The Weather in SW Pennsylvania

by Stacy Artis



Most of June was a little on the cool side with lots of rain.  This past week, though, we've had the same awful heatwave the rest of the country's been experiencing.  It sure warmed the pool water up.  It rained today and the temperatures were a good bit cooler but the humidity was still very high so it wasn't very comfortable.


The weather here is beautiful, sunny and 65 degrees today.  I have a raging case of spring fever and though I've done a little work outside, cleaning up branches and leaves, I'm clamping down on my gardening urges.  The robins came back last week, but there is no way winter is done with this part of the world yet.  We may not get any more snow, but I'm sure it will be cold again.  Just not too cold, I hope.  The warm weather this week has the crocus blooming and the daffodils coming up as well as buds on the dogwoods and lilacs. 



Brrrrr!  Is it ever cold and windy here this morning, but the weather man is threatening even colder temperatures for tonight.  Maybe even into the 20's.  I'd say it's much too early in the season for that but we've already had one nasty snow storm in October.  I sure hope this isn't an indication of how the winter will play out.



Weather-wise it's been hot and dry this month, feeling more like July than September. We had a good all day rain out of Rita's remnants yesterday but we need so much more. Everything is so dry and the water table is down. After several very wet years I'm wondering if we're cycling into a drought period? At least we are enjoying some more seasonable temperatures following the rain and should see overnight lows near 40 by the end of the week. Last time Tim was home, we spent the weekend running and doing some much needed shopping. This weekend we'll be staying home and doing all our winterizing, closing the pool and preparing for the propane tank. It's my favorite time of year. I just hope I have time to enjoy it this year. 



It's been a hot, dry summer and fall so far.  We are well below normal for rainfall and all the lakes and reservoirs are low.  If we don't get a good amount of rain soon I can imagine water use will be limited.  The trees are beginning to lose their leaves, skipping the color this year and just turning brown and falling in most places.  The beautiful weather seems so unfair when watching the images from New Orleans and Mississippi, but that is nature's fickle hand at work.


For starters, the crazy weather can't seem to make up its mind. In the last couple of weeks we've had it all - cold temperatures, warm temperatures, sunshine, enough rain to float an ark, wind and Sunday we got 4 inches of slushy, wet snow! Yesterday's 60 high made short work of it and the warm up continues today with a high of 71 predicted. Hopefully we've seen the last of the white stuff till next winter.

Spring is making an entrance. You just have to pay attention. The robins have been back since February but lately I'm seeing a lot of their eggs on the ground thanks to the ever present wind here on the Hill. I spot another kind of bird nearly every day. Today it was turkey vultures. The crocuses were in bloom last week. This week it's pussy willows, and daffodils are coming on strong. I even saw a patch of dandelions beside the road last week. But the biggest sign of Spring for me? Hearing the peppers singing in the evenings.


February 28
    A huge snow storm was predicted for today and we did wake up to some freezing rain, but it quickly went back to all rain.  Many of the school districts either had delays or canceled.  Derry had neither and there was plenty of grumbling about it at the bus garage this morning since the drivers figured it was going to get bad sooner or later.  It didn't really begin to snow until mid afternoon and even then the roads stayed clear until after all the kids were home.  The road crews had been out
salting all day in anticipation so the snow melted as it landed.
    I made it home okay, but Tim is now driving through Pittsburgh on the Parkway to get home and he had a rough time of it.  It was pretty late when he finally got home.
March 2
    Snowy, windy and bitter cold today.  Many of the secondary roads were nearly drifted shut and there was a lot of ice.  Nearly all the schools in the area were closed or at least delayed.  Not Derry.  We were out there right on time.  My boss is tired of getting up in the middle of the night to drive the roads only to have his recommendations ignored by the school district's transportation director.  What we figure is that he is getting a lot of pressure not to have any cancellations because we have a 6 day break at Easter.  A lot of teachers probably have vacation plans.
March 3
    Very cold again today, but at least there was no new snow and we did see a tiny bit of sunshine this afternoon! 
March 5
    It was sunny and mild today with temperatures in the 40's
March 7
    Spring fever is really taking hold this morning.  It is 62 degrees on the thermometer outside the kitchen window, the sun is shining brilliantly and the birds are making quite a racket with their joyful singing!  Hard to believe in just a few short hours rain is going to move in and the temperature will drop rapidly bringing more snow.  Tomorrow's high is only supposed to be in the low to mid 20's.  Brrrrrr.  March has certainly come in like a lion this year.  I sure hope it goes out like the gentlest of lambs.

What gorgeous weather we've been having the last few days....plenty of sunshine and daytime temperatures in the 40's and 50's.  We may even see 60 degrees today.  Very unusual for February, but we'll take it!  It sure has me thinking of Spring and getting out to "play" in the dirt.  A few of the seed catalogs have arrived and I've been pouring over them and making a wish list, but am not sure if we'll be gardening this year or not. 



