On Friday, looking ahead to the forecast, I scurried to get the bulk of the most important 'winterizing' things done before the four inches of snow on Sunday. This proved rather pleasant, as Saturday's temperature was close to 70, with gentle breezes and sunshine. Jumpin' Jehoshaphat. When I looked out of the window on Sunday, I thought I had been transported to another dimension. Instead of the four inches, we got 20. And that was on the low end for our area.
Trees down? Check.
Power outage? Check.
Snow load? Check.
It had started early Sunday morning, so I was able to get out and leave a big pile 'o food for the feral cat I feed at the barn. That was the last time I was able to leave the house until this morning. It pulled trees down until they snapped. It came down heavy and wet. I had to use the roof rake on the car port twice and gawd knows how many times I shoveled my usual network of paths.
The ducks are in shock. There was loud, indignant quacking going on in the duck hut Sunday morning, but when I finally shoveled to their door and opened it, there was silence. Four little heads stretched out on long necks and then shot back inside. The older chickens weren't happy, but know the drill. The younger ones spent all their time trying NOT to touch the evil cold wet stuff.
And it snowed and snowed and snowed. The power went out just as I was about to plug in my batch of yogurt, so I wrapped it in a towel and shoved it into a cooler. We were lucky, as our power was only out for about five hours. The area just south of us didn't get theirs back on line until late yesterday morning. I kept eyeing the hoop house warily and finally strapped on my snow shoes and clomped down to rake it off. I was lucky, as it wasn't that cold yet and the gate fasteners weren't frozen shut. I left the gate open. The poor sheep had the brunt of the tree damage. There is a huge pine tree bent onto their feeder (it hasn't snapped yet, but....) and the snow is so deep they have a hard time trudging through it. As I shoveled the quarter mile path to the barn (including a path from barn to their water bucket), I had to practice my non-existent limbo skills more than a few times. As I wrenched the barn door open....I heard harp music and angels singing. In front of my dazzled eyes was a wall of hay bales! My farmer neighbor had come sometime after Saturday's afternoon feed and delivered and stacked my winter hay. I almost wept.
After the power came back on, I squeezed in a batch of granola - just in case it went out again. There were also some exciting developments due to our new metal roof - the snow load slowly creeps down and looms over the eaves, complete with deadly-looking icicles, which, as they melt, leave treacherous shallows of ice right outside ones doors. Very exciting, indeed. The Pepperoni shot out of the back door, hit the ice, did a mad scramble, went off the deck and into a pile of snow at least three times his height. We all froze. Then a small, black nose poked up, followed by a snow-covered face. He was fine! Even Lovey was tippy-toeing across the deck after that performance. And I have been watching Scrappy like a hawk. He is a bit unsteady on his old pins, and I don't want any falls, sprains, breaks, or other catastrophes to befall my boy. We spent most of the day in front of the fireplace - the dogs wrapped burrito-style in their blankets, cats curled on beds by the fire and me with my book and knitting. It wasn't bad at all. Except for the having-to-go-out-and-shovel-way-too-often part.
Monday morning revealed another 10 inches or so of lighter, fluffier snow, so back out I went. There was no way I could have lived through shoveling my driveway, too, so I had to take the day off. As is usually the case, over the mountain, in the city, there was no snow. None. It is so bizarre. Thank goodness for camera phones. Our snowfall even made the news in the Big City. Woot. My neighbor showed up with his plow around 3:30 and I felt as if I was out of bondage. I snow-shoed in from the road to feed the feral cat this morning - she was very happy to see me!
I'm taking this as a test-run for my winter preps. Or lack thereof. So far, I'd give myself a C. I did not get the ducks' heated water dish in and it will be a real pain now, with all that snow. I forgot to put out the bird feeders. I did not clean the waterers and put them away. I did remember to shovel to my gate and then from the gate to the feed bin - with snow as deep as we have, you have to shovel more than once. Waiting to shovel at the end will kill you! Time to put on my two-alarm fluorescent socks in case I go head-first into a ditch! I will try to get some shots of the tree damage - now that I have a leg-up, so to speak, on the shoveling part and can use both hands.