Spring Snow

It was a good day to stay inside today. Just because it’s well into Spring doesn’t mean it doesn’t want to snow in Colorado! It came down all day today, sometimes in “whiteout” conditions, piling up about 18″ (46 cm) at my house. It stopped about two hours before tonight’s newsletter went out, so I just posted an amazing photo of what happens here when it snows:

The photo shows what the snow does when it gets heavy and starts sliding off my metal roof. It slides v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y — and thus hangs way, way over before it falls.

In the photo, it’s hanging down about 2 feet (or about 61 cm, for those of you who use a more rational measuring system). It’s been like that for several hours. (Yeah: it’s dirty! That’s the dust that ended up on the roof from a windstorm — red sand from the Utah deserts.)

You can see my weather station in the middle of the photo too. Even when I’m not home, I can pop to it on the web via my phone and see what the conditions are at home. Handy!

Keeping an Eye Out

I put my desk in a corner where I can look out windows to the east and to the south, since there are spectacular mountain ranges to the east and south. Since I type well, I’ll set there and write while looking out the windows, looking at the view.

I’ll be sitting here in my office when I’ll suddenly see something big moving in the corner of my eye. It’s one of those huge chunks of snow, which has finally gotten heavy enough that it can’t hold on to the roof anymore. If a long enough piece goes, what seems like several seconds later (it’s a two-storey house) there’s a big whump as it hits the ground, sometimes shaking the house a bit.

Another shot I just took: it got clear enough for a few minutes that the tallest (the 14,150 ft — 4,312 m — Mt. Sneffels, named after a volcano in Iceland) mountain peak peeked through the clouds. I got a nice photo out the office window. Then a shot of what it looks like when it’s clear — which it was three days ago:

Those are pinyon pines there, weighed down by the snow. We have about 3,000 of them on our property.

Panorama of the mountains to the south of me, three days ago. Click to enlarge.

Yeah, it sucks that I have working conditions like this, but someone has to suffer through it. Though it works out well for you: it’s one of the reasons I don’t mind my 50-60 hour work weeks, typically spending time in the office seven days a week.

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58 Comments on “Spring Snow

  1. Beautiful scenery! I just couldn’t deal with all that snow all the time.

    I assume “NYS” is New York state. I’d bet you have a much worse time dealing with snow than we do. Supposed to be in the mid-50s here on Sunday, so the snow’ll mostly be gone. I can deal with that. -rc

  2. Wow…those are gorgeous pictures, Randy. I get to look at the San Bernardino mountains (when it isn’t too smoggy to actually see them.) It was around 80F here today and we’re expecting mid to high 90’s for the next three or four days. I think I’d rather be where you are.

    Yep. I used to live in SanBerdoo County (as I liked to call it), but between the heat, smog, traffic, heat, crowds, smog, and heat, I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s just 7 of the reasons why I moved here. It’s tough to do, though, if you can’t bring your job with you…. -rc

  3. Gorgeous!

    What’s your altitude?

    I’m 6’3″. Oh… you mean where I live, huh? 7,500′, or about 2,285m. -rc

  4. I envy you the mountain view, but not the snow! I live in the “hilly” part of Kansas, but we definitely don’t have the gorgeous peaks you do. BUT, as I said, please keep the snow.

  5. OH my,how beautiful. Where I live, near Seattle, we have the Cascades to the East and the Olympics to the west, Mt Baker to the north, and Mt Rainier and then Mt St. Helens to the south. Your mountains remind me most of the Olympics, but not as glamourous as yours are. However on a crisp winter day, with the sun shining delightedly, at a few high places in town, you can make a 360 degree circle and see nothing but snow capped mountains.
    Wonderous aren’t they. I love them all.

  6. What a view! Especially coming from where we consider anything actually above sea level a “mountain”… It looks like you can see forever – how far away are those mountains?

    Around 10 miles. I like to be back far enough to really see them. -rc

  7. Yes, you certainly have deplorable working conditions, I just wish I could share them! However, if I go out to the freeway I can check out Mt Rainier to the south, if it’s not too cloudy. Or standing in front of my house looking west, I can see the tops of a chunk of the Olympics. Or driving home from the store I can see a chunk of the Cascades to the east. Plus I don’t have to deal with as much snow as you probably do. So maybe I’ll put up with the view of my office walls….

