Friday, February 10, 2012

I Was Right (for once!) It's Back

Winter that is.
The view out the back door this morning.  Brrrrrrr....

On Thursday we were enjoying temps in the upper 30's.  There was snow in patches, here and there, mostly in shaded areas.  There was plenty of ice, though, sneaky, lurking ice, trying to lure me into stepping on it unawares, especially after dark.  Nothing like walking along at a decent pace on what you think is dry ground, only to suddenly step on a teensy patch of ice and find yourself flailing your arms around, trying to keep your balance.  I saved it, though, I remained upright.

The path I take out to the chicken coop had melted down to a slickly polished surface, made more dangerous by the pits and dips of older footprints still embedded in the surface.  This is the same path I take to reach my washlines, too, and on Wednesday I hung the laundry outside.  I should have made a video of me mincing out to washlines on the glare ice, toting steaming baskets of wet clothes.  It was around 33 degrees on Wednesday with a brisk westerly breeze as I hung the wash out and my hands were smarting from the cold.  Luckily, some of the wet articles of clothing were still a bit warm from the rinse water, so I could bury my hands in them to warm them up a little.  I started to hang a bedsheet over the washline but before I was done making the ends straight I had to unkink it.  The poor sheet had frozen before I had a chance to put the clothespins on it.  I stood back and watched my wash day's effort clunking in the breeze.   Towels, sweatshirts and blue jeans make rather wooden sounds when they are frozen.  Everything dried beautifully on Thursday when the temps rose to 36.  And oh, the smell of fresh laundry!  Love it.
Nice, fresh snow.
After I took the laundry down just before sunset last night, Carl asked me if I wanted to take the two dogs for a walk out in the Back Eight.  I have to say here that this is not a usual occurrence for Carl.  He doesn't like to walk for 'no reason'.    There has to be purpose for a walk, like going to and from some work to do, or hauling rocks home from our distant rockpile.  In other words, he likes to feel he's accomplishing something for his effort.  I'm not against his philosophy, but I do enjoy walking just for walking's sake, too.  I've been plodding around on this farm for over 50 years, the same land, the same sights, same old, same old, but it never bores me.  But you all know I'm odd. And I love this piece of dirt. 

So, Carl and I went for a walk with the dogs and ended up in the White Forest again.  There was no snow on the ground under the pine trees to speak of, it had almost all melted.  We use the white pine needles that fall every year for mulch in the garden but it's hard to get through the trees to rake and pick up the fallen needles because of the dead limbs on the bottom of them.  (The trees all need thinning too, and we're going to start doing that very soon.)
There was no snow in the White Forest last night.  Just needles.  What a difference a little snow makes.

And that's when we got the itch to do some work.  Back to the house we went and after raiding the garage and our little barn and finally finding our hand saws, we went back out to our little woods and started thinning branches.  We could have started up the chainsaws, but it was getting onto dusk and we just felt like doing a little thinning.  By the time we got done it was almost two hours later and pitch black out.   We had to go and get the Oldsmobile and the car trailer to haul all the brush out.  We both felt really good about the workout, though.  It feels great to stretch the muscles outside in the pursuit of actually doing work instead of just exercising for the sake of exercising.  Like I said, it would be so much more fun to 'work out' at the gym if there was a task to accomplish, something to show for all that sweat.

Pachyberm (yes, I was too lazy to take the screen off, lol.)

When I went to bed last night  the stars were shining so brightly.  When I woke up this morning, well, looky here, Winter is back.

Love that Red Rooster grass, sure does stand up to the weather, even in an urn.
Our hard-working township had the road under control right away.

 If there's snow on the road, of course, there's snow in our yard.  Carl's not too big on snow removal, his philosophy is it will melt.  Yes, it will, and it may be sooner than I think or not until April, so my philosophy is to get the snow blower out.

Walk, walk, walk, walk.....this time behind the snowblower!  Hey, it's all exercise.
The snowblower used to have a plastic cab, and we really should look into fixing or replacing it.  I inhale more snow than the machine throws sometimes.  Breathing becomes difficult and then I can't see because the snow piles up between my face and my glasses.  I told Carl it would be great to just put a dry-cleaning bag over my head and let the snow fall where it may, but I guess that practice is kinda frowned on, too.  Might result in a shortage of oxygen.  Joel suggested I get a snowmobile helmet.  We have one around here somewhere....I'm going to look for it.
Help!  I can't see.  Or catch my breath.
Today was one of those days where no matter which direction I aimed the snowblower chute, the airborne snow came back and got me in the face.  I guarantee you, it will put roses in your cheeks. (After your face defrosts.)
Once the driveway was done, it was off to make my walking trails.

  With winter back again, we're less torn.  Now we have more time to work on the stained glass and Carl and I won't be tempted to do outside work for awhile.  Maybe 'tempted' isn't the right word, I should say we won't feel compelled to do something outside, because when the weather is so unseasonably warm it almost feels criminal to stay in the house.

