We had a very cold night last night - my weather station recorded a low of -14 degrees. The wind howled and is still blowing this afternoon, but not quite as hard - still we're only at 5 above, so it's bitterly cold even though the sun is bright. I measured 2.5 inches of new snow, but that is just what was on my snow board at 9 a.m. The wind was blowing hard from different directions. The snow was swirling in mini tornado-like patterns, and I watched a dry maple leaf fly around the corner from one of the trees near the driveway and dance under the apple trees as the wind carried it up and down the hillside first one direction and then another, sometimes flying high in the air and then scooting along the smooth surface of snow. The needle showing wind direction on my weather station was more than unsteady - it is still all over the place. I think "variable strong winds" about covers it. The forecast is for the temperature to moderate into the 20s, more seasonal, and snow will start again late Saturday - this time with a bit more accumulation. Anyone who doubted we would have real winter this year knows by now we're getting our share. No sap running today, I bet!