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Ramble with Storm: The wetness of slop

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Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.


storm3x Two mornings of rambles with the meathead in one.


That was the heaviest three inches of snow I have shoveled in a long time, so I am tempted to give the weathermen a bit of break.

Though not much of one.

Because of their forecast, I figured on the kids being off school Friday and planned on doing stuff with them. Instead it was a work day.

We were projected to be in the edge of the six- to seven-inch band Thursday night/Friday morning, with high winds and drifting. Instead, it was mellow and half that much snow.

However, when I shoveled the walk to the school, about a block and a half, it was workout. That was some heavy slop.

I am guessing the weathermen figured it would be colder overnight Thursday and the snow to water ratio would be higher than it was.

The rule of thumb for snow is 10 inches to an inch of rain equivalent, but in our area I think it roughly varies from 5-1 to 15-1. This one was sloppy enough to be close to that 5-1 range.

But it was a beautiful, clinging snow. Turning our dead rose on the trellis into a patterning point (above).

The weather had the animals waiting it out. We only saw one set of squirrel tracks, a set of mouse tracks and a small tunnel through the snow.

My guess on the tunnel is either a mouse or vole. The tunnel struck me as funny. Storm gave me a look when I started snickering.

Some days, I wonder what he thinks about me. If he is capable of thinking about me.

Then the sun popped out.

It almost seemed like the prodigal son returning, it has been so long since a truly bright winter sun blazed into my eyes.

It was good.

Nearly all the snow melted by the time the kids came home from school.


Gee, what a surprise, enough snow down again this morning to whiten the landscape, again. I don't think it made an inch here.

Spits of more kept coming this morning. But not really sticking or even keeping up with what was melting on the ground and sidewalks.

Only one set tracks, an evil feral cat or free-ranging housecat, cut the snow around the town pond.

Yesterday, the town pond was a depressing gray color. This morning the ice must have tightened enough that the snow remained white.

We're getting quite a hands-on lesson on water, ice and snow and all their variations this winter.

Coming home, two male cardinals staked out trees over a brush pile by the rail spur on the edge of town.

Red dots in the white.

I wanted to impose meaning on them. But can't, just a moment in a winter dragging on too long.

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We can all use the cardio work out. It's why I refuse to buy a snow blower. Besides, half the fun is building the walls of snow along drives and walks. Then pretending it's Verdun or French hedgerows and the Nazis are on the run.

Only all the kids are in the house killing vampires on video. So me and my 60 year old neighbor have at it.

"What are the two of you doing?"

Uhhh, saving Europe?

"Glad you found an idiot your own age to play with."

I will go one better: I don't own a power mower. Instead I use a rotary push mower. (Drives my kids nuts, a bonus of its own.) Gives a good 20- to 30-minute workout instead of burning half a gallon of gas. And the bonus is that I get to feel sanctimonious.

Sounds like a couple of old fogies to this youngster.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on February 26, 2011 11:39 AM.

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