As a long-time New Englander, I had this fixed picture of Virginia as a land of green hills and scenic beauty with year-round moderate weather.
I confirmed the first two elements of my imagined picture upon moving here two years ago, but I got a severe reality adjustment in the weather department.
Winter here is cold and the snow storms often require heavy equipment to clear them away.
The temperature has been bitter cold (20 degrees) for almost three weeks and the forecast predicted severe winter storms. We made an early run to Charlottesville yesterday and saw people buying snow blowers and loading up on food and supplies.
The first flakes of snow began to fall as we returned home. Our timing was perfect. By the time we had unpacked the car, large fluffy flakes of snow were accumulating on the driveway.
Snow continued to accumulate all afternoon, finally changing to fine particles of snow and ice. It is now after midnight and a fine sprinkle of sleet continues to fall. The temperature is 18 degrees and there appears to be about 5 inches of snow on the ground. We look up through our new skylight and the view is blocked by a thick blanket of snow.
Fortunately, our house is snug and tight because the roof repair was completed Saturday. The great blue high-lift is gone, the yard has been cleared of shingle scraps and cast-off lumber, and only the 30 cubic yard dumpster remains as a lingering reminder of the recent activity.
I have connected the weather station to the computer to capture the details of this storm. All I can record at present is wind velocity/direction and temperature. The wind velocity has dropped to zero and the temperature is 15.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
I open the back door to the cold night and hear the sound of fine snow sifting onto the frozen landscape. The deer feeding station is deserted. Not a single deer had appeared all day. Even the birds have been conspicuously absent. A heavy blanket of snow covers everything in sight.
I retreat to my snug office and continue working at the computer. Life goes on apace as long as I have power and my internet connection. I will post pictures as soon as it gets light enough for photographs.
UPDATE: We have accumulated five inches of snow with a crust of ice granules. Although it is 9:00AM, there is no one to be seen in the neighborhood. I have put out corn for the deer and food for the birds.
The birds have come storming out of nowhere and are eagerly pecking at everything in sight. The deer, squirrels, and neighborhood children must be sleeping in today. I’m sure we will see them all later.