A Winter Sunrise

The blizzard quietly crept away in the dark, replaced by a thick blanket of fog, which in turn was slowly pulled back. Revealed in the early morning light, the winter white left in its wake.

sunrise over the winterscape (North Ranch, Mon March 15 2021)

Much of Monday was devoted to clearing away snow, clearing away a few drifts. They were mostly in the 2-3 foot range. A few were higher.

It seems our jump into the next ice age was only temporary.

Time Shifting

Making the change from standard time to daylight time. Either we advanced one hour, or we made the jump to the next ice age.

A lull in the blizzard conditions this morning. Wind at 35 with gusts to 60. Temperature 30°F, wind chill 2°F. A few minutes later, the heavy snow picked up again, making for a blinding snow storm. The black on the road surface is not asphalt, but rather a sheet of ice overlaying gravel. Conditions haven’t changed much since.

Winter Storm

Low clouds, intermittent fog, and intermittent freezing drizzle were the prevailing conditions for much of Friday. All ahead of a winter storm forecasted to bring heavy snow to the Colorado Front Range.

brief appearance of sun at midday Friday (JN Ranch, March 12 2021)

The forecast models, at the start of the week, suggested snowfall amounts measured in feet. By midweek, those projections were pared back into the 10-24 inch range. At week’s end, the snowfall projections were reduced slightly but largely stayed the same. The private AccuWeather® forecast for JN Ranch indicated a snowfall potential in the 10-16 inch range, with temperatures in the upper 20s to low 30s. Icing conditions are expected before the snow begins in earnest.

Preparing for the storm, this week, has been a priority. The JN Ranch, in the middle of calving season, they’ve been moving their cattle to more protected areas of their winter range. Mothers who have not given birth are moved closer to the ranch complex. While bitter cold is not expected, the heavy snowfall potential for most of today, and the potential for blizzard conditions from late tonight through early Monday morning pose the greatest risk to calves. If they become too wet, the shiver effect can become more serious than bitter cold.

At North Ranch, we are substantially less affected by the winter storm. The horses will stay indoors for the duration of the storm. Our preparations involve topping the feedstock supplies in the horse barn. After the storm, it is snow removal from two, close-in paddocks. Removing the snow minimizes the amount of ice and mud on the ground. Both pose the greatest footing hazard for horses.

How cold it will become after the storm will depend how much snow we receive. The coming week is forecasted to be much colder, with daytime temperatures in the upper 30s and the overnights in the lower 20s.

“… it is incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial”

If you have watched any of the classic Perry Mason episodes, it is an objection frequently lodged by Perry against his courtroom adversary, District Attorney Hamilton Burger.

But, it is an objection Hamilton has lodged himself against Perry.

If there is one cardinal rule most people subscribe to is avoiding being called as a witness in a civil action or criminal case, especially the latter. The other is to dodge serving on a jury. Those who have not been called as a witness, or served a jury summons, often call it part of our “civic duty.”

On Monday, I received in the mail, a notice that I will be subpoenaed as a prosecution witness in a criminal case. Included with the notice of subpoena, a short form in which I could waive the process of being served in person.

How it began

In late March, there was a heated exchange between two neighbors in front of our house, in the old neighborhood. Megan, who’s renting our house, was taking a short nap with three of her four cats on the sofa. She was awakened by shouting, and thought some kind of argument was going on. Then, there was a loud bang. Megan thought to herself, “Oh, it better not be.” Minutes later, red and blue police lights were strobing through the vertical blinds, along with headlight beams. A deputy came to the door and asked Megan if she was okay. She replied she was.

Before midnight, another deputy came to the door on a canvass. He, too, asked Megan if she was okay. The deputy asked if she had seen any of the dispute or if she had security camera. No and no. After taking down her full name and phone number, the deputy said detectives may call or visit later. There was no follow-on visit by detectives.

In August, a private investigator working for the defense counsel visited Megan. He asked if she saw anything. Megan said no. Security footage? No. Did she know any of the principals? No. Megan said she doesn’t neighbor with anyone. If a neighbor waves, she’ll return the wave. Megan told the PI she relishes her privacy, and as a woman living alone, staying safe is a priority. The PI understood her position, thanked her for her time. He added he didn’t think she would have to testify, but he couldn’t speak for the prosecutors.

Now

After Megan’s PI visit, she thought her involvement would slip away. Whatever information she conveyed to the Sheriff’s Department was very limited, and not particularly revealing. The ADA prosecuting the case has seen it another way. I asked my niece why would I be subpoenaed considering I have no knowledge of what happened. The same for Megan. My niece said most likely I was subpoenaed because I’m the property owner. Megan, she’s an ear-witness.

Since the subpoena notice is an official document, I cannot reproduce the document for display. Doing so is a Class A misdemeanor.

If the prosecutors want our testimony, they would have to serve us. Neither of us plan to waive being served in person.

Perry Mason would say our potential testimony “is incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial.”