Snow: Too Much of a Good Thing?

I love snow.

Snow is a big reason I moved to Idaho’s mountains. If precipitation is going to fall from the winter sky, I prefer it be in the form of snow rather than rain. Seattle has way too much rain and too little snow. I don’t miss Seattle’s rain.

Snow is a state of mind. Embrace it, and it will reward you.

My love of snow is why I adore Alaskan malamutes as companions. They’re as eager as I am to play in snow.

dogs, snow, forest
The boys took me on a Valentine’s Day run in the forest. Heading up the mountain, the snow was deep and slick – about four inches new overnight – and I was slow!

To my surprise, my Australian shepherd, Finn, resembles a malamute in his love of snow. But for his short legs, making it challenging for him to wade through the deep stuff, he would be a true snow dog.

Heading down the trail, February 14, 2021. Even Finn is slipping in the fresh snow.

Sometimes, though – take the past two days as an example – the amount of snow falling verges on too much of a good thing. On top of an existing abundance of snow, at least another foot has accumulated in the last 48 hours, a non-stop deluge of snowflakes.

dog, snow, fence, trees
February 15, 2021, we awake to more new snow overnight, even though a forecast we rely upon said we wouldn’t get more snow until later in the day. Conall’s mood – tail down in dismay – matches my own as I realize we won’t go running after all because of challenging (“hazardous” is the word used by the weather websites) driving conditions.

I decided to measure the snow depth this morning by dipping the handle end of a broom into the undisturbed snow outside my front door. I don’t shovel the walkway in winter; I have too few visitors, so they can come in through the garage, as I do, first impressions be damned. This morning there was 27 inches of snow on the ground outside my front door.

dog next to house with snow
While measuring the snow outside my front door, Conall took advantage of the opportunity to check for voles alongside the house. He knew better than to jump into the deep snow, where he’d only end up swimming.

And it just kept coming all morning, no relief in sight.

Slow-motion of Conall in falling snow, morning of February 15, 2021. Clearly dogs like tasting snow on their tongues as much as kids do!
Slow motion of Finn making his way to the door to come inside, morning of February 15, 2021.

Snow, and more snow, all day, nonstop. Probably another four inches added to the 27 inches I measured this morning.

Around 5:00 pm I ventured out into the yard to shovel any dog bombs (aka poop) over the fence, knowing that, alas, most would be buried, only to be discovered at some point in the future when the snow finally melts. The boys followed me, Conall wanting to play, Finn understanding he was at a disadvantage because of the deep snow and sticking close to the house for better traction, or waiting until I packed down a trail before venturing out into the deep white fluffy stuff.

dogs, snow, house
Finn stays near the house, his best strategy given Conall is purposefully blocking the trail through the snow in order to irritate him into a hoped-for game of chase.
dog walking in snow
After Conall retreats, Finn follows my trail.
dog leaping through snow
Conall doesn’t care how deep the snow is, he just wants to play and dives toward Finn’s toy.

I joke that the snow the boys bring into the house means I don’t need a humidifier. In Idaho, the air is dry and there’s lots of static electricity in winter, so I don’t mind when the boys bring snow inside, shaking it off their coats or dropping clumps off of their feet and legs. The interior air can use the moisture. And this is why I designed a home with concrete floors – the boys can bring in snow, mud and dust without damaging carpets or rugs. Clean up is easy. (Added plus: I’m allergic to dust and pet dander, which accumulates in carpets, so having concrete floors is much better for my sinuses.)

snow-covered dog in office
Snow-covered Finn in my home office, wanting to curl up under my desk. February 15, 2021.

Today was a federal holiday (President’s Day), which means the municipal and county plows were less likely to be clearing roads. I didn’t have to go anywhere, so I didn’t mind all the fresh snow keeping us home. The boys were a bit bored, yet seemed to understand the challenge to venturing out.

A few days ago an issue arose with one of my previously-crowned teeth, requiring attention asap. This afternoon I was able to make an appointment to see the dentist tomorrow, but I worried about venturing out and getting back up my driveway afterward with all this new and slippery snow. So I was quite relieved to see, just before dark and as the day’s snowfall was abating, the guy who plows my driveway.

tractor moving snow
Moving snow.

I could also see the county plow clearing the roads in my subdivision. In fact, it was clear that the guy plowing my driveway – Travis – was following the county plow so that I wouldn’t find a big berm of snow where my driveway meets the county road. A nice touch that I very much appreciate.

