Ahem? Hem, Hem, HEM? Excuse me! Weather gods? Ice Queen? You with the snowmaking machine up there? Would you please stop! STOP, already. We have almost 24" of snow on the ground. White Christmas is assured. It's okay. Enough! Please?
The upside of this sudden change from a grey, wet November to winter wonderland is that I now know that my new Ford has got what it takes. We drove to a Christmas party last night in almost whiteout conditions on the way there and enough snow on the hill through the village that they had barricades out and were directing traffic around the side roads. On the way home the road had only been ploughed half way along the county road and we had only a groove to follow through about 8" of new fall. By the time we got onto our own concession, we were down to one set of tracks and the last few hills were untouched. But the Ford purred right along, didn't slip, slide or refuse, even when we were scraping snow with the undercarriage. I am relieved, because I really trusted the Jeep's ability to let me shift to 4 high or 4 low and was most unsure about this automatic all-wheel drive. It works, though.
We have had two very grumpy wild turkeys sitting out on the feeding station all morning, doing a few desultory kicks through the snow and, it almost seemed, glaring at the house, waiting for us to put the corn out. As of now, the feeding station is recharged and I hope they will cheer up. We also had a most bemused deer wander through late yesterday afternoon and again this morning. I wonder if the local wildlife remembers from year to year that their grazing is all going to get covered by nasty cold white stuff or if it comes as a surprise each time. Once the snow is established and deep, the deer 'yard up', that is, gather in a sheltered location with browse, and wait out the winter as well as they can. This snowfall must be almost chest deep on the small ones, but it is light and fluffy still, so I figure they can push through it. Once there is a crust, that is much more difficult.
There has been snow falling since early Tuesday morning, almost without stopping. I have just come back from helping JG get the snow cab onto the tractor and am expecting any moment to hear the rumbling of the augur as he clears out the laneway. It is quite a sight when the snow is this fluffy to see it pouring out the chute of the snowblower. We have a homemade snow shelter on the tractor that covers three sides and if the wind is wrong, the plume also blows back and covers JG from time to time. Talk about the abominable snowman! Two blue eyes in a walking, steaming pile of snow. I am not allowed to laugh.
We're supposed to be going to a Christmas party again tonight in a town about a 40 minute drive in good weather. If this doesn't stop soon, we may be looking at twice that long and another return requiring punching through unplowed roads.
However, JG is somewhat chuffed because he can now play full out with his new toy. We have a small Kubota two seat utility vehicle that we use to get around in the bush, lug wood, whatever. It has four wheel drive and four fat tires, but it does not do well in snow. So, this fall JG bought it a set of winter tracks. He spent three long cold days taking off the tires and fitting the tracks on, with the result shown in the photo here. This morning he got it out and clomped along on the unploughed trails around the house. And, like the Ford, it chugged right through. Lovely.