Early winter – so they say.

This being only our second winter in eastern Washington we have to rely on ‘locals’ to evaluate how hot, cold, wet or dry the current weather is.  Well, all I know is that winter arrived in Washington with a vengeance this late-November of 2010.  The ‘locals’ agree this is way more snow this early in the season than they have seen in a couple of decades.  This past Monday was a horrid drive home from work with the traffic moving at 5 mph the whole way and our usual 30-minute commute was more like 2 1/2 hours.  Surprisingly the folks here don’t have the same army of snow plows we took for granted in rural New York.  They also don’t believe in using road salt, which is probably a good thing in the long run but what we have now on Thanksgiving (3 days later) is snow packed down to glare ice.  There is a limited amount of sand being used, which gives adequate traction where they use it.  The first large intersection from our apartment was a skating rink yesterday.  Fortunately (I guess) everyone expects this because everyone I saw as being very cautious.

Anyway, while making stops at a couple of our local wineries for our club selections and Gewurztraminer for our Thanksgiving dinner I got a few nice landscape pics.  Enjoy.

The first is from our back porch looking out toward the Columbia River valley.  The cloud bank is fog from the frigid (~2 degrees) air condensing the moisture from the relatively warm river water.

 The next two are of the Horse Heaven Hills, taken from in front of Hogue Cellars.