Friday, March 25, 2011

The Zen of Snow Shoveling

The couple inches of snow we woke up to yesterday had pretty much melted by noon. A quick afternoon flurry while I was at work dropped a couple more inches of wet, sloppy snow, but it was gone by evening. And then, at nightfall, the real storm moved in. We woke up this morning to another six inches of snow, sunshine, and freezing temperatures.

Aries had time to clear a path across the deck before his work carpool showed up. I figured quite a bit of it would melt again, but I really don't mind shoveling snow. Plus, snow reflects the sunlight back, but anything cleared down to dark dirt absorbs the heat. This snow might be here a couple of days, but cleared paths dry out quickly, making going about on chores later a lot easier, with less chance of slipping, and helps keep the house cleaner too.

So, with my Ipod in my back pocket (gotta have music), I headed out later in the morning to clear a few paths. By then, the snow had packed itself down by half, but was also twice as heavy. It's a good arm and core workout - keeps me in shape for the garden digging I hope to be doing soon. First path, down to the chicken coop, with a short side path to the front of the feed shed. Aries opens up the coop in the mornings. A couple of the hens had crossed the snow, and were hanging out inside the shed. One had even laid an egg on the floor. But most of the girls, and the guineas, don't really like getting their feet wet. They were all still holed up in the coop. As soon as I had the area around the feeder and their door cleared though, they were all ready to come out into the sunshine.

Aries had given them fresh water earlier, but it had frozen into slush since then. I tossed that, and fetched a fresh bucket of water from the house. I then continued my shoveling. I like to make a path back up to the back door of the house, with a side spur into the dog run. It gives the chickens more room to walk about, and they like hanging out inside the south-facing doghouse there.

From the back door, I shoveled past the garage to the woodpile. The woodbox inside had plenty for today, but having a clean, dry path will make it easier for Aries to refill it for me when he gets home from work. One more path, connecting back door to kitchen door, and I'm finished out back (in mid-winter, when the snow is deeper and won't be melting anytime soon, I also do one more over to the cellar and shovel the door).

Out front, I do one from front door out to the mailbox - even though I wasn't expecting any visitors today, I think it's just good manners to provide non-slippery access from the street to the house. I had afternoon errands planned, and would need my car, so did a quick swoop 'round it, and then got the broom to clean it off. Another swoop 'round, to clean all the snow I'd just slid from car to ground, so I can get into it later without soaking my shoes. And then one last little bit more: though there wasn't enough snow to need to shovel the driveway, I do have to clear the berm the snowplow left, at least wide enough to back my car through. That's the hardest part, too. Plow berms are always heavy, frozen chunks. Ahh - an hour's work, a couple hundred feet of paths - I'd say it's time for a cup of cocoa.

1 comment: