Feb 16, 2014

Digging out

Winter was a long time coming this year.   Oh, we had the bout of sub-zero temps with a few inches of snow on top, in early December, which was apparently the longest such cold stretch (down to -11 F at our house, lows down to -32 in other parts of the county) in 67 years.  The downtown Christmas Parade was cancelled due to the cold temperatures.   A lot of pipes in houses built since the last cold spell froze.   And considering the growth in Bend in just the last 15 years, that was a lot of pipes.  

Since then, we've been warm (high 50's) and dry until last week, when suddenly we got slammed.   

It was one of those storms that starts out with a fine sifting of harmless-looking tiny snowflakes, and then keeps snowing and snowing and snowing.   Not as much snow as the year our backyard nearly filled up, but a lot of snow all at once.   Businesses closed early, church services and other events were cancelled, including a ski race, simply because no one could get there.   

Many of us were trapped in our homes by walls of snow.   Living on the downhill side of the street, with a house below street level, the snowplows always hit us hard.   As they clear the street for the rest of the residents, our driveways are buried under feet of heavy, chunky snow.


The top of the wall o' snow was eye level from the house ground level.

As I started digging, I kept thinking:   what does this remind me of?    And then I realized it was The Wall erected to the north of Winterfell in Game of Gore, I mean, Game of Thrones, to keep the wildlings and ice ghouls out of the Seven Kingdoms.  At one point I thought about building a wee elevator and putting in some tiny figures at the base, to represent Jon Snow and the Night Watch.   But I opted to keep digging, hoping to create access to the mailbox for our faithful mail guy.

Previously, the manly guy and I had spent 40 minutes clearing the snow from the top of our other driveway, so we could get the car out.  Sorry for the darkness - it was about 6:00 am and the sun wasn't quite up when we went out.

Meanwhile, in the back yard .....

.... it was time to dig out the girls.    When I finished, they had about four feet square of open ground in their outside pen.

Some of the hens are veterans of at least one previous winter.   But there are five newbies who care not for this white stuff.   Previously I had scattered a bag of dried leaves over the shoveled ground, to lure them outside.   A few leaves were still visible.

Poor Penny, at the bottom of the pecking order and nervous in general, was clearly not sure what this strange white world was all about.

Is it safe out there?


  1. Wow... you got more snow than we did! But it was the same - tiny flakes that looked like nothing but it just kept snowing and snowing and snowing... Crazy! Glad you made it and your girls look like they made it through as well.

  2. Thanks for the post. It was lovely, and caught the spirit of the last few weeks really well.