Snowiest February on record

We’ve just wrapped up the snowiest February on record in Minnesota, with a total of 39 inches. Of course I tried to record this historic dumping, but mostly I failed because I was either stuck in historic traffic or too short to traverse the historic snowdrifts.

Semaphore 1390433 lighter BLOG
“Green is for go,” unless you’re stuck in the snow.

Just how deep is the snow? I whipped out one of my limbs to show you, but acknowledge that “three-quarters of a Heideleg” isn’t a standard measure.

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So here … check out this bus shelter instead.

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In spite of the transit woes it sure has been beautiful, though.

Hoarfrost against sky 1390791 BLOG

Pinecones 1390662 BLOG

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Windswept 1390597 dark BLOG

Woods at dawn 1390692 CX2 BLOG

It has also been reassuring to see that the days are getting steadily longer now, even if the sun is still just ornamental.

Sun through branches 1390734 lighter CR BLOG

Windswept snow 1390553 SF CX BLOG

Maybe that’s why I’ve been so content this winter to mostly stay inside. There’s always something interesting to see in my building, even if it’s just condensation.

Ice crystals 1380574 BLOG

Icicles 1390618 scaled BLOG

I’ve also loved the flowers my neighbors have planted or placed in almost every corner, like talismans to bring us spring.

Bulbs abloom 1390755 CX BLOG

Daffodils in hallway 1390517 BLOG

Mary orchid 1390485 BLOG
And even if they don’t bring spring, I hope they’ll at least succeed in warding off any more snow.

101 comments

  1. I’m glad you braved the snow to take some photos… I was going to comment about my favourite one… Or two… But then I couldn’t pick a favourite, they all made me smile just as much. 😊

  2. This makes me nostalgic for some of the winters of my childhood where it felt like every year we had abundant snow up to our waists. One year in particular we had snow drifts that went up and over the hedges that divide the fields so the snow made everything look like one sprawling white landscape, instead of the usual patchwork of smaller green and brown pockets.

    The fact that I was a child and so much shorter, and the general tendency for one’s memory to add some artistic licence, means the conditions likely weren’t quite as extreme as I remember. But still, we’ve had nothing like it in years over here in England, despite even a light sprinkling (or indeed a few heavy rain showers or errant leaves in autumn) sending the transport networks into meltdown, and everyone mumbling “why are we never prepared for it, in Alaska/Canada/Scandanavia/etc they deal with far worse snow year in year out…”

    • “The fact that I was a child and so much shorter, and the general tendency for one’s memory to add some artistic licence, means the conditions likely weren’t quite as extreme as I remember.” Ha ha, Dan. So true! Still, those snowdrifts must have been very impressive indeed if they obscured the hedges. It sounds stunningly beautiful the way you describe it. Thanks so much for stopping by! I do appreciate your thoughtful comments.

      • Generally there’s a field surrounded by a hedge, but inside the hedge there’s often a ditch that drops up to perhaps a metre lower than the level of the land within the field. So you can imagine the times we walked towards where we remembered the hedge should be, only to plunge down into the ditch, up to our little eyeballs in snow!

        • Oh no!! I feel cruel for laughing at what must have been a distressing situation, but the image of your younger self suddenly dropping into the ditch makes me smile — only because I’ve been there and done that. So glad you lived to tell the tale, Dan. 🙂

          • Not at all, it was brilliant fun! As was a few years later one snowy winter where the local kids were all sledging down a steep hill nearby. At the bottom, half the width was open so you could sledge through down into the woods and continue your run a bit further, but if you were too far over on the left side a barbed wire fence was awaiting. Some of us had “proper” sledges with steering and navigated the gap with ease each time, but those with the old standby of a thick plastic compost sack filled with snow took their chances as they hurtled and twirled downslope.

            I remember my best friend took the latter option and met the fence at some speed. He was ok but has brand new ski jacket (which were all the range in the late 80s round here, despite the lack of mountains!) suffer a huge rip. His mum was not impressed, to say the least… Happy days!

          • Wow, you and your friends sure took some chances back then! Glad your best friend wasn’t injured after his daring run. Isn’t it funny, though, how many of the best childhood memories involve an unhappy mum? My sisters and i have a few like that, too. 😉

    • Any compliment from you is high praise indeed, Marcus. I’m honored. Thank YOU for making MY Sunday morning! 🙂

    • Ha! The inevitability of the seasons is both comforting and distressing, isn’t it? Thank you so much for stopping by, and enjoy your early spring!

      • Thank you. You have put a smile on my face n also i got some wet eyes. This is the first comment ever for me on wordpress and i will cherish this. Do read the story. Also be a critique so that i know the improvements needed. Also do share please 🙂

  3. Well, Heide, over here in PA we haven’t had as much snow as you over there in MN. However, we do get some good ones once in a while. It get’s darn cold, too, but not as bad as you guy’s. Winter snow, does have advantages, like you’ve shown. It’s pretty to photograph. Stay warm up there.

