Perfect for Snow Play!

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Family Fun, Outdoors, Twain Harte News on March 28, 2011

For anyone who has been putting off taking a trip “Up the Hill,” pack up the car and head for the hills. Today was a simply gorgeous day. The sun was a big hit making an otherwise brisk day tolerable. There was a definite nip in the air.

However, if the weather reports are to be believed, we are expecting warm sunny days for most of the week. The snow is piled high, in many places along highway 108 you can expect to see 8 feet (or more) of nasty icky snow but, just a short jaunt off the main road and pristine snow can still be found. These are perfect sledding days.

I’m told we will even share some 70 degree weather this week. So, if you are planning to wait until the weekend to make the trip, you’ll have to drive much further. Most of the snow in the immediate Twain Harte area won’t survive the week. Just North of Sierra Village there should still be plenty through the weekend.

This might just be your last chance to play in the snow until next year. Just remember to leave nature as you found it — come enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Let the wonders of God and nature renew your spirit and give you a fresh perspective on life. I can’t image life anywhere else. This truly is God’s creation.

Area Snow Fun!

Dodge Ridge Reports:

March 28, 2011 // 6:00am – All in all, over 8 days we received 150 inches – that’s 12 and 1/2 feet of snow! Even more amazing is the 609″ mark we hit for a year to date season snowfall total, breaking all snowfall records for nearly 3 decades! Base depths are currently at 144 – 158 inches.

Dodge Ridges offers very reasonably priced ski packages and instruction. Why not sign the kids up for a few lessons? But if the kids aren’t into the whole ski scene. Check out Leland. Leland Snowplay is offering Mini Snowmobile Rides this year.

Kids ages 5-12 will enjoy the thrill of revving miniature snowmobiles while zipping around the oval course.

For kids ages 5-12 or a weight limit of 110 lbs. Helmets must be worn and are included in the cost of the ride. All Participants must have a parent or legal guardian’s signature on a waiver. All kids must be able to demonstrate that they can safely handle snowmobiles prior to riding.

Additional Fee Required for snowmobiles. Available on weekends and holidays.

I just wish I were a kid again. Perhaps, a few more years of good snow and someone will start renting snowmobiles out at Sierra Village or at Leland Snowplay — wouldn’t that be neat.

The Outpost Deli, located at 20661 Soulsbyville Road, in Soulsbyville is closed for remodeling, they plan to reopen on Thursday.

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Weather Minded

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on March 27, 2011

It’s been a rather uneventful few days. Yesterday, I was going stir crazy. I had called for a snow plow on Friday — my back decided it could no longer put up with all the abuse I was dishing out and decided to wage a protest.

Well, we had so much snow on the ground that the snow plow drivers were all being kept overly busy. Everyone is tired almost to the point of exhaustion. Dealing with the snow is one thing but when you not only have all that snow to deal with, but power outages, some are without water, others are worried about losing their food. It can be a very stressful time.

The plow truck finally showed up – the next day, but only plowed the portion of my drive that I had already shoveled. The part I really needed cleared is still there. I’m trying to be understanding about it but I’m pretty irritated. Mainly out of frustration, because I am unable to clear it out myself.

We tried to purchase a snow-blower in Sonora last week but the store clerks only have lawnmowers and leaf blowers to sell. Though with all this rain, I believe we will have need of them soon enough – we are going to have more grass to mow than ever before. Has anyone else given thought to the mosquitoes? The last few years have been overly dry ones (if you don’t count last year) but the added moisture will make this area more attractive to insects that may have moved on because of the dryer conditions. Bats might prove to be an ideal solution to the anticipated influx of mosquitoes.

I may have forgotten to mention it has been raining non-stop for the past 24-hours and then some. The constant rain makes it difficult to keep the birds fed. With all this snow and rain, it’s hard to know how and where to feed the little dears. I can’t wait to get up in the morning early to hear their fresh joyful chirps. It makes me want to sing but I must be quiet or risk frightening them away. They don’t seem to care for my bird feeders. Sigh.

I had to laugh last night. I have been feeding the birds on the deck under the eaves and leaving the shades up, in order to watch the birds eat. My son called to me at dusk, “We’ve got quail.”

Well, for some reason these Mountain Quail just give me a thrill each time they come. They almost always come right at dusk and in a large group of 10 to 20 birds (possibly more). The Quail are nervous little creatures. They will march down the hill a few at a time, and gather to eat together in a group.

I had put out plenty of food on the deck, right in front of the sliding glass door, which we rarely open. There were a dozen birds congregated there. I was kicking myself for leaving the camera on the table by the door but if I made a move to pick it up, the birds would get spooked and fly off. So, I stood there watching them.

In the meantime, Sandy, our cat, was talking up a storm, she wanted my attention and just wouldn’t be quiet. Then she suddenly figured out what was distracting me — keeping me from paying proper attention to her: The quail. Purposely, she strolled toward the glass door, stopping directly in front of the flock of quail — the birds flew away in unison. It was an incredible sight like you see in the movies and my cat was very proud of herself.

She finally had my attention, which is what she wanted in the first place.

As for today’s weather report…

It’s very wet out there but the rain has stopped for now. The sky is overcast, visibility is poor. The temperature is currently steady at 37 and could reach the low 40s but I wouldn’t hold my breath. The birds are making a huge racket outside. I could sit and listen to them all day. My husband won’t like it but I’ve been trying to draw in a few woodpeckers and an owl or two. They are such beautiful animals. I can’t help but admire them.

Do you think an owl would carry my cat off? I suppose it’s possible …

I’m headed back outside to watch and listen. Maybe I’ll even dig out my binoculars. Oh, the possibilities.

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White Out Conditions

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Twain Harte News on March 24, 2011

The wind has finally died down after hours of blowing and gusting winds blew the snow around so hard it was difficult to see much further than the end of the car. My best advice to you is — stay home. Unless you have an urgent need to be out in these conditions, don’t.

Oh now don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly beautiful out there right now. Crazy as it may sound, one of my favorite pasttimes when I was young, was to build a snowman from freshly fallen snow — which normally meant building it around 3:00 a.m.  Yes, I admit it, my friends and I were a little nuts.

No matter how much I complain about all this snow, I do truly love it. I remember living in Sacramento, where it snowed a total of once in the three years I lived there. I hated being without snow. I found it terribly depressing not being able to enjoy all four seasons.

This is still much better than living in Michigan, where once it snowed, you pretty much had snow all winter long and well into spring. Here, we might have two foot of snow today and it could all be gone tomorrow.

We’ve had about 8-10 inches fall so far this evening. Apparently, we could end up getting 4-6 feet more TONIGHT. I sure hope not. We weren’t able to find a snowblower and it’s nearly impossible to get a snow plow. My poor old body can’t take much more shoveling. I was trying to shovel some tonight and I can barely pick my arms up above my head.

If the electricity will just stay on for this storm, I can sit this snow storm out in the comfort of my livingroom where I have created a bird sanctuary for my own personal enjoyment — right outside my window. It gives me great pleasure to watch the various birds and animals wander into the yard to partake of a few goodies.

All in all, I really can’t complain.

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