Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Dug Out, Now On To Dangerous Cold
I finally got the whole family dug out, except my brother he is on his own. Believe it or not the Ford started up at 14 degrees. I had to let her run with the choke open for a minute or two but she did her job as you can see in the second pic below. Took me about 2 hours of pushing snow to get all the pathways and circle drive cleared. The top picture shows the drift up against the solar panel battery box attached to the shop. I thought the blue from the shed gave it a nice coloration and all.
Total I think we only got about 6 to 8 inches overall but the drifting was well over my knees in some places and I had to do the plowing in small bites at first.
Above is a picture of some of the piled snow in the middle of the circle drive and you can see the drive going down to the barn in the top left. Still has a really blue look to it but evening was coming on when I took these pics.
The major highways were clear when I was out this afternoon but the county and secondary roads outside the city limits and in the small towns barely looked like they had been touched and I saw no evidence of salt or cinder being applied to the roads whatsoever. In the two hours or so I was out plowing the drives and paths I did not see a county crew go by even once. In fact the only plowing I saw on the county road in front of the house was done by neighbors or me on the Ford.
This is how the slow decline continues friends. It falls apart on the edges, services no longer extend to where they once did. Five or six years ago the main roads would have been finished the first day with roads like the little county one and small towns cleared on the second day. My bet is we won't see the second day clearings done at all now.
On my trip to pay my yearly gun club dues Monday night the county road up that way had several areas still covered after days and even a good melt.
But ya know what? I love it. There are only two parts of Winter I dislike.
1. Running low on firewood because I can't get to what I have cut and waiting.
2. It being so cold I fear for the welfare of my bees.
Other than that I am a snow ape and damned proud of it. It is Winter that makes prepping and survival projects shine and prove worthwhile. Winter and dealing with it is what gives us snow apes the ability to plan and project into the future. Future-sense is a trait handed down to us through our very DNA and Winter is the time to celebrate it.
I was out wearing only my insulated overalls with the non-insulated bib and a fuzzy hat in 10 degrees and enjoyed the bite of the cold wind. This snow is going to give us the moisture needed for Spring and as much as it can cause problems and/or kill it also speaks to my very core. I am not all that fond of high winds but on a still cold night when the coyotes are out singing and the world is still and snow covered.... Well it's a peacefulness that cannot really be put into words.
Summer maybe the time of production and growth but it is Winter that defines us I think.
Your mileage may vary.
But I still worry about my bees.
I am going to take the fact that the tops are clear of snow as a good sign that the balls are still heating up the hive boxes. I should have put up a wind break for these hives out in the open but I cannot think of any more I could have done as far as insulating them. That pink foam was rated pretty damned high and wasn't cheap either it should offer more protection than the tar paper most bee keepers use. But we have not seen this many sub-zero temperatures since I have been keeping bees. I fed em all Summer and Fall. Put pounds of sugar in there for em during the cold and insulated them. I just hope they pull through because it doesn't look as if we are going to get a break from these cold temps anytime soon.
With all this snow I imagine I will be stretching my wood reserves to the limits as well. I have used more than twice the normal amount of firewood this year but so far I have met that challenge head on with success but now that the snow is flying it's gonna get a bit more dicey.
I have four different down piles and several cut and stacked piles but will I be able to get to them is the question.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!