  4. Your as-always delightful photos are timely as the snow is just starting to fall in central Indiana as I read this. But it will be nuisance-snow instead of the real snow you have experienced.
    Still, I shall not be deterred from a Sunday of steamy hot carb-infused meals to give me the strength needed to walk behind a snow blower for 20 minutes. Pie and a nap may be called for as well. 🤔

    • You deserve that big meal, JP. In fact, you NEED it! Ditto for that nap and pie. Sounds like a lovely Sunday shaping up, even with those 20 minutes of shoveling.

    • Oh my yes, we still have March! But hopefully it’ll go out like a lamb after this lion of a February we endured. Hang in there, Tom … can’t be much longer now. 🙂

  5. Always such gorgeous photos capturing a season, a moment, an experience, and your vantage point of the world around you – thanks, Heide! Love these photos; extremes of winter with a small peak of spring on its way =)

    • Thank YOU for stopping by and for brightening my day with your kind words, Lara. I’m always pleased when you like my photos … it’s quite a compliment coming from someone as visual as you. xx

  6. Heide, You’ve almost (emphasis on almost) made me like snow again. These are beautiful photos. May I ask what kind of camera you use? As a kid, I loved snow so much that I would get all bent out of shape when kids walked through the snow in our yard. It was mine! Like a blank sheet of paper and some brats colored on it when I was sleeping. I eventually outgrew that.

    • What a wonderful story about your getting upset when the neighborhood brats ruined “your” snow, Jarrett! Even as a youngster you valued all the promise and possibility of a blank canvas, eh? 🙂 Thank you for your kind words about my photos, too. I use a Panasonic GX85 camera, mostly with the stock 14-140mm lens. For me it’s the perfect combination of compact size and capability.

    • I’m always honored when you like one of my photos, Hanna, because YOU are such a wonderful photographer. That pink sky is one of my favorites, too. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  7. I just love your turn of a phrase. You always make me smile. Your photos are stunning, conveying the beauty and the bitter cold of snow, frost and ice. I rather like your clever leg measuring tool. I regularly use my arm for assorting measuring. It’s efficient in a pinch. Of course the perspective missing here is are you 5′ tall or 6’5″? No matter. You’re adorable. xo

    • What a sweet comment, dear Alys … you’ve made my day with your kind words! And you’re right that limbs are handy measuring tools in a pinch, even if mine are so hopelessly short that it takes a lot of them to cover any distance. I imagine your arms are a lot longer and more graceful! 🙂

      • Longer, yes, but I’m not sure about graceful. My mother was fond of saying that I could “trip over a Kleenex.” Sigh. Your’e an extraordinary writer, one who makes it look easy. It’s always a pleasure to stop by.

        • Trip over a kleenex, eh? Although that’s maybe not a very nice thing to say to one’s daughter, it’s a pretty good descriptor of your friend here, too. It’s a pity we didn’t have dance class together, because we would have at least had each other as kindred spirits! And thank you SO MUCH for your especially kind words about my writing. You are too kind, but I’m grateful.

          • My mom wasn’t an unkind person, but she said a few things that left me feeling, shall we say, less than. She once said to a neighbor “well, none of my daughters are raving beauties” and it really hurt. Of course we’re not “raving beauties, whatever that may be” but it was hard enough growing up without a dad to validate our specialness. It didn’t help hearing that from mom. Funny what sticks with us for far too long. I felt clumsy, and plain much of my growing up years. (Good grief this sounds like a therapy session). LOL

          • I’m sorry for your mom’s thoughtless comments, Alys. I’m certain she meant no malice — though I can imagine how very much it must have hurt (because a child should be the most beautiful thing in the world in her parent’s eyes, shouldn’t she). But look at this gorgeous woman you grew up to be, with a beauty that radiates from your heart and spirit outward! That’s beauty that will last a lifetime, and bring out the beauty in others too. (Like me.) xoxo you.

  8. I’m totally stunned. You should see what we got here- Lots of snow, and now we have a total sloppy mess in our driveway. Like flooding our driveway mess. You and your family I hope will stay safe. Are you in Minnesota? Thanks for stopping by.

    • ONE DAY of snow?! Where do you live again, that I may move there also? 🙂 All joking aside, I’m glad to hear you had a milder winter — because getting four little ones to go outside in weather like this would be enough to drive anyone mad! Thank you so much for stopping by, and your kind words.

        • You’ve hit the nail on the head: It’s the permanence of the snow that gets to one after a while. If it just disappeared after a couple of days i would rather enjoy the novelty! But after about three months the novelty has long since worn off.

  9. I can imagine beings stuck with 39 inches of snowfall over a month. You still were able to capture some beautiful images. Wouldn’t it have been nice with more fair distribution of the snow. Now I have been waiting the same month for some snow to show up where I am at…

    • Yes, it would have been wonderful if the snow distribution had been a bit more equitable, Otto! Alas, life is unfair. Next year we’ll probably get none, and i’ll be writing asking YOU for some snow photos. 🙂

  10. Wow ! This is just stunning ! Every picture in this article looks so great and vivid. I loved it 🙂 An I agree : it’s nice to feel the days getting a bit longer, though winter has its charms also.

