Monday, April 23, 2018

Montana Spring Tease

I didn't intend to write this blog post, as I have been working on some other projects. But the weather and a visit to one of my favorite blogs enticed me to share a few lines and pictures here today.

Lana, a friend of mine and the author of the blog My New Happy, is also a contributor to the Lifestyle Collective The Blended Blog. On both of these sites today, Lana's post topic was "Spring Where You're From" and she issued a challenge to other bloggers to link up and share what the spring season is like where we live.

Looking out my front door this morning, how could I resist!

Snowy late April morning in Montana

The first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere is officially in March. In Montana, it comes much later than that, in a matter of fits and starts. Whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow is of no concern to us. We know we have at least six more weeks of winter left! 

In mid-March, the roads near our house were still too icy and snow-covered to safely walk our puppy. We made sure she got enough exercise by strapping on our snowshoes and taking her for hikes around our property. I tried hiking our acreage once without snowshoes and sunk down in places to mid-thigh. Fortunately, the dog's four paws kept her mostly above the crust.

Snowshoeing with our puppy in March

Snowshoeing our Montana property with our puppy

Here's a view from our kitchen, taken through the window screen on March 18th. The ground had been covered in snow since October.

A Snowy Montana morning in March

By April 4th we'd had some warm weather so most of the snow, except at higher elevations and in the shadows, had melted.

Spring in Montana

On April 5th though, this happened:

Fresh snow on our deck in April

This isn't the first time I've written about spring snow in Montana. On February 3rd, 2015, I wrote a post called A Ground Hog's Shadow and Cars in the Ditch. Click on the link to read the story of when we got 23 inches of wet snow on April 29th, 2009 and I had to call a tow truck!

Yesterday was warm and sunny. My husband and I and our six-month-old puppy hiked part-way up a mountain trail above the city of Helena. The upper trails were still so treacherous with snow and ice that we turned back before we reached the summit, yet it was warm enough to shed our light jackets.

If you look closely at the top-right corner of this photo, you can see part of the city of Helena:

Montana hike with the dog

I then spent the rest of the afternoon outside, doing a little yard work and enjoying the wonderful outdoors on Earth Day.

Spring yard work where we live in Montana is not limited to cleaning up garden beds. It includes:
  • Raking massive amounts of deer and elk scat off the grass around our house.
  • Sweeping huge amounts of gravel from the cement pad in front of our house. With nearby roads and our driveway all just gravel and chip-sealed, a lot of gravel is deposited there by our tires, the wind, shoveling, and plowing.
  • Taking our holiday lights down from our trees, which had previously been too snow-covered. Yesterday, I broke my trusty light hanging pole, which we've used since December 2014 to put up and take down our outside holiday lights. I was able to temporarily duct-tape it together well enough to snag and remove all the light strings from this past season. I will definitely be ordering another pole soon. 

I saw a few daffodils poking up through the ground yesterday, and my furry pussy willow catkins were practically flowering before my eyes while being enjoyed by some very fuzzy gray bees. These signs of spring were enough to tempt my husband and me to get out all the patio furniture.

We knew better.

This is what spring looks like here this morning:

Fresh snow on April 23, 20018

At least someone is enjoying the snow today! 

Dog in the snow with her toy

Although we had more snow in Montana this winter than in recent years, waiting this long for spring is not unusual at all. Today's snowfall will melt quickly and warmer temperatures are expected this week, but I'm not removing my snow tires just yet!

What's the weather like right now where you live?

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