Hello!  I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas with family and friends and that you weren't among the stranded due to the snow storms that hit last week.  We were very lucky here in Latrobe.  The leading edge of the storm system stalled just to the west of us and while places just about 100 miles from here were dealing with over a foot of snow, we had sunshine and 60 degree temperatures!  That sure didn't last long, though.  We haven't gotten the snow (just an inch or so on the ground), but it sure is cold.  The high the last couple of days has been in the teens.  We've had a fire going every day to help cut down on propane use.



The weather is quite miserable this morning, windy with rain and it's cold.  The weatherman keeps saying the rain will pass and we'll see a high of about 53 degrees today and tomorrow the temperature is supposed to top out in the 60's!  We have really been quite lucky so far.



It's getting cooler here again and rain is moving in.  A chilly, wet evening, but I'm snug with a toasty fire burning and a steaming bowl of stew.  

       The beautiful weather continues!  Though we've been blessed with plenty of sunshine, the temperatures have been on the decline and our highs are in the 60's with our lows in the 40's.  It was, however, 35 degrees yesterday morning according to the thermometer outside the kitchen window.  I got a fire going in the fireplace and put some cinnamon rolls in the oven so Tim and the kids woke up to a nice cozy house.  No frost yet, but with a high only in the 50's predicted for tomorrow and a low in the 30's, the the forecasters are calling for "patchy" frost by Wednesday morning.

       Happy Fall, y'all!  Today is the first full day of autumn and what a glorious day it is here in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  The fog was pea-soup thick this morning, but it burnt off early revealing clear, azure skies and lots of sunshine.  We're looking for a high temperature of 85 degrees this afternoon.  Holy cow!  We didn't have weather this nice through most of the summer.  It's actually been much like this every day of the
what was left of hurricane Ivan passed through our area, dropping up to 9 or 10 inches of rain in some areas around here (we are now nearly 20 inches above normal rainfall levels for the year).  There were a lot of flooded basements locally, a few closed roads and some power outages, but the worst of the storm was felt west of us in Washington and Allegheny Counties and north in Beaver Co.  President Bush toured some of the flood damaged communities yesterday to offer encouragement.

       Except for a rainy first day of school this past Monday, we've had an absolutely beautiful week!  Temperatures have been right around 80 degrees each afternoon and a cool, comfortable 60 degrees at night.  The humidity was a bit high the first half of the week, but today is just perfect with a nice breeze and clear, blue skies.

We've had beautiful weather all this week.  Plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 80s.  I think this is the longest stretch of nice weather we've had all summer.  We've been getting caught up on the yard work again.  All the rain we've had has sure done wonders for the weeds.


It's sunny here this morning, a most welcome change from from yesterday.  It stormed all day.  It didn't necessarily rain all day but wave after wave of thunder and lighting rolled through.  It started early in the morning and was still going at it when I went to bed at 11:30.  The dry storms were kind of unusual, but I won't complain.  We've had so much rain again this summer.  The ground is saturated and we have a couple of spots in the yard that never seem to dry out. 


Speaking of weather, it's beginning to feel a lot like fall around here.  We're still getting a real hot day here and there, but for the most part, the days are a little cooler (only 68 for a predicted high today) and the nights are definitely cooler.  It got down to 50 last night!  For the last week or so when I let the dogs out at night the air has had that autumn smell to it.  We've also had plenty of rain.  I think maybe this summer was even wetter that last year.  Maybe not quite as many rainy days, but heavier rains when we got it.  I heard somewhere that we are already at the rain level we were at in November of last year.  No wonder the back yard remains a perpetual swamp. 


Sunny and hot today with a high temperature around 85 degrees.  At least it wasn't humid.


Sunny and warmer still.  The temperature reached 80 degrees this afternoon.  I was busy in the yard for most of the day.  Pulled more weeds, trimmed the yard while Matt mowed.  We moved one of the rabbit hutches to a new spot in the yard and turned it away from the sun.  I still tacked up some shade cloth on the one side anyway.  I also tacked up shade cloth (landscape cloth) on one side and the end of the chicken run.  I followed Kim's advice and got the loose weave cloth so air can still circulate.  Matt helped me tack the higher spots.  It doesn't look as nice as if Tim had done it, but at least it's done and the chooks have some shade. 


It was really cool this morning, in the mid 50's according to the thermometer outside the kitchen window, but it warmed up quickly enough and was sunny with a nice breeze.

       Cooler today with rain off and on (more on).  It was really dark and gloomy.  I didn't mind as I didn't feel like doing much today.  I am a bit tired and a lot sun burned.

More rain today.  Sigh.  It seems like that is all it has done so far this summer.  It is hot and muggy, but the torrential daily (sometimes multiple times a day) thunderstorms have left everything a soggy, overgrown mess.  The ground is saturated and water is pooled in every low lying dip providing ample breeding grounds for fleas and mosquitoes.  We had to invest in torches to drive the pests away on those rare evenings it's dry enough to sit out.  We took the old liner out of the pool a couple of weeks ago and haven't been able to catch a break in the weather to get the new one in. 


