

Dale moved Really Big Red out of the dairy barn garage, just in case one of the oaks fell on it or shed a big limb onto it. RBR probably thinks he's back home in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where we've had more snow this year than they have. And, they were pushing 90 there yesterday

The morning sun hits Don's fir trees to the west of us this morning early

This just looked cool, the perfect line of snow alongside the gazebo

Zoom and Zamora enjoy their first ever snow

The lambs, also enjoying their first serious snowfall

One of the ancient pear trees in the orchard sheds a few limbs

The house, as always, breathtaking in the snow

Looking east towards Bellfountain

The Norway maple and ancient black walnut where the swing is, magnificent with frosting

Succulents and daffodils by the bedroom windows

Looking west down Dawson from the front of the house, towards Green Peak

A huge shelf of snow ready to fall off the old red barn's west roof

One of the limbs the Doug shed, along with the big oak limb lying across the poo flinger and old red barn roof

Poor poo flinger! You can see where the limb departed from the trunk to the left side of the picture

Forsythia, covered in sunny yellow blooms and icy white snow

Wednesday morning packwalk on Park Road

Tuesday night - weird looking snowflakes appear to be falling UP

Wednesday early morning

From the kitchen window Wednesday morning, the devastated old dogwood, with one branch left attached. Unfortunately, there isn't any way to save it

On Park Road, where it hits Dawson Road, snow hieroglyphics. Don't ask me - I have no idea what they are or how they were made. Kinda like crop circles, you know?

Wednesday morning from the south pasture

Really kind of a cool shot - snow coming down Wednesday morning and a snow shelf about to pitch itself off the roof of the big silver barn


  1. Admit it, you're loving the new camera, right? I know I am.

  2. You sure are taking some great pictures! I have saved a couple just to use as my background on my computer. The pictures take me back many years to the time I was a paperboy and I had to deliver in the snow which I like so much better than delivering in the rain! Now all you need was a hood off an old Chevy so everyone can pile on and see how far you go sledding down the hill or have someone tie a rope onto the hood and to the back of RBR and see who falls off first!