Saturday, February 6, 2010
Six More Weeks? The Deuce, You Say!
The Weather Service would not commit yesterday. You might get a foot of snow. Or maybe about four inches. Who can say?
So, turns out, it might have been a good idea to bestir ourselves after Perfesser Chaos' last fire call last night and plow out the driveway when we had only 11 inches.
Because Tractor-San is a game little thing, but we cannot even raise the blade high enough that it does not act as an anchor.
A man might come tomorrow to extract us. I'm not sure what it's going to cost us. We've actually jumped the queue on account of PK being a firefighter. Even though his substation is only about a quarter mile away, he can't get there fast enough on snowshoes to make the truck when the pager goes off. Depending on where I sink the yardstick, we've got between 18-22 inches, and are going nowhere.
Meanwhile, we still have power, there's oil in the tanks, wood in the shed, plenty of toilet paper, half a case of home brew, a whole case of Mexican Coca-Cola, two bottles of rum, 80 pounds of beef scrap for dogs, and a couple new Netflix on hand.
Four pairs of snowshoes, two pairs of skis, a case of toe warmers, and a gallon of gatorade.
Two feet of fresh powder sounds wonderful. What it really is is a shitload of work.
Sophia actually did some of the trail-breaking, but she is not particularly skilled at route-choosing, and tends to porpoise in aimless circles. Mostly it was up to Perfesser Chaos. The English shepherds were happy to hang back and let The Help perform this function.
Even where the trail was broken, the smaller ES had to porpoise to get through.
I only fell once. It's actually pretty hard to fall when the snow is over your knees, but the concealed tripwire brambles in the pasture finally had their say. Getting back up is not a straightforward exercise when one's skis are five-foot snow anchors. I got plenty of helpful advice on how to manage this task from the non-ski-wearing Peanut Gallery.
I think Cole might be carrying half his weight in snow dingles here. He also got to relive the testicle experience in gigantic ice form. It wasn't as good as he remembered.
Interesting that Barry White, who braved the same drifts, collected nothing. I think he repelled the dingles with force of will. He's never going to suffer that indignity again.
There were few game trails apparent, and only in protected lee areas. I'm hoping our trail-breaking will be a boon to the wildlife -- except for the tiny tunnelers and the hibernators, a snow dump like this one makes hard times for wild creatures. Our route coincidentally connects the deer bedding area in the pines on our north boundary with our neighbor's unharvested cornfield to the west. I figure that by February, that corn is forfeit to the local Bambis. I filled two feeders with safflower seeds and black oil sunflower, and hung out some more suet.
I opened the window for the turkeys to come out. Yeah, I was just messin' with 'em. They knew it, and did not take the bait.
Interesting that wild turkeys manage to survive even though their feet sometimes touch snow.
One hour of porpoising through snow higher than their backs has given us a houseful of very quiet dogs tonight.