Our weather is finally warm, hot actually, but very wet.  We've had at least a little bit of rain nearly every day.  Most days it's been more like a lot  of rain in the form of some pretty nasty storms.  The grass needs mowed something awful, but the rain usually hits just as we are getting home at the end of the day.  I am hoping to get a break before the weekend.


After Tuesday's weather, I hope we've seen the last of winter.  We had rain, thunder, lightening, wind, sleet, hail and snow.....all in one day!  We've been warming up every day since and today is sunny with an expected high near 80.  It's wonderful.  The kids on the bus are sure enjoying it and getting sillier by the day.  Good thing the nice weather improves my patience, too.

       What a gloomy day it's been, even though the rain held off until this afternoon.  It affected everyone's moods and everyone has been so grumpy.  I found that Matt and Megan were no different when I got home.  Looks like we will be in for a "fun" evening.

The rain is finally here and it's stayed all day.  Once in a while it gets a little heavier but mostly it's stayed pretty light.  It has also cooled down a little.  I was fine all day, but needed a jacket tonight.


We squeaked out another nice day even though the weatherman has been saying rain and cooler temperatures all week.  It did start raining this evening so maybe it'll stick around like predicted this time.


  It's a beautiful sunny day and mild, but not too warm, with temperatures in the low 50's.  I sure wish we'd have more days like this and maybe a little warmer, too, so the yard would dry out.  I am itching to get out there and start digging and planting.  I've thought up ideas and drawn sketches and changed my mind so many times during the last few weeks.  I need to get the plants in the ground and be done so I can't change my mind anymore.


Another cold, windy one, but at least there wasn't any snow and the sun was out full force all day.  I can do without the cold but I wouldn't mind a few more days of wind to help dry things up.  We've had so much rain and then yesterday's snow that everywhere that isn't paved is nothing but a mud hole.


It's raining here.  It started raining Tuesday and it's been raining ever since.  Whenever anyone talks about the weather you hear concerns that this year will be like last.  It seemed then like it started raining in April and didn't stop until September.  It was a very cool, wet summer and a lot of plans were ruined, gardens didn't do so well, lawns grew like crazy, flooding was a problem.  After that, four days of rain in a row has us worried.


It was warm today (70 according to the kitchen window thermometer) but rainy this morning and cloudy all day.  Tim went to work this morning but only worked a couple of hours before coming home.  It was just too muddy to get much done.


Wow!  What an incredible day.  The thermometer outside the kitchen window is reading 75 degrees.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the rooster is crowing and the dogs are basking.  The earth and all her creatures are definitely coming back to life after a long, cold winter.  Just this morning on my bus route I saw deer, a flock of turkeys, pheasants, new lambs and a cow giving birth!  How's that for a way to start out the day?


It was cold again today so it was nice to stay in tonight and have a fire in the fireplace.  I was struck by how much I appreciate our home.  It may be a little shabby around the edges and it's definitely cluttered, but it's cozy and comfortable.  It's a place that makes you feel good.  My Nana's house was like that.  My Aunt Jackie's house, too, but my mom and my other aunt missed the boat.  I'm glad I picked up the trait.


March came in like a lamb here in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania.  The temperature outside my kitchen window is 60 degrees for the third day in a row.  All the sunshine and warmth of the last two weeks has been wonderful and most welcome, but winter hasn't completely let go.  Most mornings we still wake to frost heavy enough to require scraping and defrosting of windshields and while the snow is melted here, I can still see spots of white here and there up on the ridges.  The ice remains as well in any location where it piled up and the lakes remain frozen, though I haven't seen anyone ice fishing for more than a week.  I have yet to see a robin and I usually spot the first one in mid to late February.  The pussywillow that grows just off the back walk is getting ready to sprout its furry little buds, though.  I can just see them poking out along the branches.


Wow!  I can't believe we're already into February.  It's sure easy to believe it's winter, though.  We didn't need a groundhog to tell us winter isn't over yet.  The snow just keeps coming....and coming....and coming!  We are getting ice storms in between the snow so it's a real mess.  Last week school was canceled Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and there was a 2-hour delay on Friday.  This week school was canceled on Tuesday and we were holding our breath about today since there was another ice storm last night.  We finally caught a break and the ice turned to rain during the night.  It rained all night and most of the day.  The roads were clear but flooding is a problem and this afternoon the fog was so thick I couldn't see 10 feet in front of the bus.  The temperature is supposed to drop tonight and snow is on its way.  I'm sure glad it's the weekend and I don't have to worry about the roads for a couple of days.

       It's -2 this morning!!  The wind chill makes it feel like it's about -30.  Now that is cold!  I would like nothing better than to stay warm and cozy in the house and enjoy my day off, but I have to drive to New Florence (over the mountain and about 40 minutes away), pick up Tim's sister and her boyfriend, drive them to the train station in Johnstown (over more mountains and on the news I can see it's even colder there) and then drive all the way back home.  