  8. We had that slow-plopping, wet, heavy snow here last week–had to time your exit from the house to avoid getting plopped on. It was quite beautiful on our blue spruce, but lacked that certain something without the mountains in the background.

  9. Gorgeous panorama you have there; too bad there’s another house on the horizon, and too bad they couldn’t use a roof color to blend in to the scenery. I have a great mountain view too, Mt Baker, from my desk…after the swamp, RR tracks, freeway, and the closed slaughter house! I tend to keep my sights high.

    I can handle it that I see just one house. A road goes through there too, but I can’t see it thanks to the trees. -rc

  10. I think that if my workview looked like yours, I would NEVER get any work done. What a lucky person you are Randy.

    This is my brother-in-laws wx station, about five miles from me: http://www.seabrookwx.co.uk — well worth a look if wx interests you.

    I do find weather interesting. But I’m not sure I call my situation “luck”; I worked very hard for more than 20 years to achieve my goal of living where I wanted. -rc

  11. Beautiful pictures, I can see similar views here. I also have a “snow-shedding” roof, and am familiar with the noise of snow falling off and hitting the ground. Unfortunately, in my case, it lands on the walk right in front of the door, and sometimes nearly traps us in the house. It is not any fun at all to be outside at 3AM shoveling snow so your child and spouse can leave to go to school and work in the morning.

    I’ll bet! We put our front door under a covered porch attached to a carport to ensure access. But some of the piles around the foundation are getting up to 4-5′ tall! Looking forward to the warm sunshine tomorrow. Forecast is 56F (13C). -rc

  12. Now that you have a facebook fan page, why don’t you post these pictures there too 🙂

    Btw, we also had a lot of snow suddenly y’day (after a week of nice bright sunshine which had almost melted away winter’s snow), and the scenery here is also pretty much like in your pictures (except we don’t have sloping roofs – I stay in a apartment).

    I posted a link to this page on Facebook. Pretty pictures are nice, but photos with an explanation so you can get the full appreciation of what they’re about is much more valuable, and that’s pretty much impossible to do well on Facebook. -rc

  13. Also having lived in CA for over 30 years, we gave up the city life to be “RURAL”. After having lived this way for all of one day, we vowed never to return to the active, overcrowded, left-wing, tree hugging, polluted, downright rude, politically correct, over taxed, celeb gaga, … et al, way of life again. There, I gave at least 10 of myriad reasons we left, never to return. Sanpete County is also a truly beautiful place to live and also the best kept secret of winter recreational places to live in the entire USA. Keep up the good blog and humor, I enjoy it!!

    Congrats for working toward your dream, and accomplishing it. -rc

  14. Having lived most of my life in Mass., I can appreciate a good snow storm. But I can also tell you that since moving to Alabama, I can REALLY appreciate a spring day even more. It was 73 here Friday. That’s short sleeve shirt, sunroof out and windows down weather. It’ll be 72 today and 70 on Sunday. Enjoy your snow!! 🙂

    I do enjoy it, just as I enjoy the warm sunny days, the thunderstorms, and the colorful fall. -rc

  15. Just wow!

    Looking all that snow from hot Kochi, I really feel envious of you guys out there. The panorama is truly magnificent! Thank you for sharing it!

  16. Just a few comments and a question. Very nice pictures. Why don’t you have any people coping skills? You said that you couldn’t handle the crowds. I just could not handle all that cold that comes with the snow. Also, about how much would a really cool weather station like yours cost me? And Garden Grove is cooler than “San Berdoo County, but probably more crowded.

    Different strokes for different folks, Chuck. The weather station is in the $700 range; here is one source for the model I have. To put it online takes a little more hardware and software. -rc

  17. Looks like a great place to live. Let’s see some more photos in the other directions. I would also like to see your house. I’m in New Brunswick Canada so we get lots of snow, but our mountains are just little hills compared with yours. Our main concern here now is too much water. I enjoy your site.

    Well, I don’t want to put up too much personal info, since my neighbors and I like our privacy. In addition to the mountains to the east and South, to the west it starts flattening out toward the deserts of Utah, and to the north there’s the Grand Mesa, which is pretty nice to look at too. -rc

  18. I think it’s called Mt. Sneffels because the weather around it makes people catch colds. And here I was complaining about last week’s hamsin (heat wave).

