28 January 2006

Tempête de neige

Today we are having what is the biggest "snowstorm" we have had here over the past three winters. We figure we have about three inches of snow on the ground right now, and it is still snowing. And wouldn't you know it? I need to go out this afternoon. I absolutely have to go to the pharmacy in Saint-Aignan. I'm waiting to see if they come put some sand or salt on the road. The hill from the main road, down in the river valley, up to our house is pretty steep. I can always drive around through town and come in the back way, on the gravel road through the vineyard, if the paved road is too slippery. But it's been many years since I've had to deal with this much snow.

I did live in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, back in the 1970s. Those winters were something to see, especially in 1977, '78, and '79. We lived through snows two feet deep and temperatures in the minus twenties fahrenheit. And then I lived in Washington, DC, where in 1983 we had nearly 20 inches of snow overnight in February. But back then I had a four-wheel drive car. Walt is from Albany, NY, so he has seen his share of snowstorms too. But after living in the San Francisco area for almost 20 years, and now here for about three, we are out of practice. The snow is exciting, but it doesn't take much to remind you how much trouble it is to cope with it.

The back yard on this snowy day.

Our hedge and the neighbors' house across the road.

View of a white landscape from the kitchen window.

Geraniums blooming on the front porch against a a snowy background.

Yesterday, before the snow fell, I put some bread crumbs out
on the ground for the birds. The crumbs are buried under snow
now, but the birds are out there pecking at them anyway.


  1. You know, people from certain parts of the world are going to look at this and think, "you call that a snowstorm?" We are weather wimps. Out of practice? Hell, yes.

  2. That's why I put "snowstorm" in quotes. Weather wusses, that's the term I used in California, where a dark cloud and a light breeze constitutes a big storm "slamming into the Bay Area." I managed to drive to the pharmacy and back this afternoon without too much trouble. There weren't many cars on the road, though.

  3. Is it possible to walk to the pharmacy (suitably shod of course)?
    Fun talking to you today! Email isn't the same...
    Chris p

  4. It's about two miles to the pharmacy, so it is certainly walkable. You have to hike along the shoulder of the road, but there isn't that much traffic.

    The first year or even two that we lived here there was a man who walked along that road to Saint-Aignan most mornings and then back home again. We saw him all the time, and even in very hot weather he always had a coat on. Somebody told us that his name was Mickey and that he walked to town to go to the café-tabac, where he had a coffee and bought a lottery ticket. His round-trip walk was about 8 miles.

    The "walking man" has now dropped out of sight. We heard that his health was not good and that he had to give up his daily hike.

  5. Lol, you're right Walter, but great photos, as usual!

  6. Ben, alors, cheu nous, en Normandie, y a pas de neige, na :-) !!! Bises. Marie

  7. S'il n'y a pas eu de neige en Normandie, c'est parce qu'il pleuvait, sûrement !

    Zut, je m'étais dit que je ne recommencerais pas... Raté. ;^0

  8. Ken,
    Beautiful photos. And the comment about Mickey was a mini-blog entry by itself!

    I almost didn't go birding yesterday because of the predictions of rain... and I was cold in low 50F (10C) degree temperatures.

    A Weather Wimp (ldqupt)

  9. the letters I had to type for my post.
    Today they are knbdastr

  10. Tu as osé écrire : S'il n'y a pas eu de neige en Normandie, c'est parce qu'il pleuvait, sûrement !

    Zut, je m'étais dit que je ne recommencerais pas... Raté. ;^0

    Et bien, on peut dire que tes promesses fondent comme neige au soleil/melt away :-) !!!

    Et note bien qu'il NE PLEUT PAS EN NORMANDIE DEPUIS UN CERTAIN TEMPS, na ! Quand il neigeait chez toi, il faisait un beau soleil cheu nous, na ! Bises. Marie la Normande ;-)

  11. Cheryl, those letters are entirely too close to being an anagram for ken b*st*rd. Are you making this up?

  12. Marie, as-tu sorti tes lunettes noires ?

  13. Gee, Ken, I thought of Ken B Disaster.


  14. Cheryl, you think that's better? oobxq

  15. Marie, as-tu sorti tes lunettes noires ?

    Oui, na :-) ! Mais, pas... mon chapeau, lol ! Bises. Marie


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?