Winter Huffs and Puffs. The House Still Stands.

Sudden snow-devils caused whiteout on Goose Creek ~ click to enlarge

Calm and 17 degrees this morning beats Saturday’s 2 degrees and 30 mph winds that sent sudden squalls of snow east, west or south. Our valley was a great mixing bowl, an eddy in the great current of polar air that settled over southwest Virginia for the weekend.

Less than a minute after I snapped this shot with frozen fingers on my way back from replacing the chickens’ bowl of ice with a bowl of tap water, another gust sent stinging crystals of ice in a white out so I couldn’t see the house for a minute.

I carried in an armload of wood and stayed inside the rest of the day. The chickens found their barn stall out of the wind. We hunkered down. And we’re about to do the same again today, another 3-5″ followed by sleet and ice.

Even so, it’s a tamer winter snow-wise than last year. We’re not yet at mid-winter, so anything can happen. Something will.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Fred,

    The wind kept me inside something–cabin and car–most of the day yesterday. This morning, I ventured out with Dog and Baby Dog but their walks were shortened ones. It’s official, I think. I don’t do wind well.