    Sneffels is named after Snæfell, a familiar name for several volcanos in Iceland. One of those, Snæfellsjökull, is featured in Jules Verne’s 1874 novel, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, and according to local lore is probably what prompted settlers around here to give it that whimsical name. -rc

  19. On behalf of all of us who miss snowy Western weather and beautiful Rocky mountains, may I just say, “You suck.” 😉

    Hey: you’re the one who moved away! -rc

  20. I flew over your house the other day in flight from Vegas to Denver and it was some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen from a plane. I first got great views of the Grand Canyon and then the Rockies. You are a lucky man to have that view every day….

  21. wow, what a view! It’s a wonder you get any work done! My view is mostly side lawn with the occasional rabbit who leaves us pellet presents! I live within walking distance of a lake though that has spectacular sunsets.

    Hey: a nice lawn with wildlife beats an alley with trashcans any day. -rc

  22. Beautiful. My friend in CO has been writing about the snow at her house. I’d get headaches from the altitude though. Anything over 6000 feet it too much for me. Here in Norfolk the Azaleas are in bloom, as well as a multitude of fruit trees, and rather than wind blowing red earth, we get waves of yellow pollen from the white pines. Your turn for spring will come…

  23. I know you people love snow. But, to tell you the truth, Id rather be here in Sao Paulo (not a very hot region, like Rio). We are in the middle of Autumn here and the temperature is around 75F during the day (60F at night). But, in the picture, your snow looks great.

  24. Wonderful view. The floor of my house is 6m above the Atlantic Ocean, only about 11km to my east. The view to the west is often spectacular, but not for mountains – there aren’t any. Summers we get fantastic cloud formations before the daily late afternoon thunderstorm, and there are spectacular sunsets most any time of year.

    The only thing wrong with your view is the snow. I moved from Boston 15 years ago when I’d had enough snow. If I never see a significant snowfall ever again, that will be soon enough.

    The amazing thing to me is that you’re 11km inland, but still only 6m above sea level. No wonder hurricanes there do so much damage! I’ll take the snow, thanks. -rc

  25. I used to live in Kansas and, trust me, I MUCH prefer winter in Utah! The snow here is beautiful & having mountains covered in snow is indescribable in its beauty. Better than snow-covered wheat stubble!

    Randy, great photos! Much better than mine from the last storm when my daffodils were covered with snow!

  26. I live in Pigeon Forge, TN (home of Dollywood). We have mountains around here also, of course (The Great Smoky Mountains National Park isn’t too far away), but our views don’t come close to matching this.

    Yeah, but you have Dollywood! 🙂 They send me press releases all the time — big, expensive packets. They don’t seem to understand that I don’t cover kitschy tourist destinations, unless it’s coverage like this, which I’d guess they wouldn’t particularly enjoy! -rc

  27. Stunning…simply stunning. Living here in the desert southwest, you can imagine that I don’t get to see views like that!

  28. I’m amused by the ‘rational measuring system’ comment and its juxtaposition with the comparison of a round approximation in English measure, ‘about 2 feet’ and it’s rather precise translation into metric, ‘about 61cm’.

    I bet that if you were thinking in that ‘rational measuring system’, it would have been, ‘about 60cm’.

    Great view. The peak peek pic piques my interest.

  29. Yes, Calgary is also in the same spring snow belt. We semi-regularly get big dumps of snow in the spring too. Beautiful to look at but a hassle to drive in and it makes work challenging as I work in the transportation industry.

  30. You are extremely haughty and arrogant. Ever been face to face,I mean literally ,with the ONE WHO made those mountains and trees and snow? It appears as though you are taking credit for something and not rather acknowleging and giving credit to their CREATOR.

    I have known numerous people much , much,much more successful than you ,who have a gentle and humble demeanour and spirit.

    I’d calm your ego down before you die if I were you. Give thanks before you try to brag and boast which is not actually yours.

    Nancy Anderson M.D.

    How pitiful your tiny little world is, Nancy, if you take appreciation for nature as “haughty” and “arrogant”! No, I have never “met” the result of millions of years of tectonic plate movement face to face; have you? Now, I could go around posting moronic comments and sign my name with an “M.D.” at the end to try to impress people with my education and alleged accomplishments, but since that’s so haughty and arrogant I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I did. If you are indeed a medical doctor, I feel terribly sorry for your patients. Physician, heal thyself. -rc

  31. I did a lot of my growing up (many years ago) in Salt Lake City, and love places where you can look out a window and see real mountains. A few times we had to shovel the peaked roof due to snow build up. Unplanned “ski lessons”were exciting. Great view! Congratulations.

