Waiting with Bated Breath for Spring and Baseball Season

Moon Wreath

Moon Wreath – Shot on 10th December 2013

Worse winters have been listed on record for single snowfalls, such as the one when the behemoth blizzard of ’96 struck in early January. Philadelphia was socked with 31 inches (79 centimeters) of powdery snow that shut the area down under a state of emergency for two days. A few other bad snowstorms occurred in years leading up to the new millennium and well into the 21st century, with the most recent blizzard prior to this season, smacking the region in February 2010 immediately before I left for Mardi Gras. Driving down to New Orleans, I had to clear snow off the Cooper ahead of hitting the road, having been a couch potato during the brunt of the Nor’easter’s wrath.

Snowstorm 2010

Photo from 10th February 2010

For the following three years, the winters were mild with little to no snowfall whatsoever, and the previous winters going back decades might have produced two, perhaps three storms about which to list in a season. Then came the winter from hell. The first storm preceded the solstice by barely two weeks on December 8, 2013.

The start of a familiar scene for the Winter of 2013-14

The start of a familiar scene for the Winter of 2013-14

Shot on 10th December 2013; note the sun is setting midway in between gate and walkway of the Old Logan Estate in Bensalem Township, PA.

Shot on 10th December 2013; note the sun was setting midway in between the gate, through the center of the long walkway at the Old Logan Estate in Bensalem Township, PA.

The second snowfall resulted with just a dusting on the 15th of December, leaving the roads quite navigable and offering a picture-postcard scenery.
State Road in Bensalem

Aftermath of the Second Snowfall of the Season

The resulting snow melted quickly, and hopes for a white Christmas in our region were soon dispelled; but in a little over three weeks later, the third assault from Mother Nature blanked the area with several inches overnight and into the daylight hours, starting on January 2nd and storming into the 3rd.
New Year's Storm

Overnight on 3rd January 2014

The next several days remained bitterly cold, and the snow stayed on the ground—an unusual occurrence from the daytime temps, typically ascending above freezing right after a storm.
Sunset, Cooper the day after the New Years Storm

Sunset on the day after the New Year Storm

Adding insult to injury, in a manner of speaking, a polar vortex descended upon us four days later, bringing sub-freezing temperatures down to single digits and way below zero with the windchill factor for the next several days, almost completely freezing the Delaware River.
Delaware River, Polar Vortex

A Frozen Delaware River and Poquessing Creek in the Midst of a Polar Vortex

Along with the frigid arctic air mass, hanging about, and two storm systems that met each other to became one, the Philly region got slammed by a doozy of a snowfall which amounted to 14 inches (36 centemeters). Storm number four slowed the area down to a crawl on January 21st.
January 21, 2014

Blizzard Conditions Prevailed in the Afternoon Through the Following Morning.

Winter Storm Janus

Winter Storm Janus Raged On Overnight, January 22, 2014

Winter Storm Janus

Once the Storm Blew Over

Neshaminy State Park

Another Winter Wonderland on the Grounds of the Old Logan Estate

The main roads were well maintained and mostly clear, but the side streets in many vicinities remained snow-covered, as seen in the picture below:
King George Inn, Bristol

The King George Inn, Bristol, built in 1684. The Delaware River is seen on the lower right.

Brutally low temperatures continued to freeze over the Delaware River, leaving only the deeper water of the channel left unfrozen.
Delaware River

Panorama of a Freezing Delaware River on January 26, 2014; Click on Photo for a Full-size View.

More like flowing in a Nordic country, the Delaware River continued to freeze over as seen below on February 1st, 2014.
Freezing Delaware River

River Scene Shot from Andalusia, PA; Delanco, NJ, is Seen Across the Waterway.

Panorama Delaware River

Frozen Delaware River on the First Day of February 2014; Click on Photo for Full Size.

A couple of days above freezing melted most of the ice away in the river, but on the third of February, the fifth snowstorm of the season brought approximately six more inches of wet snow, which raised havoc during the morning commute. By the afternoon, roads had become slushy but generally were clear and safely passable.
February 03, 2014

Fifth Storm of the Season

Fifth Snowstorm of the Winter

Clumps of Wet Snow on Tree Branches at Neshaminy State Park

State Road

A Rural Scene, Just a Couple of Miles Outside of the Northeast Philadelphia City Limits in Bucks County.

Now, as I type this entry and format the pictures in place, snowstorm system number six is presently underway, starting as rain while another one to four inches of white stuff mixed with sleet and freezing rain is predicted. The forecast for an additional one inch of eventual ice on the roadways, trees and power lines by daybreak might cause power outages and extremely dangerous traveling conditions. Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day saw his shadow, which denotes another six weeks left of winter, that blasted varmint. I’m so looking forward to spring and baseball season.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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