Winter, Wildlife and Fun

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors on April 8, 2011

It’s just past noon, the sun shines brightly overhead, then suddenly it ducks behind the clouds, only to reappear moments later. I just love this time of day.

Even though the temperature has only risen 4 tiny degrees (the temperature is 34°), it’s just enough of an increase that the trees can shake loose from their overburdened branches. The falling snow has the sound and feel of someone throwing snowballs at you. The trouble is, I never see them coming. The snow balls drop swiftly and suddenly from the tree branch giving little — if any — warning.

It’s really cool to sit and watch the squirrels play in the snow, only to have a clump of snow fall from the tree and knock them right on their behinds.  They get up, brushing themselves off and look around to make sure no one saw a thing.  Remind you of anyone? 

I’ve been concerned about the doe and her fawn. They tend to only come around when there is snow on the ground, which I find to be curious behavior. I’m wondering if the snow doesn’t assist the deer in eluding the mountain lions, allowing them to come closer into town.

I love the little dears and I’m concerned about them coming here because we are sandwiched in between two busy roads. Fortunately, both roads are traveled mainly by locals who know to watch for the deer. The doe showed up today, she was a little cautious, which I take as a good sign. I want to be able to observe them without interfering with their natural activities.

The fawn didn’t look old enough to me to be venturing off on its own but I am not the local deer expert. I worry that it was hit by a car or that it was eaten by a mountain lion. I mean, I suppose it’s a grand thing if you are a mountain lion but you know women — mention deer and Bambi is the first thing that comes to mind.

Nevermind that I think Thumper stole the show. I could watch an entire program created around Thumper. Don’t you think Thumper the rabbit was awesome?

It’s so beautiful out, I really should be outside enjoying the sun, instead of sitting here at this keyboard writing. The trouble is the driveway is clear, so there is nothing to shovel. I still worry about falling, so I rarely venture out when it’s wet and possibly icy. I wonder how much longer winter will hang around?

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Winter retains grip…

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors on April 8, 2011

Winter retains its icy grip on the Sierra Nevada mountains, another 8 inches (plus) fell in Twain Harte on Thursday.

This morning, the sun is shining, the sky is a beautiful shade of blue and the trees once again are snow-covered. The wet, black pavement makes a stark contrast against the blanket of snow. The snow began falling early Wednesday evening, gently at first, then gradually it picked up and was falling fairly hard for most of the night. But that was last night.

Today is a different day. Today would be a perfect day to spend playing on snow-covered foothills. At 4,000 feet we received 8-10 inches. The main roads are wet but clear of snow accumulation. However, the temperature is currently 30 degrees, so road warriers will want to slow it down and keep an eye out for patches of ice for at least the next hour or two.

Travelers will want to be sure to carry chains, especially if you plan to travel further East than Twain Harte on Highway 108. It is a little late in the season to be purchasing chains but most local Auto Parts stores and tire stores will still have them in stock. Auto Zone still had most sizes. Tire chains are no longer in stock at Walmart.

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Rapid Snow Melt

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on April 3, 2011

We’ve had a pleasant weekend here in Twain Harte. Thursday and Friday were warmer than usual for this time of year. I was getting concerned that we would be skipping Spring this year, only to head right into that hot summer weather.

We were expecting rain all day Saturday. The air had that heavy feeling and the sun made only fleeting appearances but the rain never came. Today, the sun is back out but the air is crisp and cool. It’s currently 55 degrees here in Twain Harte.

Look for more sunny weather this week with temperatures ranging in the low to mid 50s.

Very little snow remains at 4,000 feet. Snow seekers will want to drive up to Dodge Ridge or past Strawberry to find plenty of sledding and snow play opportunities. With these warmer, sunny days the snow isn’t sticking around long.

Like most of the locals we haven’t let our guard down. It’s the rare year that doesn’t see snowfall for Easter Sunday. So, we’ve been cleaning up the messes left behind by the recent series of storms. We are waiting to set up our summer outdoor gear, just in case the weather decides to turn on us again.

Area tree services should be having a banner year, with all the trees that were toppled. We haven’t decide whether or not to purchase a chain saw and cut up the trees ourselves or if we should hire the work done. It’s a lot of work but a necessary one. Not only can we use the fire wood next year but extra wood lying around only adds fuel for the fire, should a forest fire break out nearby. The law requires a 100 foot clearing around any structures.

These are perfect days for working around the yard — just as soon as the snow melts. We have one area that we still can’t get to because of all the snow but by and large the majority of the snow has melted.

Looking for something to do over Easter weekend?
Check out the 2011 Motherlode Area Calendar of Events.

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