Before we get to the bad news, here's the lovely sunrise good news, at least some very pretty news from yesterday morning. Normally when our woods get this winter colorful, there are (and they remain) warm temperatures, either that or very heavy fog. Thursday night's storm left us with a quick freeze and as such, even today, 60 hours later, our poor living woody plants are carrying loads they weren't meant for.
Saturday morning, sunrise time behind the house. The doe was out, ready for some morning sun and waiting for her friends up in the woods......then never ventured out into the open, soon this one turned around and joined them. I was getting coffee'd up and gathering courage to finish the rest of the driveway using the snowblower.
Even the moon came out to face the sun, funny how the moon does that......
Friday afternoon's snow removal effort managed to clear an area up by the house and I started down the driveway, but things didn't go well. The rain that came early put down a layer that reached up and iced the first few inches of snow after it got colder. (there are 3 vehicles in this image)
Walking down behind the snowblower in this photo and out to the area that I had to stop on Friday afternoon, retreating back to the house, this almost an uh-oh happened when I got the truck a bit off the driveway and into the pampas grass.......the truck got itself out. It would have been a bad one.
50 feet beyond this one I did the same thing on the other side of the drive. Trying to open things up and get wider, the truck got off the edge into a No Plow zone. The truck managed to wiggle out of this one too.
Notice the wet spot ahead, water flowing under the snow that once exposed from the plow, turned to ice. The little chunks across the width of where I'd plowed the day before are a bad sign for those of you that don't plow everyday.....little ice balls rather than a nice clean shear from the plow's blade. Just barely around the corner ahead was where I stopped with the Ford F350 and will now begin with the Craftsman 9hp/28inch.
I've worked my way around the corner, down across the concrete slab (where the wet spot is) and begun the slow and arduous notch up to the road. I will let good old gravity help me once up there, working down the slope from the road and do small sections. Notice that I'm not really able to scrape down to the previous hard surface; there's a couple inches of crunchy beneath that I'm leaving and will get later with the truck. Those of you with extensive 'blower experience will know what this means and will understand the exercise I'm about to receive.
I looked back at the photo data and will time stamp these images, this one is 9:24
See those 4" thick sheets on top? The ones higher than the blower housing that continue to crumble off and fall after I've passed??
Here we are up on the road at 10:10, me very proud, Gold Medal proud, though bracing for the worst part yet to come. Note the snow fence down there, now a hidden decoration.
Back to the house for more fuel
I managed to disturb the Mode wheel on the camera getting it out of my pocket and picked a B/W shot. 11:44, feeling only a bit of relief. This section is historically the very worst.
12:24, no breaks or stops, now I'm down to the serious part. It's a good thing snow removal is a hobby of mine. My Forward/Reverse shift count at this point was 437, 687 +/- 20
Now it's 1:10, I've busted through the ditch area and gone back up to the corner where I had to stop with the Ford. Tons of snow have been removed but the lane is far from 'clear' with lots of snow beside and still below.
In for lunch at 1:50 and then into the truck at 2:30 where I can sit down and my noodley feeling arms can turn a wheel, run a joystick instead of yank on handlebars. It's a walk-behind snow blower but it's far from just walking.
Cleaning off the access for our USPS Carrier, widening and scraping clean the rest of the driveway, opening up some extra width wherever I can get it.
I'm thinking about picking up a new hobby.
The allure of physical challenge never goes away for many of us. On MY level- I demand to shovel my own driveway just to do it. But this year I decided I didn't care, I just drive through the snow no matter how high it gets. Then a neighbor down the street asked if he could shovel my driveway "just for something to do". There is a pattern here in these northern states...ReplyDelete
There is a certain satisfaction from getting something clean, of working back the elements. Even in this modern age we must need this kind of challenge sometimes, maybe especially so.Delete
I thought that muscling around my snow blower was a lot of work, yours looks twice as heavy as mine..I feel you pain! Clearing that driveway with a walk behind snow blower is like trying to fillet an elephant with a scalpel. Sure it can be done, but it will take forever... You need some heavy equipment for that driveway. Maybe some driveway improvements too.ReplyDelete
Oh, great picture of the deer in the field with the early morning pink sun glow on the snow.Delete
Elephant with a scalpel says it perfectly. In all our time here, I've used the blower like this maybe 4 times, no more than 5. The snowfence HAD been helping immensely, preventing this very thing.Delete
Our driveway definitely needs a tune-up. The proper changes will not only be expensive, but change so many things here and that's part of our reluctance to make changes. We know that civil engineering can make it better.
Geez Louise that is a lot of snow removal. I might be thinking of a condo at that point.ReplyDelete
All worth it when you think of where you live and the beautiful peace and quiet of the country.
Do you have a hot tub you can relax in after all the back breaking plowing?
I like the black and white photo, it makes it seem more desolate.
Louise's help would have been welcomed! No hot tub Brandy, but a tub that was hot and it helped a lot. :) That photo was a lucky accident.Delete
This is looking like hard work. I am impressed. In your neck of the woods one obviously doesn't need a gym, the exercise comes with snow removal.ReplyDelete
Beautiful pictures, all of them, but especially the magic moonlight photo.
Thank you Sonja. I enjoyed that beauty as well as the peace and quiet as I gathered my strength to go out to do what had to be done. A big, very heavy plowing rig did our neighbor's place while I was out there and while it was fun to think that I could flag him down for some help, I really question whether his rig was big enough to simply push. I was at the time trying to remember which of our local farmers had a big 3 point hitch snowblower. That's really what we need. Even a skid loader would be a lot of work; finding a place to dump it all along the length is a problem. I moved a lot of snow yesterday 20 feet, difficult for any pick-it-up-and-dump-it rig to do.Delete
I used to live in an area that was outside of road service and if I wanted to reach the main road I had to clear the snow. Driveway and road was about 400' long and I really wore out the Craftsman track drive snowblower. I ended up rebuilding the drive three times as it just wasn't designed for that kind of use. And most pickup mounted plows aren't either. I still think of getting one as they occasionally hit Craigslist in the beginning of summer.ReplyDelete
Richard, no matter what equipment I have around here, I seem to be an order of magnitude short.Delete
Wow! That's a LOT of snow! And a LOT of work!ReplyDelete
Hope you all don't get any more snow up there...
Hi Deb, our weather is nothing like YOUR wonderful weekend :)Delete
Every winter I learn something new about snow but as in life, I still haven't learned enough.
That is a long road you have to clear. You are sort of trapped without a way out if you don't have the right equipment to clear the snow. I hope you have a huge food supply and lots of fuel
I hope you get a chance to re-coop (as opposed to recoup) and relax before you head to work again. That is hard work
A weekend photographer
Riding the Wet Coast
Bob, we try and keep a supply of those things just to be safe. Warm will return and all of this will have to be Blog referenced, soon forgotten. :)Delete
Way too much snow for one man alone!ReplyDelete
Karen, if I could do this one over again, I'd have gone out multiple times and not let things build up as they did. I thought about it and got lazy, but removing that first few inches of slush would have helped immensely.Delete
Don't make this same mistake :)
Thanks for the tip - well taken, I will call in reinforcements (right from the start!)Delete