What a yucky day!  The roads on my route were iffy this morning and I was a couple of minutes late getting to the school.  I'd rather be cautious than stuck.   Snowed some more when we were out on the afternoon runs.  I was glad to get back to the garage and park the bus.  Our school district has a four-day weekend.

Woke up to a temperature of 4 degrees outside this morning.  Brrrr!  It was our coldest day yet this winter with a high of only 10 late this afternoon.  I'm glad I didn't have anywhere to go.  Poor Tim had to work, so was outside in it all day.  I don't know how he can stand it.

We are expecting to get hit with a big snow storm tonight with anywhere from 5-10 inches of snow by morning.  We got a little taste this morning with some snow mixed with ice.  It could have been a real mess to drive in but I got very lucky.  Some of my bus route was already salted when I got to it and on other parts I actually followed the salt truck.  I didn't have any problems at all.  It isn't doing anything right now, but they say it is the lull before the storm.  


No snow yet, but it sure is cold.  The weatherman still says it could happen tonight or tomorrow.


Another cold front came through yesterday bringing rain and lots of wind again.  Just what we needed.  The daytime temps are down in the mid to upper 40's range and we're hitting right around freezing at night.  The weatherman says we may see the first snow flurries of the year on Thursday or Friday!


I packed away the summer clothes today and got out the sweaters, turtle-necks and longjohns.  It's been cooler this week and last night the temperature made it down to the freezing mark.  Brrrr, was it cold this morning.  We still have some warm days ahead, but not so many that a couple pairs of shorts left out won't handle it. We've had a fire in the fireplace a couple of evenings now, just to chase the damp chill away, not because it was really that cold.


We've been enjoying fabulous Indian Summer weather this week.  Beautiful, warm, sunny days of the most amazing blue skies and crisp, cool nights where the stars shine like diamonds.  Mornings have sparkled with frost or have been shrouded in fog.  The deer continue to act nuts due to rutting season and one really has to keep an eye out for them in the mornings.


Hurricane Isabel has arrived, not that you'd notice.  After all the hype and panic of yesterday, today's barely rainy day is almost a let down.  Some of the schools around here canceled today's classes as early as noon yesterday in anticipation.  I'm not really sure why.  All we were expecting here in SW Pennsylvania is some heavy rain (no more heavy than what we've already seen this summer) and some stronger wind gusts.  Our school district didn't close so I am out there driving the bus.  No problems at all to report.

Fall is definitely in the air in our area.  Nights are cooler, mostly in the 50's but we've dipped into the 40's once or twice.  No frost yet.  The days are still warm and up until today have been sunny and clear for the most part with high temperatures between 75-80 degrees.  It's my favorite season of all, but it could get just a bit cooler for me.  I am wanting to break out my turtlenecks and sweaters. 

We're getting things ready for winter as we have the time.  A couple of weeks ago I pruned all the shrubs back and Tim rented a professional lawn edger to go around the beds.  Boy, that thing is slick!  We then put down new plastic and new mulch.  It looks so much neater and the roots have a nice layer of insulation.

    I've almost made it through the week.  Yea!  School started Monday, so that means I'm back to work driving a bus.  No major problems to report, just the usual beginning of the year confusion and running late.  By this time next week everything should be running smoothly.  It's been miserably hot this week as well.  A temperature of 85 means about 100 on the bus even with windows and roof vents open, but most of the time I haven't been able to open anything because we've been having very severe storms....gets dark as night, jagged lightening, thunder that shakes the house, wind, hail, very heavy rain, flooding and the next county over had a tornado.
08-07, 2003

Temperatures during the day have remained right around 80 degrees, but it is so humid.  Just right for nearly daily thunder storms.  The storms don't usually last long, but do dump an awful lot of rain.  Yesterday we received just under 2 inches in an hour.  It's been good for the weeds and they are growing at incredible rates again.  Happily, the peppers and tomatoes are doing just as well.  We started picking a few tomatoes this week.  Yellow cherries and some large yellows.  The reds are just starting to get some color.  Another couple of weeks and I will be seeing tomatoes in my dreams rather than cukes.


It rained again today, the first rain in a week or so, but we got another inch and there are puddles everywhere.  Since I couldn't get outside, I've been working on a latch hook rug.  I have several large kits that I never seem to get around to.  I'm going to try to stick with it and work on them whenever I can.  They are really beautiful kits and I'd like to give them as Christmas gifts this year.  I also baked about 10 dozen chocolate chip cookies.  We haven't had sweets in the house for a while so it is a treat for Tim and Matt who love my chocolate chip cookies and will probably devour them all in a couple of days!



The picnic on the Fourth was a great success even though the temperature was above 90 and the humidity was as high as it could be without being rain!  Sweltering is a perfect way to describe it.  The kids handled it fine by staying in the pool all afternoon.  We adults managed by moving around as little as possible and taking breaks in the air conditioning.  A big storm system moved in around 5:30 and we had just enough time, with everyone pitching in, to get things packed up and put away before it hit.  The rain was very heavy for a couple of hours then eased up but continued for most of the evening.  The fireworks were postponed until the next night.

