Friday, March 7, 2014

The Long Winter

Yes, that's the title of one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House" books.  This winter for us has been nearly the equal of the one she documented- in fact, when they report weather statistics, the winter of 1886-87 is one of only a very few winters that can match the statistics for cold and snow that we've been racking up this year.  And since we live off grid entirely- with houses and greenhouses giving us a full mile of road to plow for vehicle access - it has slowed us down.  Lots of our local roads now need a  snow-thrower type plow to clear- and we rarely need that in SE Minnesota.  2 videos, then 3 photos, in case you want to actually experience it with us.  This first video goes through an intersection with a mailbox (around 0:50), so you can get some scale.  The banks are actually higher than the car... and when you get to the trees?  No drifts, no plow banks.

It's not just a few drifts, in a few places- it's extensive.

This one is on the way home, later in the day- drifting up again.  You have to drive fairly fast in order to be sure you'll get through the next drift.  And yes, some of this is "white out" blind for a few moments.

And both of those videos were made- BEFORE we had the biggest snowfall of the winter- we're now at around 3 feet deep in the woods- you cannot move without snowshoes or skis- or if you're on an old packed snow trail.  Out in the open- that 3 feet of snow has blown into drifts; also not easy to get around in.

Just a few more photographs here- to give you some idea.  I've never seen snow this deep in March; in 35+ years.
This is a full sized 45 gallon trash can.  We're not using it for trash, but to store roofing tools, nails, etc., which is why it's undisturbed.  Before this last snowfall- you could still see what it was.

This is our porch.  This is the first year we haven't been able to keep it shoveled off.  The cats and dogs get their food (all from 1 bowl) under the round table... the snow around it is actually pretty packed by the critters.

And these are our two, expensive, "big dog" dog houses- which the dogs refuse to use.  I'd think it would be nice and warm in there at this point- but they'd rather sleep on snow.

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