Grit Blogs > Life in the Fast Lane

Jonas Comes A Calling

Andrew Weidmanweathervane

Jonas, the Nor’easter also known as Snowmageddon 2016 and Snowpocalypse, has temporarily changed the landscape here in Southeastern PA. I’m writing this Saturday night, and while there are still a few bands of snow left in the storm, I believe the worst of the storm is behind us.

Forecasters had originally put us in the 6 – 18 inch band of the storm. The last I checked, we had gotten a whopping 28 inches of ‘shovel-able.’ Okay, snow blow-able.

snow blower

The storm arrived early last evening, white flakes tumbling in the wind. By nightfall, the frozen ground was dusted, and by bedtime, the dogs had maybe two inches to deal with as they did their business in the back yard. Thank goodness for indoor plumbing!

Some time in the small hours, Jonas took an unexpected turn – up the throat of the Chesapeake Bay. No one expected that. Most of the weather models showed it cruising out into the Atlantic, just past the mouth of the Bay, which would have been bad enough.


By 5:30, the dogs needed to have a path shoveled for them. By midmorning, they needed the run reopened, and by mid afternoon, I had to fire up the snow blower to do the job. Such are the hazards of small dog owned-ship. Not ownership, owned-ship.

To be honest, I’ve been enjoying the day, even taking snow removal into account. Sometimes an enforced slowdown is a good thing. We had nowhere we had to be, and the snow is so deep, it wouldn’t have mattered if we did. Tomorrow’s plans are so much wind now, as church has already been canceled.

seedy cafe

I spent a good portion of the morning at the ‘Seedy Café,’ photographing birds at our platform feeder, in between digging out for the dogs and clearing snow off the seed in the feeder. The feeder is right outside our dining room window, so I only needed to go outside for one of those jobs.

male cardinalfemale cardinal

The Seedy Café was hopping, too, with cardinals, jays, juncos, dicksissels, finches, and an occasional mourning dove. At one point, a squirrel snowshoed across the yard, doing his level best not to sink into the fresh powder. Later, Jessie spied a hawk taking off from our wash line. I still don’t know how I missed that, or how long he was there.


My original snow removal plan called for waiting until the storm finished before clearing more than a dog run. By 2:00, the evidence proved that wouldn’t work. There was just too much snow for the blower already; it was at least two inches higher than the intake. I’m betting I’ll have another half a foot or so to snow blow in the morning. Add to that the street has yet to be plowed, and it’s obvious we aren’t going anywhere soon.

Still, we’re fortunate. The County has closed the roads to all traffic save emergency vehicles. I understand there are over 500 vehicles stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike tonight. Even worse, the Jersey Shore is flooding, thanks to the storm. I’ll take moving 30 inches of snow, thank you very much. It certainly beats the alternative.

We’re home, we’re warm, and we have food and electric. We stocked up on supplies on Thursday. Disclaimer: yes, we bought eggs, bread and milk, but only because we already needed them. A lot of folks aren’t as fortunate tonight.


If you’re in Jonas’ shadow, hunker down, stay warm, and stay home if you can. This is one for the history books.