  32. I sure enjoyed your photos and explanation, and then reading the appreciation from fans all over the world. Then I got to the comment from “Nancy Anderson M.D.” and was not just irritated, but actually repulsed. I’m a Christian, and it was obvious she was upset that you didn’t mention God in your appreciation (“their CREATOR”). The irony of her calling YOU “haughty” and “arrogant” was insane, but the irony of the “physician, heal thyself” was wonderful. I just wanted to say thank you for linking that to an explanation; I actually didn’t realize that phrase was Biblical, and it was the best possible reply to her. She may call herself a Christian, but her attitude is the exact reason why the church is declining in America (see the recent article in Newsweek), and I agree with you: it is very sad that she and I share the same “Christian” label.

    The difference between you and her, Barry, is that you use your faith to enhance your life, while she uses hers to try to denigrate others in an attempt to prop up her life and clearly limited self esteem. As you can see, it doesn’t work very well and, as you mention, it is in large part responsible for people leaving the church all over the country. (The Newsweek article Barry refers to is here.) -rc

  33. Here in Denver in the Washington Park neighborhood we got mostly rain. If I remember correctly you live in Boulder. We were hoping for more snow since all we had to do was stay home! Ain’t Colorado Grand!

    I moved from Boulder in 2003 for the Western Slope — the other side of the Rockies. -rc

  34. Wow! Those photos are just spectacular! We get a lot of snow here in Michigan, but lack the lovely view you have. I just wanted to say that when the snow starts melting on our garage, the snow slides and curls just like yours! It’s such a neat thing to see.

    And, I don’t understand where “Nancy” got that you were being haughty and taking the credit for the beautiful view. *shakes head*. Is she expecting one to thank “God” for everything in every post every day? Just so you know, I’m not Christian and I was quite appalled by HER haughtiness. (Is that a word? lol) Anyway, keep it up! I love reading your This Is True newsletter!

  35. Your pictures look familiar to my husband and me.

    We’re in Hokkaido, in northern Japan. The next town over is a major ski resort (Niseko), and we get LOTS of snow every winter. We had a giant pile of snow to the right of our door, that we built into a seven-foot wind shield this winter. But we’re in a valley next to the coast, so the winter weather is pretty much over now, although we had a light dusting about a week ago. (It melted away very quickly.)

    We’ve had to drive through lots and LOTS of snow, over mountains and all, and I’m still impressed at modern technology and how they can keep the snow routes clear in winter. Think about our ancestors… a hundred and fifty years ago, they would have just shut themselves in for winter!

  36. I’m rather pleased that my trip to Colorado was cancelled. I was to arrive Monday morning and drive to Grand Junction for a class and back to Denver Tuesday. I do this each April and have lucked out weather wise so far.

  37. Yes, this is my second comment. When I checked back many hours later I was very dismayed to see the posting right under mine. As Barry posted, I am a Christian too, but stand by the following verse.

    How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3-5)

    I am too busy with my own plank to speak against you or anyone else. I just wish others who claim to be Christians could be more gracious.

  38. It’s none of my business but just curious, have you ever hiked up to the summit of Mt. Sneffels?

    That is definitely some beautiful country out there!

    We attempted Humboldt Peak (SW of Colorado Springs) last Memorial Day weekend but there was still too much snow at the upper trail head, at least for us flatlanders :-), so we didn’t attempt to hike any further up.

    Unfortunately, my knees are too damaged for me to do serious hiking, so I haven’t been to the top of Sneffels. -rc

  39. Colorado is beautiful, isn’t it? And the weather can be so much fun! Real weather is one of the reasons that I, like you, left Southern California. I don’t have a view like yours from my “office” (I live and work in the Roaring Fork Valley and the surrounding hills block the view of the real mountains) but my shop is literally twenty meters from the Colorado River. Whenever the stress of the day gets to be too much, I just walk out the back door and the river washes it all away. Works much better than the freeway that was out the back door when I worked in L.A.

    Yep: I’d take a roaring river over a roaring freeway any day. Especially if neither one of them are going through my house! -rc

  40. I’ve always preferred cityscapes to mountains, but those are quite pretty. Especially that clear one, which reminds me a bit of what Denali looked like when I was visiting there.

