Friday Feb 29, 2008

Morning Calisthenics

Tons of snow,   literally!,   on New Hampshire rooftops is turning out to be one of the big challenges to manage this winter for residents & businesses.

For some, snow removal has to be done manually.   Really hard work.   For others, coping with the snow that SLIDES off the roofs is where the big challenge lies.

We have a big barn.   I mean Really BIG.   About 180x90 feet in size.   It has a medal roof designed to not hold on to snow well.   That's a good thing...

However, instead of having to clear the roof, we get treated to some big "avalanches"...   Snow which slides off the roof, sometimes at impressive speeds, and deposits itself at the base of the barn and into the driveway that goes by the barn.

Some of these avalanches go right up to the windows...   The bigger ones completely cover the windows, significantly reducing the natural light in the barn while pressing snow against the window screens.

Another snowstorm.   Another roof slide.   Another digging out exercise.

Ayup.   New Hampshire style Morning Calisthenics.   :-)

Thursday Feb 28, 2008

Bring on SPRING !

Ah....   Spring.

Even just the word itself sounds wonderful, but too much like a whispered promise that will never be kept.

This winter in New Hampshire started with record breaking snowfalls in December.

January brought some needed thaws and, of course, more snow.

And February brought more snow.   11 inches of it in this week alone.

Local schools have had SEVERAL "snow days".   Local businesses, too.   Of course, working from home, Georg and I have only missed a few hours of work (not days) due to snowstorms....

So far this season, we have had 18 "plowing events".   That's a snow storm that results in everyone getting out their plows.   And following some of those events, a few extra "tidy up" plowing hours were also required.

The snow banks have continued to grow.   Impressively tall snow piles have accumulated.   Thanks to the warm spells followed by hard freezes, many of these have frozen solid and are now like cement!

Snow sliding off the bigger roofs have created several snow removal challenges.   And the thaws & freezes have created icy roads and driveways over and over again.   Salt & sand have had to be applied each time.

We have put in many hours maneuving our plow up and down the driveways and around the barns.   And, like many in town, we've also paid various professionals & friends with bigger tractors, front loaders, and plows who have also put in several hours plowing, sanding, moving snow piles around our property, and helping improve accessibility.

Lovely as it is, and believe me it is Absolutely Stunningly Beautiful ! this winter has been down right expensive!   And, that's just in terms of driveway maintenance!

Across New Hampshire, this winter is considered a record breaker.   Season snowfall accumulation statistics are expected to exceed the 100 inch mark.   Very impressive!

However, with that, the costs of this winter are also likely to be record breaking for the people of New Hampshire!   A lot of resources ---- Time & $$$$ ---- go into "coping" with the record snowfalls...

And, I understand another snow storm is coming Saturday....   Oh joy.

Time to hook up the plow again and bring in more firewood!

Monday Jan 14, 2008

Plowing Related Injuries

In the winter, one of the "joys" of living on a New Hampshire property with long driveways is that snowplowing is a necessity.   While we could pay one of several local guys to take care of this chore, we usually do it ourselves.   Actually, \*I\* do it.   I am in charge of plowing.

Today, we got another dose of the white stuff.   I measured 9 new inches in some places, 10 in others.

The first plowing run was done at 7am this morning, allowing the trash collector to roll in without trouble as well as our morning barn staff.   The second plowing run was late this afternoon after the storm finally died down.

The morning session was uneventful.   I covered my usual areas --- driveway, parking lot, road around the indoor arena, area in front of the little barn out back, and paths to the pastures.

However, the afternoon session came to a quick stopping point when my truck slide sideways, in painfully slow motion, down into a ditch next to a typical New England stone wall that runs parallel to our driveway.

Not wanting to mess about on my own and possibly get into a worse predicament, I quickly collected Georg.   Meanwhile, a neighbor happened by, saw the truck in the ditch, tried to stop, slid on the slick packed snow road for a ways, then came in to offer assistance.

Of course the truck was pulled out without too much trouble.   But meanwhile, I took a good hard spill on the snow, giving my shoulders and neck a good jolt.   But more than anything, the only injury suffered was to my pride.

Maybe he wants to make me feel better, maybe not, but I won't argue.   Georg likes to say that there are only two kinds of really serious snowplowers out there.   Those who will tell you that they've have gotten stuck while plowing and those who won't admit it.

:-)

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Kimberley

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