Sunday, December 28, 2008

White Christmas

I was awakened in the wee hours of the morning to the sound of snow plows. Daylight confirmed that six inches of snow had fallen during the night.

Ken and his nephew went out to shovel snow. Neighbors came to help using their snow blowers to clear a path behind the car so we could begin our journey home.

The roads were snow packed and icy. Light snow fell and we kept a slow and steady pace returning to Ennis by 11:00 AM.

One old timer said he had not seen snow like this in Ennis since 1945.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Eve

Christmas eve Ken and I set off for Bozeman to celebrate the holiday with his sister, nephew and his wife. Temperatures were in the teens.

The wind blew sheets of snow as we traveled over Norris hill. At times visibility was zero.

Through the canyon the skies became partly cloudy. The wind continued to blow snow but visibility was good.

The partly frozen Madison River formed rushing white water rapids in the open areas with occasional small waterfalls.

During the eight years we have lived here we have never seen this much snow with predictions of more to come in the next few days. This is an amazing winter.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Is That In The Bird Feeder?

We have had some unusual visitors to our bird feeders this week. Ken caught this deer when she discovered her nose fit inside the openings in the gazebo behind her.

A few hours earlier I was looking at the same feeder trying to figure out what was inside it. Turns out it was the neighbor's cat having a snack of birdseeds.

Cold temperatures and snow are causing the animals to search hard for food and shelter.

Photo by Ken W. Hall

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ice on Ennis Lake

Wednesday morning it was twelve degrees. The sun came out in the morning so Ken took his sister for a drive around the lake.

He said the lake was so smooth it looked like icing on a cake. This was very different from years past.

Here is a photo he got of diamond rock.

Photo by Ken W. Hall, title: Diamond Rock December 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Colder Still

Tuesday morning the river was flowing steadily through the campground. The steam rising from the water shows you where the river is exposed and moving.

At twenty-four degrees below zero the steam creates the most beautiful ice crystals on the trees.

The high for the day was seven degrees below zero.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Early River Gorging

Monday morning it was eighteen degrees below zero. At nine in the morning the river showed signs of possible gorging. I took this first photo that shows steam rising from the exposed water. There was only one patch of accumulated ice on the bank in front of me.

Ken picked me up at three in the afternoon and we drove over the bridge toward the campground. The car said it was fourteen below zero when Ken got out of the car on the south side of the bridge to take the next two photos. The ice on the river was piling up.

A sweet man in a pick up stopped to see if we needed help.

The campground was filled with water that had reached the entrance. Efforts to protect Lions Park from yet another flooding had sadly failed. It too was under water until spring.

It is amazingly still when the ice silences the sound of the flowing river. The only sound is the popping and cracking of the ice in the sub zero cold.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Fishing

Saturday morning the high for the day was twenty-four degrees. Blowing snow and blizzard like winds made travel difficult.

Ken captured the town fisherman when we ventured out to the grocery store.

Birds flocked to our feeders devouring the sunflower seeds. A flicker, woodpecker and chickadee joined the house finches and sparrows.

Conditions worsened and it was ten below zero when we retired for the day.

Photo by Ken W. Hall

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Icy Frost

The fog rolled in early Tuesday morning with temperatures around ten degrees.

Ice crystals formed on everything and sparkled like diamonds as the sun began to rise.

Temperatures rose slightly during the day but never got above thirty. It was cold, windy and beautiful.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Morning Surprise

We woke to snow this morning. It was beautiful and still. It feels so peaceful after a snowfall.

When I left for work it was twenty-eight degrees. The snow beneath my tires was wet and slippery.

The thermometer in the car registered twenty-five degrees when I returned home at four this afternoon. The roads were still snow covered, packed and icy.

The weatherman says it will be ten below zero by the weekend. We knew winter would arrive soon. Looks like it is planning a grand entrance.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pink Sky

It was eighteen degrees when I got up yesterday. The skies were clear and temperatures remained cold. Twenty degrees was the high according to our thermometers.

When I came home in the afternoon I heard the birds chirping in the trees. They were thanking me for the black oiled sunflower seeds I put out for them the day before.

Last night Ken grabbed his camera to catch the sunset. The sky was pink. By the time he got outside the light had shifted from the position he had hoped to capture. He managed to catch this just before the light disappeared.

Photo by Ken W. Hall, title: Dream World

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rain, Then Snow

Yesterday morning it rained then later in the evening we watched snowflakes fall. There is something so magical about watching snow fall.

It was twenty-five degrees this morning with tiny little snowflakes falling until almost noon. There were patches of ice on the roads. The sun began to poke through the clouds and we could see blue sky by midday.

Temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits tonight.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Above Normal Temperatures

I read an article in the Bozeman paper reporting that temperatures so far this fall are averaging ten degrees above normal.

It also mentioned that that the snow packs were the same as last year. This is good since last year was the closest to normal the valley had seen in a few years.

Here is another shot Ken got on one of our awesome days.

Photo by Ken W. Hall, title: Migration of the Soul