Well, it’s official. I went online to WMUR.com, our Manchester NH tv station to see snowfall totals for towns and cities. Exeter, NH was listed yesterday morning as receiving an official 17″ with possibly “one or two more inches by the end of the day.” It was a big storm that dumped heavy snow, the worst kind to shovel.
Throughout the storm, I stayed warm and content indoors. Our walkways and driveway were cleared by a service and I spent the day blissfully decorating the home for the holiday accompanied by Alexa’s holiday music. All was well until I spotted this sight across the street:
Our senior neighbor trying to dig her car out of the mess. It was obvious she had been working for awhile. I watched for a few minutes to see if she was successful.
She rocked back and forth and nope! She was totally stuck. I alerted my mister who dashed across the street to the rescue. Together they dug and tried again and again to disengage from the snowdrift.
But it wasn’t to be. In the end, it was the seniors’ most trusted rescuers at AAA that saved the day. They arrived late, loaded the car onto a flatbed truck, and transported her car lickety-split to the street.
This snowy misadventure makes me thankful for neighbors who watch out for each other, for our snow removal service that takes good care of us, and for being blessed with warm garages for our cars! This early December snowstorm rewarded us with a spectacular sunset last night meaning high pressure good weather is on the way. And amazingly, all this snow may be a wet memory in 5 days as the weatherman forecasts temperatures possibly spiking near 60°. Yep.
Summer 2018 in New England has been as glorious as I can remember since moving here. With so many areas suffering the most catastrophic conditions imaginable around the globe… from heat and drought, floods and tornadoes, volcanoes and fire…. we are swaddled in comfort with enough moisture, sunshine, and pleasant temperatures that I feel almost apologetic writing about it. We had a stretch of dry weather earlier in the summer and have suffered in the past with an abundance of weather extremes but, so far… summer 2018 has made the living enjoyable for gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts. With a warming climate, all summers won’t be like this so we will savor it while it lasts.
Plants that we trickled water on for survival during a 3-year drought are now bursting with growth. Every shrub and tree and flower and vegetable in this yard is fuller, taller, and more floriferous. With these favorable conditions, we’re seeing more insects and birds and in our yard… especially the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that have proliferated wildly around here. We now have the adults and their offspring jetting through and around the garden performing acrobatic maneuvers to guard their territory.
With such movement, it’s impossible to count how many hummers are out there but there’s a way to guesstimate, according to bird banders. Count how many you see at one time and multiply that number by 6. That would mean there are about 20-25 hummingbirds coming and going and perhaps almost parting our hair when we get too close to the action. Other residents in the neighborhood feed hummingbirds so they are moving between our homes. It’s fun to see such activity and much better numbers than the total 8-10 we counted during drought years.
We have the feisty males with their bright red gorgets displaying territorial rule and their mating prowess but the feeders look to be dominated by females with the white throats. That can be deceiving. There are more females than males but the young males we are seeing have not developed their telltale ‘ruby’ throat. They look much like females until we are close enough to see faint lines or striations on their throats. Next year, they’ll display their bright gorgets.
We’re keeping the feeders spotless, making fresh nectar (1 part sugar to 4 parts water) often and just watching as the hummers are bulking up preparing for their long migration at the end of the summer. Males will leave first, followed by females and young. We will keep the feeders clean and half-full with fresh nectar after they leave because you never know when a migration straggler will venture by and need a couple of days of nourishment before continuing on.
I walked the dog tonight in the light of an almost full moon. No breezes were stirring. Stars twinkled in the skies and the temperature hovered in the high 50’s…. sweater weather. It’s hard to imagine that astronomical high tides due to this beautiful full moon will align with Hurricane Sandy, a wintry weather system from the west, plus a frigid jet stream from Canada to send tropical force winds great distances inland, with significant rainfall and tidal storm surges along the east coast. We are thinking about our friends in Virginia and we are bracing ourselves for what may come to New Hampshire.
Local lobstermen are moving their traps to deeper waters where they fare better in rough seas and others are taking traps out of the waters. Communities have moved Trick or Treat night and schools will be soon closed. Today I jostled grocery carts with other shoppers stocking up on batteries, water, and some non-perishable goods. We will batten down the hatches, fill the bathtubs and pots with water and download a few iBooks to read in case we lose power. We’ve been through enough of these to know what to do. This will a serious storm but weather forecasting is not a perfect science. Perhaps Sandy’s ferocity will wane. We can keep our fingers crossed. Stay safe, friends….