Saturday, April 9, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Spring - The Renewal of the Earth and of the Soul

Field of Hope and Renewal
Spring has sprung in much of the country and it's not far away for the rest of us. I knoiw it's been mighty warm back home in Texas, with temperatures in the upper 90's as recently as yesterday in San Angelo which made it to at least 97. 

I thought with all sprung spring  going on. it would be a good idea to re-visit a time when things hadn't sprung yet. I am speaking specifically of the Blizzard of 2010 right here in Maine. I figgered a look back at this event would remind us of what a glorious time of the year that spring is...a time for renewal with all the once lifeless fields of brown grass transforming into an artist's pallet ablaze with the colors of spring. Wildflowers decorating the roadsides of America, trees dressed in their spring finest providing shelter to myriad colors of our feathered friends. Dirt patches in millions of yards around America holding the promise of homegrown tomatoes, peppers and squash. 

I guess you could say, I "dig" spring. :) Read on and think of what was just a few weeks ago and what will be in the weeks ahead. Then marvel at what God has gifted us after a long harsh season of cold, wind and snow. Spring not only renews the Earth with its arrival, it also renews the human soul. Be thankful and humble...winter come again all too soon.

 When I went to bed last night, we had about four inches of snow on the ground, with more pouring down. And pour it did. Look at the difference in these two photos.

As you can see, I took the "before" photo prior to receiving any snow. The "after" photo is what I woke up to this morning. The maintainence guys here at the complex were hard at work early this morning shoveling and using the snow blower and snowplows in order to make it as easy as possible for the residents to get in and out of their apartments and, if possible, into their cars. The wind has been blowing a steady 15 - 20 mph, with gusts in excess of 40 mph, so the snow is being blasted around at a pretty good clip and is not making a nice even cover on the ground or the cars. See the little silver car in the pics? Notice there's about two feet of snow on the ground next to it, but hardly any on the car itself. I estimate that we have gotten at least a foot of snow and that's fairly accurate, I'm sure. According to forecasts, it looks like we may be in for another foot or so before the snow moves out sometime tonight.

I'll certainly keep an eye on things and pass along any updates that might add to this story. I hope those of you who live in warmer climes will get as big a kick out of my coverage of this storm as I am in sharing it with you. So, stay tuned for more later!

UPDATE 10:00 AM, EST - since posting this earlier this morning, when the the sidewalks were cleared off, we have received about 3 more inches of snow. The winds have backed off a little, but it's still quite breezy and it's snowing like hell. I'll be back in a little while with more info on the Blizzard of 2010, including a new photo or two.

UPDATE 11:40 AM, EST - I miscalculated the snow fall in the previous update, I should have said we had gotten an additional six inches, not 3. Since that time we have received an aditional 3 more inches. Snow appears to be falling at a rate of two to three inches per hour. That's a lot of snow. Some drifts of 5 feet can be found around the complex. The snow that was plowed from the parking lot is being put into mounds at seven feet tall. More accumulation is a given. Back in a while with more Blizzard News!

UPDATE 12:43 PM, EST - It's still snowing like hell, but the end is supposedly in sight. In sight as in sometime tonight. I have seen many heavy snow storms here in Maine and in Colorado, high in the Rockies. This one will be noted not just for the prolific amount of snow it has and will continue to dump, but because the winds have been constantly gusting to 35 - 40 mph for the last 18 hours. It's hard to measure the amount of snow that has fallen, but I am sure that at my house we have gotten close to two feet, with some drifts up to 5 or 6 feet around the property. The maintainence crew plowed the parking lot about 3 hours ago and we've gotten several more inches since then. It's a wild scene. As I look out my back window while typing this update, I can barely see the building about 30 yards behind us. The wind is vicious and the snow is "falling" parallel to the the ground. :) See you later with more updates on the Blizzard of 2010!

Looking out across the courtyard after plowing

UPDATE 1:35 PM, EST -  I just checked in with AccuWeather and the Blizzard Warning for Augusta has been extended to 6 PM, EST. That will make it about 24 straight hours of Blizzard or Near Blizzard conditions for the area. At my house we will probably end up with near 3 feet of snow on the ground by the time all is said and done. A few minutes ago I stepped out on the front porch and snapped a few photos to share with you.
Looking across the street from my front door

See the piles of snow behind the red truck? That is snow that was plowed from the parking lot to our building. They are at least seven feet tall.

UPDATE 2:45 PM, EST - Things haven't changed over the last hour, except for the fact that we are one hour closer to the 6 PM, EST expiration of the Blizzard Warning. You can get a look at the local RADAR for Augusta at this link to AccuWeather. As you can see, we are located at the dead center of the storm so it is making little to no movement away from us. It's similar to the bull's eye on a rotating dart board. Augusta is the bull's eye of this storm.

UPDATE 6:00 PM, EST - The Blizzard Warning that has been in effect in the form of a Watch or Warning for at least 36 hours, has expired. Nothing changed over the last few hours, so I didn't even bother to add any updates. It's still windy and snowing like hell and it's gonna get REAL cold tonight with the low temperature dipping to 8 degrees. Along with a stout North-Northwest wind, chill factors could approach -15 to -20 degrees.

It's been a lot of fun Live Blogging the Blizzard of 2010 for you today and I hope you enjoyed reading about it. If anything out of the ordinary happens, I'll post it here and on Facebook. Thanks again, y'all. Adios.

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