Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow at the Horace House

Last Tuesday, Inauguration Day, the Raleigh area got something fairly unheard of in these parts - at least over the last few years - snow.

I was at the Horace House with Dan and took some pictures. Sadly this remains about as much snow as I've ever seen... But it was awfully pretty. Take a look:
My car in the snow outside the Horace HouseSince my car was parked down the drive I think it got a bit more snow than it would have elsewhere. I remembered the following day that I didn't have an ice scraper or any kind of brush. I opted for a golf umbrella and the defrost. Unfortunately wherever the defrost gets its air intake from was covered with snow. So I got a little blast of the powdery stuff inside the car. Kind of a surprise.

I think the people riding around me were a bit pissed the next day as snow kept blowing off my car and obstructing their view. ((note to self: brush all snow off of car, not just what you need to see out the windows)) Give me a break here, I grew up in Florida and it doesn't exactly snow here regularly!

The snow laden omnious skyDan had been playing devils advocate and had done a fairly good job of convincing himself it wouldn't snow. He said he had been disappointed before and the weather people were always wrong. Mind you, he has a point. They often speak of snow that ends up being a flurry or a dusting. They even changed the forecast overnight to reduce the predicted snowfall by a few inches, but I think it caught up. It was snowing fairly briskly until well after noon in Chapel Hill.

Even when it stopped the sky continued to look fairly ominous. Here are some trees over the side lot of the Horace House. Looks more like Halloween than a snow day!

the Horace House bellSometime after it stopped snowing we ventured outside to check things out. The bell in the large side yard was well covered. A literal blanket of snow covered the lawn. Occasionally we saw animal tracks, but the animals were long gone. Deer I think, I am pretty sure I saw hooves. Funny thing is they seem to prefer the sidewalk to the yard itself.

Nothing had ventured through the side yard though, so there was this beautiful covering of untouched snow running over the hill into the next yard.

Dan walking up the drivewayDan walked up to check to see if the mailman had come (he also checked several times to see if the garbage had been picked up - apparently a comment had been made as Dan wheeled the trash cans to the curb on Tuesday evening. A woman walking past the drive told him that the 'trash wouldn't be picked up' which, understandably, put him off. Especially since at the time of the comment he had already wheeled the cans up there under the assumption this would be another dissapointing snowfall (better safe than sorry) and wasn't about to wheel them back to the house because some random and clarivoyant stranger 'knew' the trash wouldn't be picked up. I think he was hoping the trash would be picked up to prove the woman wrong...hoping this to the point that he checked cans even as he commented to me that if the trash actually had been picked up there wouldn't be snow on the lid...) At the side of the walk you could see where some sort of animal (again, I suspect deer) had walked through the yard and over to one of the basement windows. I couldn't help but to remember how Dan's tabby cat, Squiggy, had stared urgently at that window earlier in the day. The angle is such that it's really difficult to see anything and it opens basically under a porch so no large animal could have gotten that close - but I truly suspect she heard something. And the evidence was in the snow.

To the left of him as he walks up the driveway here you can see some small black tracks. Hard to tell in this pictures but they were definitely cloven and the path lead up the sidewalk with a slight diversion to the aforementioned window before heading back around the south side of the house and over to Franklin Street.

the red berried bushesOutside of Dan's door there are several bushes that are currently displaying bright red berries. My relationship with these bushes is one of love / hate. They are quite pretty, and even prettier in the snow - but the birds around the house rely on them for nourishment and rely on my car as a bathroom. Still, Tuesday morning they were quite nice and the birds were still huddled up in their nests. Even if there had been pooping I had a nice snow blanket over the car to keep the digested berries off.

After investigating the mail and various tracks we went on a walk around the neighborhood.weird shoe shrineThere's a circle of some sort and a park that Dan knows about but I am not particularly familiar with the area. On a lower street that ends up running into Boundary Rd. there is a park with lots of large rocks that is a memorial for some Chapel Hill local who was known for her gardens. On the wall to the side of this memorial garden there was a small vase with a 'silk' flower and a pair of decidedly unusual shoes. I'm not sure if this is somehow related to the woman that the park is named for or if there is some other Chapel Hill character being honored by this shrine, but it was certainly an unusual sight.

The shoes might be old? They might be new and styled in a retro sort of way. You be the judge.

My shoes for the occasion were decidedly boring. I was fortunate enough to have brought my black boots although I changed into some walking shoes for our actual walk. The boots did a good job of keeping the snow out of my shoes for the first inspection of the snow. I learned that cuffed trousers are not the best wardrobe choice for a snowfall as snow filled up the cuffs quickly as I walked and melted almost as quickly as I prepared to return feet

The snow turned out to be a stroke of good fortune for those of us that were hoping to watch the inauguration. I was able to do some work from 'home' - (bless the Internet) and still see the Obama's officially come into office.

There was warm apple cider and later there was baked pasta.

Sadly I would have liked to see my house during the snowfall as well, but Dan and I live pretty far apart and driving was not recommended. My sister was at home with the critters and sent over a few pictures off the deck including this hanging the Halloween skull decoration on my deck in Raleighskull decoration that gives away the fact that I still haven't cleaned the Halloween decorations off the back deck. Oops. I need to change those lights too. Shoot. Out of sight, out of mind.

The picture is actually pretty funny? ironic? and I think Dan still has it as his desktop.

I should probably look into taking down the rest of those decorations and cleaning up the backyard this weekend. Since my sister spends most of her time out there smoking I really haven't been out there much as it seems kind of like a place for her to have some privacy. Certainly I need that with the two of us on top of each other around here. Seems fair she should get some too.

a snow covered backyard before the dogs dirty it up...She took a few other pictures of the yard, the back yard looks rather pretty I think. The yard is only partially fenced with a low picket fence but it does fine for a Corgi and a really dumb Blue Heeler.

The benches around the fire pit are covered with snow and the fire pit is full of snow. As I look at this picture I realize that the top of one of the benches isn't on the blocks and I might need to address that this weekend as well. Thankfully that's an easy fix. Changing out those Halloween string lights won't be quite so easy. Hopefully Dan will be kind enough to take them down. Dan and my friend's husband, Jason, can both reach the lights without a stool or ladder which makes the task considerably less complicated and time consuming.

snow on the solar lights bordering the slate path around the Japanese MapleOut the front door there is a picture of the solar lights that border the slate path that borders my Japanese Maple. From the looks of things we got a few inches at my house. I live pretty close to US1 and the weather forecast said the US1 corridor was expected to get the heaviest snowfall. Certainly the snow stuck around my house for a few days. My house faces north and is fairly well surrounded by trees (one of the main reasons I purchased this house) so the snow melts off rather slowly. If it stays cold enough it can linger for a week.

True northerners might chuckle at this revelation but I tell you that in NC we get A SNOWFALL. And we might get another in a few weeks or next month but I cannot tell you the last time we had a second snowfall before the first had melted off.

the house across the streetThis final picture is diagonally out my front yard at a house across the street.

The view is through the snow-covered dogwood tree. Quite a pretty picture if you ask me. The neighbor is having some painting done so the maroon shutters have been removed from her house giving the entire picture a sort of 'black and white' look. At the bottom of the shot you can see part of the road and some tire marks. We joke that Raleigh only has one snowplow and that may be true. I know I've only seen it once and it was right after I had shoveled the driveway...and it piled up all of it's freshly plowed snow in a two foot drift at the base of my drive. Thanks Raleigh. Really appreciate that. I suppose someone thought I could use the exercise.