We are back to our normal Pacific Northwest winter weather this week, which means lots of rain with both highs and lows in the 40s. So, I wasn’t surprised our earlier week of sunshine was followed by a major snowstorm. This far north, sunny weather in the winter brings cold temperatures, and when you combine cold temperatures with moisture you get snow, lots of it.
Fortunately, our snow here in the Pacific Northwest is usually in the mountains. I like to visit the snow on the mountains; I like to snowshoe and cross-country ski. I’m not fond of snow in my driveway. Snow is so rare here, though, I’ll have to admit I still get a little excited when it first begins to snow. It was no different this time. We had a great time snowshoeing in Point Defiance Park the first day.
Although the rats have deterred me from feeding birds regularly, I hung out feeders and sprinkled seed on top of the snow and even on the top of our patio table. This Golden-Crowned Sparrow seemed perfectly willing to have its picture taken through the patio window in exchange for some seed.
Spotted towhee’s aggressively chase away smaller birds, but they never come as close to the house as the LBJ’s they intimidate. With no leaves to shuffle through, this towhee would run out in the middle of the yard, grab a few seeds, and rush back to cover under the shrubs.
As usual, our snow was followed by rain. This time however, the rain fell as sleet and coated snow-covered branches with ice.
Although it seemed quite beautiful at first, it wasn’t a good combination. We were lucky and only lost a few branches off our large fir tree. However, thousands of people lost power for up to four days, and shelters were set up so people could stay warm. The damage in Point Defiance Park was considerable, with probably half of the park closed for two or three days for cleanup.
The animals had it much worse than we did. I’ve never seen this small herd of deer forage so boldly in the middle of the day.