Winter Returns

Stillwater Diary, May 18th, 2017

Note: This is the first of several projected posts chronicling Winter Storm Valerie. 

Our sweet spring days are over!

For the past few days, I’ve been happily puttering about in my garden, enjoying warm temperatures and blue skies. Now, it’s freezing outside, with a foot of snow expected! As the snow starts to fall, the green of all the growing things becomes more intense, as if preparing to fight off the cold.

My front garden, from the window. All the plants are just beginning to awaken; at this time of year, it’s mostly sticks and stones.

The snow isn’t a surprise – it almost always snows around Mother’s Day in Wyoming. And though this particular snowfall might be unwelcome, it’s beautiful – big, fat flakes streaking past the trees, piling up on the grass and in the garden. Sure, it’s a little sad, when we’ve been enjoying the warm weather so much. But the air seems to be filled with an expectant hush, as if all the world’s waiting for what happens next.

As you can see, we weren’t ready for this one! The red wheelbarrow (upon which so much depends) is overturned on a pile of wood chips. 

We’re getting better at preparing for extreme weather. Scrape stocked all our vehicles with winter survival kits , including blankets, flashlights, and other emergency gear. I always keep an extra woolly hat, warm boots, and extra gloves in the Subaru, just in case. Our plow wasn’t operational for this storm, but the Jeep was chained up and ready to go. It’s a handy helper in a storm since we equipped it with extra lights and a winch for rescue missions.


The mighty Cherokee, ready for winter action!

The bird feeders are stocked, too. I’d just been to Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply  for sunflower seeds  and suet. (You heard it here first, folks – Murdoch’s has by far the best prices in Cheyenne when it comes to birdseed. They also have a fantastic selection of dog toys and treats, and allow dogs inside. As you can imagine, it’s my favorite place to shop!) That’s a hummingbird feeder in the upper right corner of the photo; I put it out last week, and it saw quite a bit of action. I just hope our delicate little hummers have found safe spots to hunker down and wait out the storm. 


Just a few of the feeders at Stillwater. We have three feedng stations altogether.

As you can see, we’re ready for snow! The garden tools have been put away, the Jeep is chained up, and the feeders are full. The dogs have hand-knit sweaters to wear under their parkas, and Scrape and I are armed with all sorts of winter gear, from long underwear to snowshoes. So what could possibly go wrong? 

Stay tuned…