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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘deep snow

Cold Start

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In the purest definition of my life memories of what “up north” during a Minnesota winter entails, we have been enjoying gorgeous deep snow scenes and seriously cold temperatures. It stays below zero all day long for days at a time and there is no sign anywhere of the fallen snow melting on the ground. No slush on the rural roads. Just hard-packed snow with occasional areas of sand dropped at higher traffic intersections.

The first day of January offered clear skies and plenty of sun, the common denominator for extremely cold temperatures. With no cloud cover to hold a little of the earth’s heat, the air feels like it is aligning with the temperatures of deep space above.

Delilah’s thick fur coat keeps her comfortable all but the bottoms of her paws. She isn’t a big fan of standing around in the cold. In fact, even if we are walking along with her, she wants to pick up the pace and hustle to get wherever the heck it is we intend on going.

After multiple snowshoeing adventures this weekend, I think she has figured out that the initial extra time she is made to wait at the beginning while we are strapping on the odd contraptions to our boots, comes with a payoff of opportunities to romp in the deep stuff shortly after.

We bushwhacked right from the driveway into the wooded contours of the southern edge of the Chippewa National Forest yesterday and I guided Delilah to select a navigable route atop a ridge, every so often aligned with the tracks revealing deer had already done the same.

It is a treat to watch the glee of Delilah’s leaping through the deep snow. She has no choice but to leap, actually, since it is deeper than her legs are long.

The only setback she experiences is the need to pause once in a while to chew away the snow that balls up between her toes. I can imagine that feels just as annoying as the snow that collects under the cleat of my snowshoes in certain conditions. We didn’t have that problem with the cold powder snow this weekend.

It was a cold start of the year 2022, but a grand one for us. Here’s hoping it proves to be a hint of greater times to come.

It was truly precious to kick off the new year in such a special place with our even more special friends and hosts, Barb and Mike Wilkus.

We will spend the rest of today on the road, heading home to see how the horses are doing in this coldest weather since they arrived with us last April. Having dreamt about horses this morning, I’m feeling a heightened urge to get home to see ours.

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Written by johnwhays

January 2, 2022 at 10:14 am

Chronological Order

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We did not experience deadly tornadoes last night, just a pleasant blast of big snow that has thrust us fully into what winter is usually like around these parts. Here is my photo exposé chronicling the views.

I did a little “pre-plowing” last night to break the project up into two episodes of medium depths instead of one massive task.

Just like the meteorologists were boasting, it was coming down at 1-to-2 inches per hour, but I would say the flakes were pretty small.

The pre-dawn light was enticing and the muffled sound in the woods was accented with sweet songbird melodies.

There was a hint of a labyrinth pathway under the fresh blanket of new snow.

The horses appear to have dealt with the storm well. We treated them to some sweet apple-flavored biskets after their morning feed to celebrate the novelty of their new deep-snow landscape.

There is a lot of plowing to be done between the barn and the hay shed. I didn’t spend any time last night pre-plowing that area. The driveway has about 5 new inches on it, not accounting for the areas where drifts will be much deeper.

The depths vary greatly depending on where we check but 11-inches was a pretty common reading I found up by the house.

There is a lot of snow to be pulled off the eaves of the roof. I would like to do that as soon as possible to take advantage of the bright sunshine we expect today but there is a lot of plowing that I’ll work on first.

It will be a gorgeous winter day to be outside, which is a good thing because I expect my snow clearing work will take me all day long to accomplish.

I will be thanking the universe the whole time that I am not cleaning up debris from tornado destruction instead.

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Written by johnwhays

December 11, 2021 at 10:48 am