The rain this week has been incredible.  A storm system like none I've seen in a long time, if ever, passed through in the wee hours of Tuesday morning dumping about three inches of rain in a short time.  The thunder and lightening were amazing.  This part of the country very seldom sees strobing lightening, but that's what we had.  Once again we were lucky to avoid any damage.  Not so much as a leaf down when I checked in the morning and our power never did more than flicker at the height of the storm.  We've had off and on rain all week and several more severe storm systems passing through.  The latest, last evening, dumping another 2-3 inches of rain.  The Loyalhanna Creek which runs along U.S. 30 from Ligonier to Latrobe before turning and running straight through the middle of Latrobe is usually a slow-moving, meandering stream about 50 feet wide, but I have seen the whole Rt. 30 corridor under water before.  Last night the warnings were out for flooding in those areas.  In town, only the outer edges where the creek is still preserved in its natural state, really need to worry.  In the center of town, the creek bed was dug down years ago and the water would have to rise an incredible amount to overflow the banks.  Times like this are when I am especially thankful we live high on a hill.  Our hill is almost an island with lower land on three sides and a mountain ridge on the fourth.  If we walk just two streets over we can look down on the entire town of Latrobe, which sits in a small valley.

We haven't been able to do much outside this week with all the rain.  The ground is completely saturated and water is laying anywhere there is a dip.  I hope it dries out soon as the weeds have been growing like......well, weeds!  We need to get in the garden and get after them.  West Nile virus is a problem in this area, as well and I don't like all the water sitting around to encourage the mosquitoes.  We began the month about .10" below normal for precipitation.  I don't think that's the case anymore.  I don't know an exact measure, but I'm guessing we've had 6-10 inches of rain this week.  All that rain didn't cool anything off.  It's been staying in the upper 80's with high humidity.  Today is our first break with an expected high of 78.  All the rain is probably the only thing that has kept the flowers from broiling in the heat.  My potted flowers are actually thriving and I usually have a very hard time with them because of how hot the afternoon sun gets.  We sure are enjoying the sunflowers.  They are mostly all blooming now and are so pretty!  The goldfinches like them, too.  When I sit out on the deck I see them checking them out for seeds and resting on the leaves.



The recently fixed air conditioning conked out again over the weekend and it has been so hot.  We've been making do with the fans, but yesterday it got to be unbearable.  It was nearly 90 degrees in the house!  It made me feel just awful and not want to do anything.  Tim finally had the time last night to crawl under the house again and was able to patch it together again so that it blows air into at least half the house.  We will have to fix it right, but this will get us through the Fourth and give our guests a place to get out of the heat if they need to (it is supposed to be 90 and humid).  There will be quite a few elderly family members here and I was worried about their comfort and health.



       This week has found us enjoying sunny skies, temperatures in the mid-80's to lower 90's and a much welcomed absence of rain!  Each day Matt, Megan and I have gone out in the morning before it got too hot and worked on pulling weeds in the flower beds, around the shrubs and in the garden.  We've had so much rain this month (the wettest June in SW PA since records have been kept!) that the weeds had really gotten ahead of us.  It is slow going and my help isn't exactly keen on the job, but we are making progress and it is beginning to look a lot less neglected around here.  The reward for all the hard work?  The water in the pool is finally warming up and sure feels good after working hard.

 Tim was able to fix our air conditioning just in time for this heat wave.  The problem began last fall when the unit ran but no cool air was coming out of the registers.  Since we were done using it for the season, we didn't worry about it.  When we turned it on Sunday, we found the problem was still there.  Tim couldn't see anything wrong with the unit, so crawled under the house to take a look at the duct work.  It didn't take much to see the problem.  We live in a doublewide that sits on blocks on a full slab so we have dealer installed flexible duct work.  Not the best stuff in the world.  It had come apart in several places and the cool air was blowing out under the house (it may have been losing warm air this past winter too).  Tim was able to patch it back together enough to get cool air blowing into the front half of the house.  He needs to put a T in to get it to the back of the house and we will have to do something with it before winter.



Rain, rain and more rain, but at least the temperatures have warmed up.  Our daytime highs are in the upper 70's and night time lows are in the lower 60's.  Lots of water lying everywhere and no hope of drying out any time soon.  At least some rain is predicted every day for the next week.  We've been lucky in that we've missed the severe storms that have hit the region and only have to deal with the rain.  Good for the growing things, but not so good for the allergies.  A physician friend tells me the constant dampness encourages mold growth and is responsible for Megan's terrible time with allergies this year.



School's out, school's out.....and the first day of vacation is looking to be beautiful with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the 70's.  I'm wanting to get out there and do the work in the yard and garden that's been on hold for so long, but there is a community block party at the church tonight and the kids and I are going to spend the day helping to set up for that.  I am glad for the nice weather for it, though, as it is all outside in the parking lot.  Last year for our first time it poured and really kept the crowds away.



