Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter "Wonderland"

I'm no stranger to snow. After all, I was born and raised in Eastern Washington.

For those of you whose only exposure to Washington is Seattle and rain, Eastern Washington is quite different. Once you cross the Cascade Mountains everything changes. The Douglas Firs give way to Ponderosa Pines. The dense underbrush turns to sagebrush and cactus. The wet turns to dry in the summer and snow in the winter.


So I grew up with snow and learned to drive in snow. That doesn't mean I like it. Oh, yeah, it's pretty--for a while--then I've had enough of the stuff. I've never been a cold weather person. In Western Washington, you have all sorts of complications when it snows which I didn't have in Eastern Washington. For one, the traffic is a heck of a lot worse. People aren't used to driving in snow, nor are cities and counties used to dealing with snow. Crazy drivers seem to think that four-wheel-drives stop faster or have some magic way to get traction on ice.

This past week, we've had the snow storm of the decade in Western Washington. Luckily for us, the snow was mostly an inconvenience. It could've been much worse. Mother Nature gave us fair warning, starting with a preview of 2 to 3 inches last weekend, then a few more at the beginning of the week. On Wednesday, the main event brought ten plus inches of snow in about eight hours, piled on top of the existing snow. That's a lot of snow, even in areas used to handling snow. The encore came in the form of an ice storm with freezing rain and high wind warnings.

It could have been so much worse. I missed a few days of work but was able to telecommute and do most of my job from home. My husband only missed one day and had the roads to himself on his drive to work the second day. We lost power for only six hours, while many unfortunate people still don't have power. Several of our trees lost their tops during the ice storm portion, but nothing hit our house, the fences, or the barn.

Our animals fared well. The cat, a creature of comfort, refused to go outside for three days, while the dogs loved the snow.

I spent a lot of time breaking ice from the water trough and hauling buckets from the tack room to the stall. I couldn't get the wheelbarrow through the snow, so the stall needed a good cleaning today.



Gailey had had enough of being cooped up so I opened up the pasture gate and let her run. I happened to have my camera in hand as the dogs and I stood outside the gate and watched as she ran laps around the small pasture. She'd rip along the fence line, wheel around, and gallop back toward me. With move that'd make a reining horse jealous, she'd slide to a stop inches from the gate, snow flying. She'd wheel around again, bucking and rearing and race back across the pasture. Her sheer joy over her freedom was a treat to watch, and I thought I'd share some pictures with you. I hope you enjoy them.

14 comments:

Francesca Prescott said...

BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS!!!Snow is a pain, but it's very photogenic, don't you think?! Gailey looks amazing. I love your property...sooo jealous!!! xxxx

lmel said...

Yup, driving in it can be tiresome, but it is lovely, the horses love it, and if we just could get enough, we can go skijoring! I'd like to have the winter off from work--just time to play, read, and write.

Natalie Keller Reinert said...

Yay awesome photos! I'll never forget moving my horse from Florida to Maryland in time for the blizzard of 96. We took him out in the drifts and he was like HELP ME HELP THE HORSE OH HELP!

Hopefully your snow will discreetly melt before you are sick of it and everything is slushy and horrible.

Dreaming said...

You caught some great shots of Gailey romping in the snow. What fun! And... love the cat. Yup... he nabbed the perfect spot!

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Horses love a fresh snow as much as kids! I caught a great photo sequence last year of synchronized horse angel snow rolls. It was awesome.

Susan said...

My sister lives western Washington. I hadn't heard if they got snow, guess they did.

Great photos.

Laura Crum said...

I loved your photos of Gailey in the snow! It reminds me of the first time I turned my horses out in snow (many years ago). They had never seen it before, and they had SO much fun playing in it. But I'm like you--a few days, even a week, is fine/fun, then I'm ready to be done with snow and below freezing temps.

Angelia Almos/Angie Derek said...

Love the pictures of Gailey in the snow. Such a sweetheart. Reminds me of my old horse. I live in snow country, sigh, and am sick of it in about a week. Winter has been very late here. My big fear is this means winter until June again. I'd rather it just dump until March and then clear up. We need the precip, but still winter until the summer is no fun.

Linda said...

I live in Eastern Washington, so I know what you mean. I was trying to get to Seattle (Gig Harbor) last Thursday am, but Seatac was iced over. Thank goodness, we didn't make it, because you had those horrible ice storms. The B&B where we stay had trees falling around it and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was shut down both ways. I'm glad to read you survived it!

AareneX said...

Thanks for sharing your pictures. It's nice to look at photos instead of seeing all that icky white stuff out the window all week. So glad to see our green again!

Linda Benson said...

Jami - great pictures, and Gailey's having such a good time! We had even more snow than you did, but I picked this week to visit my daughter in AZ, so I was hiking in the sunshine while my husband was stuck home with the critters and the storm. (Darn.)

Our animals behaved the same as yours. Dogs romping through the snow, cats in front of the fireplace, donkeys mostly in the barn. Amazing how fast it all went away though, and I missed most of it. But I'm not a bit sad!

Martha Seaman McKee said...

Love that kitty. :)

Alison said...

Gailey looks like a young filly! You need to invest in a warmer to stick in your water trough. It saves all that ice hacking and the horses drink more, which can be a problem in winter.

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