It’s the small, unasked-for things that matter. This is why I give Travis a tip every Christmas.

I admit, I wouldn’t want to have this much snow year-round. December through March is enough. Knowing that snow has its season, that spring’s melting is sure to follow, makes the snow and winter’s chill enjoyable, a time of rest and contemplation, a prelude to the joys of spring’s wildflowers, greening trees and songbirds, making that season even sweeter.

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking-Glass

Feature image: Conall admiring the view during our forest run on February 14, 2021.

23 thoughts on “Snow: Too Much of a Good Thing?”

  1. Now that is what I call snow. I love snow, but not when it piles up to several feet in my area. I have lived in Idaho in the winter and realize how much snow falls. We got seven inches of snow here yesterday and are due 8 more tomorrow. Very unusual for Arkansas.

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  2. We’ve had quite the winter here in the Upper Peninsula on the shores of Lake Superior – we’ve had about 60 inches of additional snow in the past week and sub-zero temperatures. Our total this year is only 159 inches so far – last year was 280 inches and we routinely hit 300.

    My husband and I love the snow, but when it gets this cold it’s hard to go out snowshoeing or even shovel the steps. Yesterday we just sat by the woodstove and read and napped. Supposed to get up to 16 this weekend though, so we’ll venture out!

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  3. You’re getting the fun snow I love. Our winter is lame so far, only a few inches at a time that usually melts. Right now we’re getting sleet and ice which I absolutely despise. Beautiful pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Believe me, I know how lucky I am that our snow is generally dry and light and sticks around for the season so that it can be groomed for maximum fun (skiing, snowshoeing, running). Coming from the Seattle area where a little snow turns every citizen into a raving lunatic who forgets how to drive and so abandons their vehicle on the freeway, I was pleasantly surprised that the snow here is dry and doesn’t require chains or even studded tires. Sleet and ice suck; sorry that’s your winter so far.

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  4. A couple of years ago, we got a 29 incher. The big thing on facebook was to stand on a chair in the middle of your yard in a bathing suit and take a racing dive into the snow. I encourage you to give it a try. Everyone looked like they were having a blast Did I try? No way, I hate being cold.

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    1. Are you suggesting I’m not human? Or an inappropriate one?

      I bet Max would love playing in the snow.

      You can keep your sun-baked landscape and oppressive summer heat that only lizards enjoy. I would melt! Vive la difference 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, no, no…you are absolutely Ms. Human McHumaness. Far be it for me to insult someone with a dog that big. Max did love visiting the snow country when he lived in Utah. We could drive to snow in about 30 minutes most of the winter and we’d take him, dressed in his own shearling jacket of course, to run around. When powder he would simply sink and disappear into the snow. Otherwise he could run on top without breaking the crust and we’d be very hard pressed to keep up since we would break through. Then we’d hold his paws in front of the heater vents inside the truck and melt the ice on his paws. About 20 minutes was his maximum.

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      2. Haha! Thanks for the laugh, and I’m relieved you knew I was teasing you. I should have used strings of exclamation points after those question marks to suggest mock incredulity!

        Max is indeed a lucky dog, given the opportunity to enjoy everything the weather gods might provide. Appropriately attired, of course!

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    1. Texas is all over the news because of the snow, cold and power outages. Hope you all have electricity hooked up to your rig, although with four of you snuggled in the RV you could probably stay warm without heat! Looking forward to seeing Finn and Sawyer whooping it up in the snow!

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      1. Yes it is a mess down here. Luckily, we have not lost power and if we do I have an onboard generator. My sister has been without power for 3 days.

        My videoing skills were somewhat diminished trying to hold the phone with thick gloves. The footage turned out to be totally useless. I’m going to try again today because as I look out the window, it is snowing again!

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  5. Teddy, who’s even shorter than Finn, takes umbrage and claims Aussies are snow dog. Bear says that’s not too much snow. I don’t know why I read your blog to them at all… 😉

    Seriously, though, 27+ inches? That’s exaggerating. Enough already.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. THAT is a great quote, have to say.

    And me goodness that is a ton of snow! I live in PA, where the forecasts for snow outnumber actual snowstorms, like five to one, LOL. I would like to see one more snow before the spring . .I mean summer comes calling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was looking for a particular quote about enjoying winter when I stumbled upon the Lewis Carroll quote. It’s lovely, isn’t it?

      Careful what you wish for. I’m reading that the cold front that has hit Texas and the midwest so hard is heading your way…! Stay warm!

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