Brrrrr!  Where's the warm weather and sunshine?  Not here, that's for sure.  Today's temperature should reach 63 for a high and we're getting an all day, soaker rain that's quite heavy at times.  We've had quite a bit of rain lately and cooler than normal temperatures.  We should be seeing highs in the mid 70's this time of year.  We've had some sunny days here and there and have managed to finish planting the garden, mow the lawn and get the chicken coop built.  The Rhodies really appreciate the coop, but are still quite timid about going out in the run.  We put their water out there so they at least go out for a drink.  Maybe when the weather is nicer?  School will be out in two more days, so with no kids to bus my days will be my own again.  I'm looking forward to spending more time on the garden and flowers.

Oh, remember the swan that was sitting?  She did hatch three little ones, but I've learned the young are always taken away and raised by a gentleman who sells them and uses the money earned (supposedly up to $1000/bird) to provide feed throughout the year for those already living on the reservoir.



We've been have a cooler spell with a good bit of rain the last two weeks.  Daytime temperatures have been in the 60's but the nights have been cool enough to make the furnace kick on and we did have a light frost one morning.  The rain has been great for greening up all the growing things and throwing them into a growth spurt, but it hasn't been good for us working in the garden.  Too muddy.  It was finally dry enough to mow the lawn yesterday.  What a relief.  Much longer and we could have made hay!  I am hoping there is no rain today as the prom is tonight and Matt is going.  I think I'm more excited than he is.  I can't wait to see all the kids in their finery.




Another warm day, but cloudy with rain moving in this afternoon to cool things off for the weekend.  Everyone sure is enjoying this and beast alike.  Lots of stories being shared by the bus drivers this morning of animals with attitude.  The funniest had to be about a Canadian goose that parked himself in the middle of the road and would not move.  The bus driver blew the horn, opened the safety arm (which gave it a whack), a man driving by got out of his truck and tried to shoo it and got nipped for his efforts.  Finally, a man with a big Maglite flashlite came along and started whacking the goose in the behind which finally got it moving while it honked with indignation all the way back to the water.  On my route, I had to wait for a runaway bull to be chased back into the pasture.  The kids on the buses are just as "bad," having come alive with this beautiful weather and the radios squawk all afternoon with reports of their mischievousness.  Another sure sign of Spring?  The kids are requesting gas masks to survive the smell of the manure that's been spread on most fields this week.



We got one last (at least I hope it's the last) taste of winter over the weekend.  Saturday began fairly mild but the rain moved in quickly and cooled things off.  Such a dreary day.  The rain turned to snow during the night and we woke up to about 2 inches on the ground Sunday morning and it was COLD!  Monday was colder still and breezy.  We had several snow squalls through out the day that put down about another inch.  Some parts of the bus route looked like a wonderland.  Beautiful and so clean and sparkly.  Tuesday morning there was still snow on the ground, but by afternoon it was gone and we could get away with just a light jacket.  Today is just glorious!  The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the temperature was in the 60's before 9:00 this morning.  On my bus route I saw two pheasants, a red-winged blackbird, a bluebird and as I was rounding the lake near the high school I saw that the swans are building a nest!  Maybe I'll get to see the little ones before school is out!



We've had gorgeous weather all this week with high temperatures in the 60's.  Today we should see it reach 73 degrees or higher!  Believe me when I say we are enjoying it.  We've cooked dinner on the grill several nights and Tim tilled the garden twice this week, mixing in some plant compost and a winter's worth of rabbit droppings.  We planted onions, lettuce and spinach.  Yum!  Can't wait to have some fresh veggies again.



Last weekend and the beginning of this week we had very summer-like weather with high temperatures around 70 degrees and lots of sunshine.  Tim and I spent most of Saturday and Sunday out in the yards (our property backs up to my mom's and we use it as one big communal yard) cutting branches, raking last Fall's leaves from around the shrubs and out of the flower beds, pruning and the like.  The fire Tim had going to get rid of the stuff was burning all day.  It sure looks a lot neater around here.  Now if we could only get some color in the form of new grass and flowers to brighten things up.

I got the bunnies out of their hutches on Saturday and let them hop around the yard on leads.  How happy they were and what a show they put on for the neighborhood kids!  Oreo, our little black and white Dutch, looks so pretty and has a wonderfully curious personality but isn't fond of being held.  Elmo, is a very large mixed breed buck that looks like a cuddly stuffed animal and he just loves to be cuddled and petted.  The first time meeting between our toy poodle, Scooby, and Elmo was quite funny as they are about the same size, but Elmo out weighs Scooby by several pounds.  Being the dignified old gentleman that he is, Elmo just ignored Scooby as he danced all around him sniffing, barking, whimpering and nearly wiggling out of his skin.

Lots of rain Wednesday and Thursday that came along with flood warnings.  We don't usually have much of a flood problem around here, but it's plenty wet.  It will still be a long time before we can get in the garden.