    The snow intrigues the scientist in me and makes me want to find a giant freezer and a model house and experiment with it.

  41. I was sitting in my home office looking outside into my back yard. My Vantage Pro weather station is nearby also but mine is reading about 90 degrees F. Also, we don’t have 3,000 trees in our whole community much less in the yard but we have far more tumbleweed then I see there.

    The snow is beautiful but there is something to be said for being able to spend the afternoon at the beach.

  42. Oh go to hell, was what popped into my mind. Then I remembered that you owned the darn card, so I read the comments instead. I do love my fellow readers, always makes me smile. Maybe you should give a card to Nancy. Love your view, gonna print it and put it up on the wall blocking my view of the street, of all places.

  43. Yes Randy, my heart opens out to you – having to tolerate all that pristine nature just outside your windows. The sacrifices you make!! I hope it lessens your pain somewhat to know that I’m out there skiing on as much of that fresh powder as I possibly can!! Just doing my part.

  44. WOW! Amazing photographs.The area you live in in just gorgeous. I would be jealous, but I’m sitting in a hotel room in Indiana (where I’m on a contract job) and my view is a parking lot with dumpsters. How can a beautiful mountain range and a pristine snow-covered valley top that???? 🙂

    Thanks for the chance to view one of the many beautiful, unspoiled-by-civilization areas in our country.

  45. “Around 10 miles. I like to be back far enough to really see them. -rc”

    Is that the correct response for those “who use a more rational measuring system”?

    I wish the government didn’t stop the dual speed limit signs put on the interstates back in the 70s.

    e.g. 55 mph / 88 kph.

    Correct? Sure. Rational? No. But irrational measurements are well ingrained here, aren’t they?! -rc

  46. Lovely view! Reminds me of the view I had living in Alaska several years ago, but the snow would hang on until June–not cool! I live just slightly outside of a small city, in a log cabin, of all things, in SE Mich. Got the best of both worlds–close to everything, but in a calming setting. And isn’t it wonderful that the Lord made all these different vistas for us to enjoy!

    Love This is True!

  47. Re: “2 feet (or about 61 cm, for those of you who use a more rational measuring system)”

    I agree it’s a more rational system of measures. However, I would expect to see it on your weather station page!

    My weather station is meant for area consumers, so it indeed uses familiar measurements. -rc

  48. *sigh*

    I live in the Midwest. Arlington Texas to be precise. I grew up in NW Minnesota and seeing those pics make me long for snow country. I even have dreams of living in a mountainous area just for the fantastic view. *sigh* I envy Randy and where he lives. 🙂

  49. I am a long time True reader, but just recently found your blog. When you described the dust which soiled the underside of the slab of snow on your roof, it reminded me of the weather an online friend of mine living in Moab described.

    She told us about a recent dust storm. They had high winds and red dust swirling thickly through the air. Then came a light rain, which caught all that red dust in the air and took it down in the form of mud. I can’t imagine mud falling from the sky and coating everything. She was relieved when it rained in earnest, for that meant this time she wouldn’t have to hose down the fruit trees and her garden.

    I wonder if that was one of the same dust storms we saw. The most recent was indeed very red. Moab is only about 100 miles west of us, as the dust flies. -rc

  50. Yeah, mudstorms. We get those a couple of times a year. I’ve never seen more crazy kinds of weather than I have since moving to Colorado.

  51. I loved the enlarged panoramic view, but I see some stupid b___d put his house between yours and your wonderful mountains. Some people have no respect for others. 😉

    And naturally, that house wasn’t there when we built ours…. -rc

  52. Precisely OUR roof, too, Randy! Our house is a vintage cedar log home at the 4,000 foot elevation just outside Yosemite. My acreage is all massive climax-growth forest with JUST enough cleared for the house. When I bought the house in 2001, the first thing I did was to replace the original cedar shake roof with a metal one, and yup: with our heavy snows, we too experience the 2′ pageboy overhang. What’s REALLY interesting (or at least mildly so) is when the temps fall precipitously and the stuff toughens up but doesn’t break: we’ve had a near complete curled curtain from the second floor eaves make it all the way down to the first floor roof.

    Ah, life in the mountains…don’t ya just love it?!

  53. I like the photos. I didn’t realize the black hat was a weather station. When i first looked i thought you had a big snowman hiding in the forest. What a spectacular view. You’re in heaven all the time. Thanks for the view.


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