Sunday, January 16, 2011

&^%$#Winter Wonderland!

If you're a weather channel junkie, you already know that last Wednesday Connecticut experienced its deepest snowfall in recorded history. (At least that's what the guy on teevee said, I'm not sure I believe it.) I was right in the sweet spot, with more than 30 inches. I know that wouldn't impress folks in Montana or Buffalo, but that just means that anybody who lives in those places is nuts.

I thought I was being real clever by getting a snowplow for my tractor, but no. It turns out that my little tractor can't handle two and a half feet of ice crystals. After getting stuck 19 times, I broke down and called my neighbor who has a big old International Harvester truck. He got stuck. We managed to dig him out, then he got stuck again and we wound up calling a third neighbor and pulling him out with a bobcat. By this morning, my driveway was again barely passable because of blowing snow and another inch we got overnight, so I spent an hour on the tractor cleaning up. (Yeah, I have a long driveway, about 3/8ths of a mile.)

Until today, there were basically no tracks in the snow. When there's deep snow, I understand, the deer hang out in evergreen groves where most of it doesn't hit the ground. The rest of the creatures have gone to their dens, it seems. It's been absolutely silent. Not even any birds, as a matter of fact.

Maybe it's beautiful but -- I have to wade through snow above my knees to get into my barn or anywhere I might want to go that isn't on a road. That means there's a lot I just can't do. What I have done is spend half my time moving mountains of snow around.

I'll be better adapated by next winter. I'll have a woodshed (right now I have to excavate for firewood), I'll build a plowable turnaround at the top of the driveway, I'll have a more powerful snow removal option including maybe a snowthrower, I'll know enough to get a jump on deep snowfalls by plowing wide after there's a foot or snow on the ground, maybe I'll get cross country skis. But no matter what, this will be a pain in the ass.


  1. The interesting thing about rural life is that we always have to be completely prepared for the absolute worst weather conditions, which may only occur once every ten years. So, we get all this stuff and wait. Still, when the next 36 inches fall, whenever that may be, you'll be ready.

  2. Oh, I just remembered that life in California has the added burden of having to be prepared for earthquakes, which can happen anytime. I know you can imagine how many people actually have their earthquake kits ready.

  3. aaaah. the joys of country living. it does take a while to work out.

  4. Well, that was a good laugh. Bit of a urban boy, are we?

    First rule: Don't wait until the end of the storm to plow! When they say we're going to get walloped, plan on a morning plowing, then an evening plowing. I had to shovel front and back and did it in three stages. Before daylight, at noon, then at 4pm. Worked like a charm. I also had to break a trail through the woods for dog-walking. Nice cardio workout.

    And yes, clear wider than you need, starting with the first storm. That's a lesson I learned the hard way.

    I love this snow! I did see some tracks--I'm guessing it was the river otter, but I'm not sure. The snow was very soft and so the tracks were not clear. I thought of you, and was wondering whether your visitor had returned.

    Went snowshoeing yesterday. Heavenly!

    I hope you learn to love what gets thrown at you by Mother Nature. It's out of our control, so it's best to be Zen about it.

  5. Yep, I already learned all those lessons.