  We're experiencing yo-yo weather this week.  That's weather that is mild and sunny one day, cold and rainy the next and cold, but sunny the next!  It means Spring is just around the corner, so we'll take it.  I've been driving a minibus out along rural roads this week and I've seen lots of signs of the return to life by Mother Nature including two large flocks of turkeys with the gobblers fanning their tails and really strutting their stuff.  Thought to tell my son about them for Spring Gobbler season, but both were sighted in posted areas.  Too bad.  Lots of calves out there in the fields and I finally saw my first robin!  One day I even had a frisky black kitten try to stare down the bus.  She planted herself right in front and just stared.  I tried honking and creeping forward, but all she did was meow.  A gentleman stopped his truck and tried hollering at her and blowing his horn as well.  The little imp ignored him completely.  Finally, she must have decided she'd held me up enough and sashayed off into the barnyard without ever looking back.

  This weekend promises to be beautiful with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 60's, maybe even near 70.  It's still too wet to work in the garden but I can at least get out there and start cleaning things up.




  I'm finally beginning to feel better after fighting a virus for the better part of three weeks and then having a bad reaction to the medicine the doctor gave me.....though looking at the house this morning, I'd almost wanted to crawl back in bed (you know how it is when mama is sick).  However, it was too beautiful outside to hide away.  The temperature reached an almost summer-like 58 degrees.  Wow!  The pussy willow outside the backdoor is getting little fuzzies and when I looked around the yard I found buds on the lilac and the other trees are beginning to appear red.  No sign of the crocus or daffodils yet.

  We had grocery shopping to do and we drove the bus route I'm to drive on Monday so I could be sure of it, so we were able to be out and see quite a bit of the country side.  So many signs of returning life as we drove along.....sheep sunning on a hillside, lots of people cleaning up and cutting up branches that came down during the winter, building projects, people out for walks and kids on bikes, chickens in the road.  It was wonderful!

At home, Tim took advantage of the warmer weather and being able to leave the door open to install a new knob and lock on the backdoor and clean the vehicles.  My urge to get working in the flower beds and garden is strong, but will have to wait a while longer as a cold front is supposed to come through tonight and drop our temperature about 40 degrees.  Ahhhhh....the fickleness of March.




  The first part of the week brought us some pretty mild weather and the hopeful longings for Spring in this girl's heart, but it's still too early to get too excited. Mother Nature unleashed nearly everything she's got on us today....freezing rain, sleet, snow and even some plain old rain! When I went out this morning to warm up the truck for the drive to work it was difficult to find firm footing anywhere. Even the grass was a sheet of ice! I've heard tomorrow will bring temperatures close to 50 degrees. How nice that would be.




  Mother Nature has teased us with brief tastes of spring lately, but for the most part winter continues to hang on.  Last week's Presidents' Day Storm moved into the area Sunday morning and by Monday morning had dumped a foot of snow.  Not nearly as much as areas just south of us received, but still enough to close the schools and nearly everything else.  Tim would have been able to get to work thanks to 4-wheel drive, but everyone else called off so he stayed home.  The kids helped us clear snow then went sled-riding.  The following morning brought a couple inches of new snow and a 2-hour delay for Matt and Megan. 

  Since then we've had pretty dull weather, cold, but not much new snow.  A small storm this past Sunday dropped about 4 inches, but didn't cause many problems.  Just a few flurries here and there since then. 

   The weather in the mountains just a few miles from us is another story as I found out yesterday.  Matt found an injured Sharp-shinned Hawk in the backyard on Tuesday.  It's illegal for us to keep it here in Pennsylvania so a call to the Game Commission put me in contact with a wildlife rehabilitator in Laughlintown.  I drove to her place during my mid-day break and it was like another world.  Snow was piled up, roads were a sheet of ice and the wind was howling.  I found myself stuck in a snowbank and owe a big thanks to two gentlemen that came along and pushed me out.  I was very relieved to get back to the bottom of the mountain!



  We're only about an hour away from Punxytawny and that notorious prognosticating gopher known as Phil, so Sunday morning found all the local news teams out covering the festivities.  Wouldn't you know the little rodent would predict 6 more weeks of winter?  Funny how that's almost exactly how long it is till Spring begins on the calendar.  

  What isn't funny is that he was least for now.  Two days after his prediction, winter came roaring back and our temperatures dropped nearly 30 degrees in just a couple of hours!  Lots of wind and blowing flurries to sting the eyes (and make it tricky learning to drive a bus), but no real accumulation until today.  We've got about 4 inches on the ground and every so often we get a good squall that puts down another dusting.



