Friday, February 12, 2010

A sad day for snowmen

Significant snowfall in this part of Texas is an event so rare that schools are cancelled, businesses close, and local TV meteorologists warn about the dangerous conditions on the roads outside.

Kids who have trouble getting to school by 8 a.m. can be up, dressed, outside, and have a 6-foot-tall snowman completely finished and detailed by 7:15.

Snow started falling here as though someone turned on a switch at 6 a.m., Thursday. Big damp flakes started coating the ground almost immediately. School was delayed for two hours, then cancelled completely for the day. Still it fell and piled up in drifts that covered branches, steps, and armadillo burrows. I left for school before I knew about the delay, and found myself having to dodge potholes by memory: no hint of their gaping maws was evident under the white blanket.

After I got back home, Mike and I built our own snowman. I think that, in spite of his smile, he has a "get off my lawn!" sort of aura.

Maybe his crankiness got the better of him: He experienced a colossal structural failure of his nether regions, and toppled headfirst down the front steps. The hat is still buried in the resulting snowdrift. Rather sad, since he was my first-ever snowman.

I thought perhaps size might have been Mr Cranky's problem. Determined to leave my mark, I created a much smaller version, only about a foot tall, and plonked him down on the deck railing. Instead of gathering pebbles from the driveway for the facial features, I used the sunflower seeds that were already laying around nearby. Two for the eyes, one for the nose, several more for the mouth, and I salvaged and halved Mr. Cranky's left arm to make 2 arms for my new creation.

A few minutes later, I glanced outside and noticed that his mouth was missing a few seeds. Being a snowman novice, I'd put them in at a downward angle, so they must have fallen out. Five minutes later, one eye was gone. What's up with this? They weren't put in at a "fall out-able" angle. Do you suppose a, surely not. Not with all the piles of seed lying around everywhere. I replaced the missing bits, then watched as my feathered friends came closer and closer, and finally......

Of course, loading it with seed and suet was absolutely necessary now. I even tempted one of my favorite birds over within range. I love the brown thrasher, here imitating a roadrunner. Another highlight is the Incredible Levitating Finch.


  1. Although the levitating bird and thrasher/roadrunner are good, I like eye thieving finch!

    We had 10 in snow day in Michigan too. It was the fist one this winter. The school system was so excited by the weather report that they declared a snow day even before the first inch had fallen.

  2. Our local weather-guy was saying last night that "We've learned all sorts of weather terms lately. Now let's practice another new one: freezing fog!"

  3. Do you think the impending "colossal structural failure of his nether regions" was responsible for Mr. Cranky's crankiness? Or perhaps it was christening him Mr. Cranky in the first place...?"

    Regardless, the mini version 2.0 is completely adorable. Given that you were a snowman novice, I award you a gold star for both effort and execution. Well done.

  4. Thank you, Cheryl. I was pleased with the results.

  5. Ok, I think this is just about the best story ever. I posted about our mud snowmen back when it snowed -- now I wish I'd used seeds! Absolutely fantastic photo.