Twelve Inches of Sierra Cement

1 Jan
Last Friday was a beautiful, wonderful day. Some rain and a gorgeous double rainbow. I don’t think anyone was griping about the rain as we need the precipitation so much. It was still raining Saturday morning (New Year’s Eve) and there was some minor flooding in my backyard. The newly reconstructed drainage system was on overload. Not to worry. I knew everything would be ok. The double rainbow was a good omen. 
 Quail and white crowned sparrows in the rain. 


About mid-morning, as I was typing a long email, I looked up and the rain had turned to huge, fluffy snowflakes. No big deal, I thought, because it was 40º outside and the snow wasn’t sticking to the ground. Then, right before my eyes, the temp began to drop and the snow began to stick. It was the beginning of the biggest snowstorm since I’ve lived in Minden…almost 10 years.
This is what the backyard looked like a couple hours later. The birds look for seed and suet no matter the weather. Please note the big bush in front of the Christmas tree. It does not look like that New Year’s Day.
New Year’s Eve looking toward the neighbors and where the rainbow was. Needless to say, I did not go anywhere that night.
New Year’s Day has dawned bright and cheery, giving all of us here in the Carson Valley a fine view of the Sierra Nevada. Here are the views from my front porch.
Looking toward my neighbor’s house with the Sierra Nevada in the background.
Twelve inches of Sierra Cement
You might be wondering about the term “Sierra Cement”. It means the snow has a high water content and is very heavy when it piles up. You can see evidence of that cement effect on the bush directly in front of the Christmas tree. The snow has weighted down the limbs to flatten it some. You can’t see it but there is a pile of snow in the center of the bush, covering one of the birds’ water dishes. A limb has broken from the tree into the bush on the left. I couldn’t find the second water dish and had to get another one for the birds. Those lumps beyond the fence are snow covered sage brush and other native plants. The Pine Nuts are under the clouds in the back.
More Sierra Cement effect. If you remember the last Buzzard Notes, there was a photo of quail feeding in front of where that hole in the snow is. That was a tall lilac bush with a butterfly bush nearest the camera.
Inside looking out early New Year’s Day. I love this place…with its beauty, weather drama, temperature extremes, nature, and lots more.

3 Responses to “Twelve Inches of Sierra Cement”

  1. Schildmeier January 2, 2023 at 6:21 am #

    Oh Cora, you need not to go to the movies. You have all the drama of nature on the screen right outside your window. What a landscape! Lovely! Here, in Northern Germany, we did have some clear winter days in the beginning of December, with snow glistening brightly in the sun. But no rainbow, no quails, no Sierra Nevada, just plain old Bargteheide. Now we have the typical Christmas/New Year’s weather of the region: grey clouds, grey rain. A bit of tristesse after the merry festive days, but at least no snow catastrophies to fear, no blizzards to be expected. And soon spring will come and turn everything green and pink and yellow. Can’t wait! Love, Angel


  2. BettyJane Forshee January 2, 2023 at 7:04 pm #

    Cora. . . I agree with Angel — no movie theater could give you the beauty you see from your own Sierra Nevada space. And your poet’s soul is ever present, translating in words what your heart sees. Don’t stop sharing. . . . BettyJane

  3. Gloria Sandoval January 5, 2023 at 6:57 pm #

    Cora, thank you for sharing the beautiful photos. I, too, love Nevada.
    I admire your constant care of the birds. Teri

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: