snow

The Great White Blight… In Pictures

 

 

If you’re on Facebook, or if you peruse the local papers, then you’ve gorged on snow photos.

Well, I’m sorry to subject you to more. I promise, this’ll be quick and painless. And then we can move on:

With all the white hype, last Friday, Martin tried to resuscitate our tractor, which was suffering from starter problems.

With assistance, Martin kicked the tractor into gear, but it blew a hydraulic hose, which rendered the bucket inoperable. (The bucket was a lead actor in this performance.)

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While Martin gave the tractor mouth-to-mouth, I went grocery shopping. The choices were slim pickings.

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Snow started falling and accumulating on Friday night. By Saturday morning we were snowed in: the drifts sealed the mudroom door shut.

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Snow permeated every crevice. In the mudroom, snow billowed through a wisp of a crack in the dog door. By morning, an inch of snow filled all of our shoes.

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Much like the storm of 2010, the drifts piled up along the fencelines… and 18 inches really meant 3 or 4 feet.

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The drifts proved too much for Maisie.

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On Sunday — tractorless — we began to dig out. The horses were the first to be liberated.

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The path to the sheep was ponderous.

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Eventually we dug a trench to the sheep shed and — crawling and slogging — I ferried hay and water to them on a sled.

The sheep were utterly ungrateful.

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All the while, the kids rode out the storm at my cousins’ house (where the risk of a power outage was minimal.)

It was a struggle over there:

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Without an operable tractor, we were paralyzed. So we called for backup; Andy and his Cat plowed us out.

But first things first: we had to mark the drive, so Andy knew where to plow.

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Andy removed the snow like a peel from an orange…

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… and in the process, he created a mountain of snow… a sledding hill from what was once a plateau.

The kids built a luge run and an igloo.

It is part of the landscape until melting overcomes everything.

And life returns to normal.

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Mud weary

 

Now that I’m done complaining about snow, it’s time to gripe about mud:

Thanks to snowmelt and rain, we are mired in shoe-sucking muck. In every direction.

It looks like we’re farming it — planting and raising mud as an agricultural product.

Certainly, the horses are doing their part, tilling the pasture and stamping out the last dregs of green.

Maisie is advertising our product, with dreadlocks clotting her belly and legs.

Muddy conditions have made an impression on our trash service; they won’t empty the dumpster, because our property is “inaccessible” at present time.

And that’s kind of ironic, because we’ve lost all semblance of a driveway/lawn division. Winter has been a vehicle free-for-all, judging from the wheel ruts browning the yard.

Earlier this week, mounds of unmelted snow put another loss in the “team grass” column.

That day, I was startled when the UPS truck flashed by my office window, trundling past its normal stopping point. By the time I realized the driver wasn’t our regular, he’d gone counter-clockwise over the snowy land between barn and house.

Stunned, I met the guy outside as he surveyed the truck’s loopy trail of mud and slush.

“This is a circular driveway, right?” he asked.

Well it is, now.

 

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Photo note: I don’t do mud, so I pulled this image from the archives. Back in 2009 we had a thriving pothole population, but the driveway wasn’t up for debate.

A new term for insanity

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In Australia’s Northern Territory, in Darwin, there’s a term for moodiness spurred by the city’s extreme heat and humidity. During the hottest months — when temperatures and humidity pace one another in the 90s — people “go troppo.” They become aggressive and angry due to the oppressive, sweltering heat.

Well, it’s possible that I’m going troppo due to other weather extremes. Call it snow psychosis: irritability and aggression sparked by excessive amounts of white s&*# falling from the sky.

Or maybe it’s “precipitable peevishness”? It doesn’t help that I’m house-bound with Brynnzilla, who’s on spring break. That’s right, spring break.

So what’s the solution to snow psychosis?

I’m taking a page from the Aussies who live in the Top End. In the past, Darwin has been pegged as the city with the highest per capita beer consumption in the world.

And a six pack sounds like a soothing salve for snow psychosis and tomorrow’s affliction: mud mania.

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Scenes from Darwin’s annual Beer Can Regatta

 

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