Last night as we were walking back to the house, we both stood and stared at ol' Castle Aaargh all tucked in under the tarps and simultaneously sighed. Warm enough to limb up some trees, but not warm enough to mortar stone.
Doesn't look much like a castle, does it?
Ah, well,  Castle Aaargh will be there in the Spring.  For now we have lamps to build.

Second repeat of the Laburnum lamp.  We're getting there.

Thanks for coming back, Winter.  We missed you.


Tufa Girl said...

The first photo of the snow blowing off the garage made me say "Brrr" under my breathe. The winds from your storm are hitting here tonight but no precipitation this time.

The White Forest looks so beautiful. Wish I could be there to help rake the pine needles. I won't tell you that I was out pulling dandelions in the sunny 50's today. The North wind was blowing pretty fierce already though... :D

Sue said...

We started getting the big chill down yesterday afternoon. Our ice never did melt, despite the upper 30's we've been enjoying. I'm so tired of this winter, --not enough snow for snowmobiling/skiing, but not warm enough to get rid of this sea of ice, so no walks for me.
Your garden looks so nice. I'm glad you could get out and get a few things done.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning! Fancy Carl luring you into the woods to work he's got cabin fever! Lesley will be proud of you walk walk walk walk with a snow blower. Your garden certainly looks very pretty under its blanket of snow but think I prefer it full of flowers.
It is very cold here 16 below freezing last night. All the snow has gone …for now!

FlowerLady said...

Oh my goodness, that first picture made me feel cold too. Great photos.

We've had days of rain and yesterday was a humdinger. More rain is expected today and it is supposed to get down to 42 tonight and feel like it is 30, that will be brr for us. I need to bring a few orchids in, the rest will have to fend for themselves.

Enjoy playing indoors with your stained glass.

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Karen, Today, winter is back here, too. We have light snow and it is beautiful. I don't have any desire to walk in our woods though -- too cold for me. Enjoyed walking around your gardens from the warmth of my den. P. x

Lona said...

Brrr, looks like winter returned to you too. The wind is just so cold.
I see you throwing that snow back out into the roadway. LOL! Looks like good exercise to me Karen.The quarry looks lovely dressed in white. Stay safe.

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Your first photo looks sooo cold but yet SO beautiful! Yeh, I guess I'm weird too.

I say your first priorty is to do something about the snowblower! Snow hitting you in the face is NOT A GOOD THING! Something needs to be figured out for that, find that helmet!

I have SO much work to do in the garden...and we've been in the high 60s to 70s!! Just can't find the ambition to do it. Damn depression has kicked in and anxiety increases as we get closer to his criminal jury trial. I just hope it isn't postponned again. Going thru all these emotions over and over, well it's just hard...for me and the kids.

Enjoy your beautiful white crystals while they are there and be careful when walking....all you need to do is fall on your bottom..ouch!

Kudos to your lamp making..I think I'd gone stir crazy from ALL those pieces by now! LOL

Take care xoxoxo

HolleyGarden said...

I know it's whatever you get used to, but as someone that's not used to any snow (maybe rarely), that looks very, very cold. And very, very hard to deal with (especially that snowblower!). Very pretty, though. And you're right - when the weather is warmer, we do feel compelled to go outside and work. When it's too cold to work outside, we can enjoy our work inside without distraction. Enjoy your winter!

Carol said...

Winter has landed here too. We had a light snow but it all melted the next day and now the temp =has dropped dramatically. I need to go out and put a dome on my daffodils they have buds on them from the 60°days we had last week. . Your garden is beautiful in the winter too.

Rosemary said...

Even in the south winter has arrived, no snow but temps cold at 35 and a strong cold wind blowing. But heck by mid week back into the 70's .Missing snow NO I am not. You are much hardier stock than me.
Love the new lamp project looks like it will be another beauty.,

africanaussie said...

gosh I laughed at you manhandling frozen laundry on the line! You live such a different life to us here in the tropics. You put me to shame - always a couple of projects going at one time....

Randy Emmitt said...

You with the snow blower priceless.... Those big numbers on the lamp glass really puts one into prospective on how much work it is. It was 2o here last night, guess you'd call that balmy.

xoxoxo said...

Brrrr--I got cold just reading your post!
It has been pretty warm over here and we are getting quite excited!

Debbie said...

Hi,We also live in wisconsin by lake michigan. I love gardening too and we do lampwork glass beads and sell them on ebay..Your stain glass is beautiful!

Shyrlene said...

I say 'God Bless You' - hanging laundry on a line outside in the Winter. You are a saint! Snow is beautiful; I love seeing the season start - but at this point, with as squirrely as the weather has been, it can be Spring anytime! (There are new gardens to be cut in and compost to be laid!)