Ohio Winter: A Photo-blog

Well, it took a while, but winter finally arrived here in Ohio. It began snowing last Sunday night, and we woke up to 13″ blanketing everything.

Fortunately, when The Engineer started working out of town a lot, I made him buy me a small snowblower. Our old one, “Gilson,” was huge, difficult to start, heavy, and ancient. So naturally, there’s someone with a website devoted entirely to the machines. Judging from the pictures and my own faulty memory, I’d guess ours was from the 70s.

Our new one is a little Toro.

The snow was higher than the front of Toro, and I wasn’t sure how she would hold up, but as you can see below, she sliced right through it. 🙂 (These two photos were lifted from The Engineer’s Instagram feed so he gets the credit.)
In this weather, wellies and welly socks are required even to step on the deck to fill the birdbath.

Other than the snow, it was a normal week — work, go to the library, visit Mom, walk with friends. But on my library visit, I got one of these.

I’ve been of two minds about sourdough bread making; guess you could call it curious versus lazy. But my local library made it so easy, and I decided to give it a try. Right now, mine doesn’t look much like the picture on the pamphlet even though I’ve been feeding it for four days — not nearly that bubbly. I’ll keep you posted on its progress.

We also cleaned out the fridge and all three freezers. Yes, I’m aware three freezers seems a bit excessive, but one is for freezing bee frames we take out of the hive (to kill wax moth and beetle larvae). And one is the small one below the refrigerator.

I won’t tell you how many packs of lamb chops and sausage we have, nor how many packages of cheese.

Okay, it was more than thirty packs of cheese, all right? Even I know that’s excessive, but Aldi sometimes has really good varieties of cheddar, and I always pick up a few when they do because their prices are about $3 cheaper than anywhere else.

Clearly, there’s no need for that in the immediate future.

Equally obvious is the need for me to start cooking with sausage and chops on a regular basis. Consequently, tonight we will be dining on delicious black bean and chorizo soup with crusty bread (which leaves only three more packages of chorizo, plus all that Italian sausage!).

Enough about my eccentric buying habits. Let’s talk about the bees. When it’s this cold, most bees cluster together in the hive to stay warm.

Still, we always find a few (or many) little bee corpses in the snow in front of the hive.

Today, we got round two, probably another 6″ of snow.

The Finches spent the day at the feeders, while the Nuthatches and Chickadees flew in and out as they do, grabbing one seed at a time. Various types of woodpeckers attended to the suet — today it was Downy, Hairy, and Red Bellied, but sometimes we get Pileated on our trees. Meanwhile, the Juncos pecked at the scraps beneath. I love watching the little grey Juncos — the way they give kind of a backward hop in the snow to bring up the crumbs beneath. And the Mourning Doves spent the day splashing — and occasionally sitting — in the birdbath. You’d think they would get cold, but they seem oblivious.
It was a great morning to drink tea, crochet and watch Premier League football.
My friend Lynne and I went for a walk during the week, and she kindly brought me a big bag full of yarn scraps for afghans. I’m using some for this lap rug and like how it’s coming together so here’s a closeup. Thanks again to Lynne for helping me provide Mom’s nursing home with a good supply to help new residents feel at home.

Eventually, we had to get Toro out again (even though it’s still snowing) or I might not be able to make it out of the drive to go to work tomorrow.

And, oh yes, we’re expecting more snow tomorrow — 3-6″ if my weather app is correct.