Nine days ago we had over 6 inches of snow, topped in the final hour with a crust of freezing rain. Unlike our usual southern here-today-gone-tomorrow snow storm, this one was followed by days of unusually cold weather, so it stayed and stayed and way overstayed its welcome. When the days finally warmed a little, it would melt the top layer of ice or snow, which would refreeze in the night. Our schools were closed for the whole week due to icy roads. And, even though I walked some, it was very difficult out here were there is no flat surface. I'm either hiking uphill or downhill, and the slick layer of ice that cracked with each step to let you sink 5 inches, made walking on it a joke. Even after clear spots of ground appeared, days of melt turned the ground to mud. I took a few walks, and some photos, but never did get to sit down with my journal.
So you can imagine how happy I was to look out the windows this morning and see that the snow was finally gone, washed away by this week's rain and warmer temps. The birds were singing like it was springtime. It was foggy early, but the sun burned it off in late morning and the temps rose to around 50 by 1:00. So nice. Daisy and I headed out for a hike on almost-dry ground - at least it wasn't muddy - and ended up sitting on the south-facing hill in the sun and drawing the tiny plants that I think are dormant this time of year. On that warm hill, watered with all the good nutrient filled snowmelt, some plants are already gearing up for spring.