The snow that fell today ran 6-10 inches in areas of Southwestern Virginia — a wet, heavy snow that coated the ground and trees, brought down limbs and clogged roads.
With temperatures predicted to drop below freezing tonight (and wind chills in the teens), Monday’s storm should be with us for most of the week.
As February ends, March arrives in a coat of white. God only knows that the next four weeks will bring.
The chirping alert started going off on my computer early Sunday. “Winter Storm Warning” Weatherbug proclaimed. Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard that before. But the warnings intensified during the day. Maybe this time they were right.
They were. Snow started falling around 10 p.m. By 11, white stuff covered the ground. By morning, three or four inches with snow on the ground with the stuff still falling and predictions of up to 10 inches before it ends sometime this afternoon.
Not just snow mind you. Nah, the dire forecasts include “wintry mix,” weatherese for a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain. Just good, old-fashioned snow. Lots of snow. Winter waited until the last day of February to show its true color.
And that color was white.
The clouds of an approaching winter storm provide yet another setting for this week’s moon.
I can’t recall a week when the moon provided so many “oohs and ahhs” opportunities. It’s beauty beckoned through the windshield as we drove home from a long Saturday of shopping and attention to the weekend HoneyDo list. It drew me back out into the 21-degree morning air to fumble with a tripod and shiver through numerous 30-second exposures to capture the right moment.
According to both the Weatherbug info center on my computer screen and the moonphase dial of our grandfather clock, February’s full moon is on the wane.
But we will look forward to its return in March.
Couldn’t resist. God, the moon views this month have been great.
When the morning sun streaks across my room
And I’m wakened up from another dream of you
Jack Greene’s lyrics from the song But You Know I Love You seemed especially apt this morning as the sunlight filtered through the trees behind our home.
Yes I’m on the road once again it seems
And all I’ve left behind is a chain of broken dreams
That song often went through my head when I was on the road, far away from home and the woman I loved. Too often our contact in those days came over a phone line as I ventured to far-away places to ply my trade.
How I wish that love is all we’d need to live
What a life we’d have cause I’ve got so much to give
And it seems so wrong and it breaks my heart
To know the dollar sign is all that’s keeping us apart
Too many times in those days I promised to get off the road and make a new life that would keep us closer together. Too many times I broke that promise.
But you know we can’t live on dreams alone
And to pay the rent I must leave you all alone
But I had to I make my choice many years ago
And now this traveling life is the only life I know
Now the road is just a memory. My trips are limited to morning walks and drives I can make out and back in one day.
And if only I could find my way back to the time
When the problems of this life had not yet crossed our minds
All the answers could be found in children’s nursery rhymes
We made it back my love. From now on, the morning sun is ours to share.
Fog moved into the county late today on the tails of winter weather that left some snow, some ice and a lot of wet.
With the temperature headed back up on Friday, fog should increase overnight and provide even more photographic opportunities in the morning. Since the snowfall wimped out, we’ll take what we can get.
When the going gets foggy, the foggy set the aperture on f/8 and shoot.
For a moment or two it looked like we might get some real snow. Finally, I thought, a chance to use that big, fancy snow thrower that sits in the garage, ready for its chance at greatness.
No such luck. It snowed. Then it quit. Barely enough to cover the ground. Enough to close schools in Floyd County for the day but not enough to do much else. Here we are heading for the end of February and the county has yet to see a real society-threatening winter storm.
Maybe March will give us a real snow job. Something we can sink our snow throwers into, something that will justify the cost of that fancy, fully-automated generator that sits behind the house, something that proves Mother Nature is in charge here and we, as wimpy humans, are powerless to resist.
Or maybe not. Maybe Mother Nature is throwing us a curve, a final rasberry, a thumbing of her nose.
The ultimate snow job.
Can’t help it. Can stay up all night photographing the moon. Love shooting that lifeless orb and a cloudy night offers even more opportunities. Clouds started moving in late Wednesday as the talking heads on the tube yapped about snow and freezing rain. So a few more last minute opportunities to get this month’s full moon as Moon Shine Wars, Part Tres comes to an end.
To get the detail on the photo above, I exposed for the clouds and then isolated the moon in Photoshop and enhanced the detail. The shot at right was also expoosed for the clouds with no enhancement of either clouds or moon. Both photos were shot in raw mode on a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II with a 300mm F/2.8 USM IS lens. Exposure was 22 seconds for each with white balance set to tungsten to enhance the blue in the sky.
Jim Fletcher over at Austin Country Limits and Andy at One Reporter’s Opinion joined the Moon Shine Wars this month and offered great images. Fred First at Fragments From Floyd showed up late. Some lame excuse about the dog eating a dead squirrel and barfing on the rug.
Some readers emailed today to say they would like a closer look at our home at night. Hmmm. Casing the joint are we? Remember, this is the country and we’re armed.
Among the many reasons we bought this home last year were the beautiful surroundings and the sight of it lit up by floodlights at night.
We’re proud of it. Thanks for asking.
Some of the competition has been touting their closeups of the moon. Guess I’ll have to shoot one too. The full moon as seen through a 600mm F/4 Canon telephoto with a 1.4 tele-extender.
Clouds and snow are coming. This may be the last shot for this month’s full moon.