    • A photographic compliment from you is a big honor, Pierre — thank you!! And you are so right in pointing out that winter has its charms, because i do love the quality of the light this time of year. Hope you are having a good spring in Paris and Lyon!

    • Thank you very much for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Matti! Your kind words mean a lot. I am sorry i’ve been a bit absent here, as i am traveling at the moment, but i will be back soon to catch up on your posts. Have a good day as well!

  11. Heide how do you do it ? Taking all these beautiful photos all the time? Are these all taken with a mobile phone or do you carry a camera around with you all the time? I know I probably know the answer to this question. Louise

    • Aww, Louise … you sure know how to make a gal’s day. Thank you! I do indeed carry around a camera and a couple of lenses with me pretty much 24/7. My phone has a fine camera, but i like having more control over the focal length, aperture, etc. 🙂

  12. The snowiest February in Minnesota, that land of highly-regarded frosty superlative bonafides, snowflake poems, freezy renown and easy target (and butt) of cold-and-snow jokes? Are you serious? But I digress. Because you know how to put a good spin on a rapidly, continually unfolding climate disaster. These are great images. Some of them are downright lovely. The drifting, blowing snow is so pretty. Hope you’re having a good week, Heide. Stick to the skybridges or something.

    • I must make a confession, dear T-Fir: I escaped Minnesota last week to visit the folks in Florida, so instead of skybridges for me there were flip-flops and sandy toes. But everything you wrote is ringing true again since we arrived last night to yet another six-inch snowstorm and high winds. Ooof. If this continues, soon enough I won’t be able to put a good spin on ANYTHING! But thank you just the same for your kind, encouraging comment. A visit from you always makes my day.

    • Yes, indeed … I not only enjoy finding these moments of beauty, but almost NEED to. Otherwise I fear it would be rather depressing to live here, between the barren landscapes and the short days. But thank you so much for making my day with your kind comment. I really appreciate your stopping by!

  13. Lovely captures, Heide. I especially like the ones of the sun through the trees, and those frosty windows. Believe it or not, I’ve missed the snow this year and these pictures make me nostalgic for a real Minnesotan winter.

    • I am honored that my photos make you nostalgic! If you’d like to trade places for a week or two, I think that could be arranged. 🙂

  14. Snow is pretty if you don’t have to be somewhere. Throw a car in the mix and it’s mayhem, right? It’s rather refreshing that you get me on that. So many folks I know live in places where winter is super mild. Not us hardy gals, LOL Great shots and I laughed about the Heidileg not being a standard measure 😀 I don’t know how much snow we actually got. More than usual I’d say because we shovelled non-stop. I do know (according to our local weather man) it was the coldest February since 1936. To put that in perspective, Hoover Dam was just completed, King Edward abdicated the thrown and gas was 10 cents a gallon (per Google) So that was a loooooong time ago. Many nights fell below -22 F (- 30 C) Needless to say, I’m glad to see spring arrive, although we’ve have had snow in April and May, it melts quickly 😀 Where can we retire too? LOL

    • Where CAN we retire to? Well … you just read my post about Florida, so you know why *that* isn’t an option, lol. After this winter I really am questioning whether I want to stay here indefinitely … but in spite of the cold and snow, I can’t think of anyplace better to go! (For example, I did like the climate in Lima — pretty much in the 70s year-round — but they also had earthquakes there, and occasional tsunamis. At least you can shovel snow!) Well. It’s all a fuzzy memory now because today spring has sprung in earnest. Most of the snow has melted and the sun is brilliant and it’s staying light out past 7 p.m. In short: heaven. Hope the same is true up in your neck of the woods! xoxo

      • Lima, as in Peru? Omgosh, you did get out of the box on that one 😀 LOL We’re talking about Victoria, BC and Jim has mentioned Maui too. Most likely a combo of Canada and elsewhere.

        Spring thought about arriving, then changed her mind. It’s been rather foggy for a few days. Overcast without sun. The weatherman said the ‘S’ word this AM. It won’t last be man….oh man. 😀 xoK

        • BAHHUMBUG to that weatherman for saying the “s” word! I hope it didn’t materialize for you. 😦 And if it did, come on south to lovely tropical Minnesota for a visit!

          • It will seem tropical if it doesn’t smarten up here, LOL. I guess the snow will miss Edmonton. Falling to the west in the foothills and Mountain area. Below 0 C over night but 5 C – 10 C during the day. In Fahrenheit that’s -25 F overnight and maybe 48 F daytime…breaking out flip-flops…..*not* 😀

          • Wow, that’s one heckuva weather roller-coaster you’re on! Hang in there, dear Boomdee. It’s bound to settle down soon — so get those toenails ready for flip-flop season! 🙂

  15. Some lovely photography. Allowing for the cold, winter sure does put on some beautiful scenes. Hopefully it’s starting to warm up for you now.

    M-St-M booked. Get your post up before May please. 🙂

    • Thank you kindly, Mr. Draco. Looking for the beauty in winter really does save my sanity sometimes.

      And thrilled to hear that M-St-M is booked! I have just a handful of photos left to edit, so look for a post over the weekend. I can’t wait to see it through YOUR eyes.

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