We woke up this morning to white windows.  No, we do not have white curtains or blinds or shades.

No, there was so much snow blowing around (sideways) against a backdrop of white-gray skies that, well, all you could see was white.

I’m thinking of all the homeless people in New England who are suffering in this storm.  Also everyone with drafty old houses or expensive heating bills.  It’s going to be a tough winter and one that will take a serious toll.

I’m also thinking of all the wild critters who are struggling.  We have over two feet, probably 2.5 feet, of snow on the ground now.  The deer must be having a hard time walking or even moving.  I swear I saw some birds flying backwards against the northwest winds this morning.  They were trying to get to the bird feeder, but kept heading in the opposite direction.  Some are, however, managing to eat.

Ron went out to check on the chickens this morning.  He had to re-shovel–again–the path to the garage for the umpteenth time.  The wind hits the garage and tends to drop snow right on and near the porch outside the garage.  I watched him shovel the path.   The snow was up to his waist nearest the garage.  Seriously.  We’ve started talking about putting in a snow fence early next winter with the hope of reducing, if not eliminating, this problem.

Fortunately, the chickens are fine, but they are spoiled hens.  We have an electric space heater in the greenhouse with the screens set up between the coop half and greenhouse half.  It was a balmy 15 F in the coop early this morning.  The chickens were fine, although they did seem to be listening intently to the wild wind outside.

Yesterday, before the storm really hit, I re-dug–again–the path between the greenhouse and the other door of the coop.  All that work is undoubtedly gone, of course.  But I noticed that when I stepped off semi-compacted paths where we had been walking for a while, my foot would slip in the snow and drop down about six inches.  There’s basically quasi-crevasses in the snow because there is  s o  m u c h  o f  i t.  In many places, we’re walking on a foot (or more) of snow and simply trying to shovel off the top foot (or more).  Hence slipping into the bottom foot of snow.

The big challenge is that the driveway is pretty much exposed and the northwestern winds have been so strong (see: blizzard-like) that snow has blown into the driveway and our neat mounds paralleling the drive have been blown every which way, including into the drive.  There’s at least a foot, maybe two feet, of drifted snow in the driveway–again.  We’ve managed to shovel the drive by hand until now, but Ron is probably going to get  out the riding lawn mower, try to get it started, and attach the plow to the front end.  However, it may be faster to dig out the driveway by hand given how much tinkering and dithering gas-powered machinery usually takes, especially in winter.  But with 1-2 feet of snow along the length of the driveway, using fossil fuels may be faster for once.  Fortunately, we’re not planning to go anywhere today–or tomorrow for that matter–so we have some time to dig out.

Needless to say, we’re all a bit tired of the snow at this point.  February is consistently the most winter-y month of the year.  When I had my recruit visit over President’s Day weekend in 2007, we flew in just ahead of an(other) epic storm.

Here we go again.

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