  We hit the lowest temperature of the winter, so far, this past Monday with a painful 6 below zero at 5:00 A.M......and it didn't warm up much from there.  The schools were delayed again, which was a blessing.  The more I could stay inside all warm and cozy to recover from a nasty bout of the flu was fine with me.  Temperatures began to climb on Tuesday and we've been right around 32 degrees for a high every day.  What would have seemed so cold a few weeks ago, now feels like the arrival of Spring!  Everywhere I look, I see people out and about with no coats and I don't have to look far, I'm one of them.  Perception is a funny thing.  Anyway, we're expecting a mild weekend with temperatures in the mid 40's and a high near 50 on Monday!  I am so glad.  I took the test to get my CDL learner's permit for school buses last week and haven't been able to get any time on the road until today.  My instructor says if the weather holds I should be ready for the road test soon.



  Our neck of the country continued to be in the deep freeze for the second full week with the temperature falling below zero on Thursday.  It's been windy as well, so we've had to deal with the windchill, too.  That has made it feel well below zero.  Much too cold to stay outside for any length of time.  The schools have had two hour delays every day this week.  We have been keeping a fire burning as much as possible to help with heat but there is still a bit of a chill and the furnace is running so much.  It's just so cold.  Weatherman says there's a break on the way and temperatures will be close to 30 degrees on Sunday and Monday.  Whoohoo!  That will feel like a heatwave.



  COLD is the operative word this week.  The temperatures have been at 20 degrees or below every day and today it hovered below 10 degrees for much of the day and joy of joys....the propane ran out not long after the kids left for school!  Thank heaven for brother-in-laws that ride to the rescue and get tanks filled while husbands are working three hours away from home.  I am so glad we have the fireplace with a blower.  I was able to keep the house at a bearable 64 degrees until my brother-in-law arrived.  It was chilly, though....even our poodle had his sweater on!

  We've had flurries and squalls off and on all week, but nothing to talk about. Only a couple of inches of hard-packed, icy snow on the ground right now.  If the weatherman is right, that will change tonight with several inches of accumulation and even colder temperatures.  Brrrrr!  Tim is bringing home another load of scrap lumber from the job site to burn and our son is outside now giving the bunnies extra bedding.

  I hope wherever you are is warmer than here!



  Well, I spoke too soon last time, because that New Year's rain just kept coming....and coming....and coming. We were thinking it might be time to build an ark! However, falling temperatures came to the "rescue" over the weekend and turned the rain to snow.. We didn't get much more than an inch or two until Monday when we got a good 3-5 inches here and about 8 inches up on the ridge (2 hour school delay). It was a heavy wet snow that melted and compacted as it sat, forming a layer of slush underneath that froze as soon as the sun went down. What a bugger it was to shovel. 

  Tim's sister had been out and told us even the main highways were down to one lane because of ice and accidents. Tuesday brought a couple more inches of snow and temperatures that stayed below 20 degrees all day, but hey, we saw our first sunshine since before Christmas! Wednesday began another warm up and most of the snow is gone. What's still around today will surely melt with our expected high near 50 degrees...and once again the sun is shining.



  Happy New Year!  2003 arrived with torrents of rain that began yesterday afternoon and lasted until this morning.  The ground is saturated, water is laying everywhere and Tim had to slosh through ankle deep mud and water to feed the bunnies.  

  We've run the weather gamut this past week beginning with temperatures below freezing after Christmas, snow and icy roads Saturday and finally a warm up to 60 degrees yesterday.  It sure felt like Spring until the rains arrived.  The only thing missing was the sun.  It has been a long time since we've seen any sunshine and I find I'm craving light.  It's so dark and dreary.  Sure enjoyed the warmth, though.  That combined with the arrival of the Spring seed catalogs has me dreaming of all the work I want to do on the yard and in the garden this year.



  We got a taste of mild weather last week with temperatures in the 50's and rain.....lots and lots of rain!  No flooding, but the ground was saturated and puddles were everywhere.  The cool down began on Friday the 20th and we saw some light flurries here and there, but nothing to talk about until Christmas Eve.  

  The freezing rain began just as we were leaving to go to church and continued all evening.  Coming home at 11:30, we found ourselves sliding all over the roads.  It turned into a wet, icy snow around 5:00 A.M. on Christmas and we got our white Christmas!  There are about three inches on the ground with flurries from time to time.  A beautiful winter wonderland!  The temperatures haven't been that bad....right around freezing and falling into the 20's during the nights.  What has made it seem worse is the wind.  Our area sees a lot of wind and it's been working overtime the last week or so, rattling the windows and howling down the chimney. Christmas morning I found my decorative banners blown into the neighbor's yard.



  After several years of mild winter weather, looks like we are going to experience a "real" winter this year.  We've had a couple of snowfalls and an ice storm already.  Our temperatures were well below freezing following Thanksgiving, but have warmed up the last few days to right around 40 degrees for the high.  Today it is hovering at 32 degrees.  Perfect for snow and that is exactly what we're getting. 

  Sometime during the night yesterday's rains turned into snow and we awoke this morning to about 3 inches of heavy, wet stuff on the ground.  We've gotten about another 3 inches since then and it is still coming down.  If the weather forecast is correct, we shouldn't see much more.  It sure is beautiful.