Category: north idaho life

Chicken Little is Hollering, and Its Name is NOAA

NOAA keeps posting “Hazardous Weather Outlooks” amd “Winter Weather Advisories” for us here in North Idaho.  Ummm.  Okay.  I keep prepping for what that historically means:

  • four foot dumps of snow with rain immediately after which then collapses standard roofs;
  • wind-driven snow that forms six-foot drifts, visibility zero, wind-chill down to -26°F;
  • ice storms that put an inch-thick coating of frozen ‘slick’ on everything, tearing down power lines and trees….

What are we getting?  Yawn.  Not even something to sneeze at.

I notice the same trend for less obscure places than Idaho, places like Cleveland, OH, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and the Beltway.

“The sky is falling, the sky is falling, we’re going to get a [normal] winter weather event.  Driving will be reduced to IMPOSSIBLE!”

Roll my eyes.  Ah, it’s winter, folks.  Snow, ice, and slick driving conditions are the norm, not something to squawk like a chicken being chased by the neighbor’s dog.

New York gets two inches of white stuff, and, suddenly, it’s grid-lock and accidents galore resulting in highway shutdowns, all of which brings commuter accusations that the highway departments didn’t do their jobs laying down ‘salt’ (magnesium chloride in a lot of cases, which, in case you didn’t know it, is hazardous to living things and to vehicles, all).

Umm, slow down, obey the laws of physics, and don’t be a jackass?

But, no.  Instead, we’ve got the weather people warning of coming disaster when there’s no impending disaster, at all:

  • We’re not going to lose power for eight days mid-winter;
  • we’re not going to be digging out from under an avalanche of white stuff;
  • we’re not going to have to chain up the 4-wheel drive in order to negotiate the county road and highway;
  • our roofs are will not be in danger of collapse;
  • and going outside doesn’t mean a high potential for seared lungs, frozen faces, and frostbitten toes and fingers by sub-zero temperatures coupled with strong, bitter winds.

It’s Chicken Little hollering, is all.

And why? I think it must be because thoroughly modern Millies and Sillies and Willies and Weanies all think they should be able to drive down the road hell bent for their destinations at over posted speed limits like they do when it’s sunny and dry.  (Dumb.)

NOAA, don’t predict what’s actually mild to normal weather as a red alert.  Don’t play to the thoroughly modern Millies and Sillies and Willies and Weanies.  Normal people want to know when real hazards are imminent.  Don’t play to the stupids.  Let them win The Darwin Awards.


Today, it’s Pouring, but Yesterday…

Got a wonderful blast of sunshine yesterday. It was an absolutely glorious autumn day. Today? We’re back to much-needed rain. Enjoy. The first is a still-green maple sapling, the second is one of our century-old-plus cedars, the third is a shot of the also century-old tamaracks (larch) turned their wonderful autumn color just before they lose their needles. (Yes, they are one of the few pines that lose their needles every fall, so, those of you unfamiliar with them, don’t cut that tree that’s bare if its a larch, because, yes, it drops its leaves in the fall.)

maple sapling still green though it's fall one of our century-old-plus cedars century-old tamaracks turned their fall colors just before they shed all their needles for winter


Gravy Days in the Country

September and October are my favorite months. Yes, there’s November looming with its scramble to batten down the hatches, but September and October are those months where summer work is mostly done, and I can sit down and simply enjoy Earth.  Sure, there’s a bit of cleanup and tidying yet to do, but, all in all, it’s time to wallow in the relative quiet of kids gone back to school, tourists gone home — a time to embrace the Gravy Days, as my mother used to call them.

Our October this year didn’t start in gravy. There was a cold foreboding to the weather that promised a very cold, hard winter.  Everybody felt it.  Then, midway through, things changed.  And we got, not Indian Summer, but Gravy Days, all the same. Last fall clean-ups in pleasant progress and, yes, finally, the roofing crew, promised in Spring, here two days before the rains come.

My biggest project prior to November is … raking the drive and the pathways in preparation for snow removal this winter, manual clean-up necessary to get the bits of branches and fallen leaves cleared so they don’t get sucked into the snow blower with our inevitable wet snow and bind up the big machine, which, if and when that happens, makes me turn the air, not just blue, but purple with my cussing.

The Roofing Job, Done Late (Very), But Done

Hand-Raking the Drive

Halfway done (the rest, already completed, is behind me)

Three-quarters done

Done!

 

Gravy Days Pictures


Winter is Coming

This morning early, ~1AM, it was breezy, but balmy. Later, by 7AM, the wind had turned vengeful and bitter.

Winter is coming.

I’m very glad Forrest will be home this winter, not driving dangerous roads. Meanwhile, though, the chill put a damper on my spirits — completely. It’s depressing to think that, in a matter of days to a spare couple of weeks, we could be facing below zero temperatures …which would be very early, even for North Idaho.


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