The long winter

In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book The Long Winter, Pa tells his family what he heard from an Indian in the General Store,

“..that every seventh winter was a hard winter and that at the end of three times seven years came the hardest of all.”

We are wondering whether we are in for a Long Winter here as we don’t remember having had this much snow by mid December in the the seven winters we have spent here. On Saturday night the snow started falling and continued until Sunday evening leaving us with another 37cm. Last night there was more so we are well over half a metre.

Remember how the picnic table looked:

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This is how it looks now:

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While it was snowing on Sunday afternoon we shoveled twice but before I went to bed I looked out to see if the plough had been by.  There was a big wall of snow and ice to clear before either of us could get a car out. You can imagine how pleased we were the next morning to see that our neighbour across the road had cleared an opening in the “wall” for us with his snowblower.

The task of clearing the road goes on throughout the storm and for days after. Once the roads are clear the paths and bus stops need to be done. Eventually the ploughs and giant snowblowers come back along the streets cutting into the snowbanks and blowing snow into large dump trucks to be carted to the snow dump! Snowbanks along the side of the road make the road narrower and when they are higher than the cars, as they are now, visibility at corners gets a little tricky.

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5 thoughts on “The long winter

  1. Andrew

    It must be nice to live in the tropics of Ottawa and only get 37cm.

    Out in Embrun we got 50cm.

    The best part: Winter starts tomorrow. That’s right. It’s not even winter yet! Then it’s supposed to rain for two days.

    -=Andrew Nordstrum

    Reply
  2. ND

    It looks great! That is the romace of the snow. It seems you are assured of a white Christmas.

    Here, we are anticipating a cool, wet Christmas. Like your ‘one in seven’, our experience is quite different from recent years when bushfires have been widespread. Steady rainfall has relieved the drought in some areas, although most of the areas west of the dividing range have a long way to go to recovery. The major river systems are still parched.

    However, along the eastern seaboard from southern Tasmania to northern Queensland we have hadsteady rain over several weeks. In fact, the rainstorms have been so severe that damage bills have reached into the millions of dollars. Blacktown was the epicentre of a horrendous storm a week ago with major property damage. Your brother has worked very hard during the past week as his crew have been allocated to recovery and clean up duties.

    The almost daily rain of recent weeks has given the countryside (and our garden) an entirely different look as we prepare for Christmas. Everything is green and fresh, in marked contrast to the usual summer brown and dry appearance. Whilst S38 is rostered for duty on Christmas Day, we can be sure that he wont be called to fight bushfires this year. But you well know, an Australian summer is long and if we experience a sustained hot and dry spell in January/February, the fire risk will be perhaps greater than ever.

    By the way, you write of getting the cars out and the necessary clearing. Does that mean that you are now able to garage them?

    Last word. I brought home yesterday a load of rich mulch for the garden beds. Today’s task is to spread it and build up protection against the drying of the soil when the heat of summer really hits us.

    Reply
  3. Heather Post author

    Both our vehicles were in the driveway and were covered with great heaps of snow. We had to clear them but not the wall of snow that the plow leaves when it clears the street. Paul had saved us probably an hour of very heavy shoveling. We had to get both car and van out as one had a flat battery and the other had a radiator issue. So we started one, to start the other, to drive both down the street to the mechanic.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: White World « Sentient

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