Wednesday, January 15, 2020

People of the Snow

The snowfall from the 1970s.
The name of our town, which is an Indigenous word, loosely translates to "people of the snow". As someone who was born and raised in the beauty and wonder of our small, industrious town, I am all too familiar with Old Man Winter and what it means for life in the North.

In fact, memories of Snowmageddon are still fresh in my mind. The epic snow blizzard we had in 2015 was pure chaos and despite the fact this amount of snow is not necessarily "new" to us, the fast accumulation was certainly a shock. 

I have several memories from my childhood of buried 6ft fences, and mountains of snow piled high in front of houses, just begging to be made into igloos and forts. Time spent cross country skiing with Ty, bouncing through windrows of snow with ease. In fact, I used to have an absolute blast in the snow - before I had horses. Before I had to fight with frozen hoses, numb finger tips from changing blanket clips, and shoveling out snowed in beasts who refuse to break trail.

Or that time a construction company made a giant
snowman in our mall parking lot.
Despite the fact we've had a few years of milder winters, we always seem to get hit by a colossal storm every couple of years to remind us that we do in fact live in the North and Welcome to the Sixth Circle of Hell.

In fact, a few weeks ago we were hit with what most are referring to as "Snowmaggedon 2.0". However, the amount of snow that fell did not have the same ferocity and we ended up with just over 3' in one day. Which, is still a lot, but is a far cry from the 5.5' we received during Snowmageddon in 2015.

Still though, any large amount of snow like that completely and utterly sucks. It certainly made chores difficult at the horses, and it took many flakes of alfalfa to coax the horses from their shelter to break trail around the property. Thankfully, Annie cannot stand not knowing what is going on in her neighborhood and promptly marched along the pasture checking her usual street-viewing spots with a begrudging Maizey behind her. 

Without further ado, I present to you, "Mini Snowmageddon 2.0":

Jamie's truck is somewhere under that mess.

Snow-blowing at Jamie's moms house on her front stoop.

Breaking trail to our front door.

The street had a ton of snow on it, as did our driveway. You can see where my
truck had been parked earlier that day. Thank goodness for 4WD.

After snowblowing and shoveling. What a long evening this was.

Looking out towards the driveway from the barn. The snow here slid
from the roof, so is quite compact.

Opposite side of the barn. Coaxing the horses to make more trails with alfalfa!

Poor Spud, lol.

Looking towards the back field.

If you look to the left, you can see a bit of the top of the fence line. Annie is
quite a bit above that which is just insane!

Walking up to the barn I had to wear snow shoes - you can see my tracks
from the previous night wherein I wore them to get in and break trail for the horses.

 We had a bit more snow after the initial storm, but it has compacted down somewhat and things are somewhat "normal" again. The initial panic during a snowstorm is just the worst feeling, especially dealing with horses. Is the snow going to get so high that the horses will walk over the fences??? (You would think you wouldn't have to worry, but this literally happened to a friend of mine, wherein her 900lb Rocky Mountain gelding literally stepped over their gate and took a gander through the subdivision). Will the horses drink enough? What if the roof collapses? What I can't dig out their water trough? Which fences are going to break under the weight?

It's a reality we face, and we do our best to prepare every single Winter, because we know things like this can happen very suddenly. I know in the Spring, I will be busy fixing busted insulators, perhaps a broken fence board or two, and restringing the electric braid. I had to actually undo the electric braided wire from the energizer, as it was extremely taut and I was worried about it ripping the energizer off the wall.

Fun times.

That being said, this dude and I have been snow-shoeing a lot this year.

For now, the horses are bored to tears and as we are amidst an Arctic Freeze wherein temperatures of -25C to -30C are a reality, we are all doing our best to just stay warm and wait until the cold snap breaks. I have gotten great use out of the snowshoes I bought this year and am eagerly awaiting when I can explore a bit more of the back country without the temperature being so dire. Unfortunately, the horses will remain a bit more land-locked until the roadways in the subdivision are no longer a literal sheet of ice and I can actually get them down the driveway without slipping and falling.

I can only hope the weekend forecast is a lie, because if it isn't, we will be in for yet another dump of snow (calling for 2+ feet) and I'm not so sure I can take anymore than we already have.

So if you believe in weather gods, please pray to them and/or do your best "no more snow" dance! We have enough of it already, we don't need any more!

26 comments:

  1. That's crazy! We get about 2 inches of a snow a year. I can't imagine having 3 feet.

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    1. I don't mind the snow - just so long as we don't get any more! Hahah

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  2. Crazy! And I'll just pray to the weather gods to send us your snow instead. We'd LOVE it. Annoying winter horse chores and all.

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  3. Ugh! We don't often get storms that big, but it does happen occasionally. And I HATE IT! I've worried about horses walking over fences. I built mine super tall just in case... haha.
    I hope the next storm fizzles out!

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    1. I don't mind one storm, but if we are going to have another this weekend its going to be INSANE.

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  4. I *have* noticed that I seem to enjoy snow a lot more since my own horses passed. It's beautiful... if you don't have to work in it!

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    1. It certainly makes a difference when you don't have to do horse-chores in the snow, haha!

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  5. Normally I'm super anti-snow and winter in general, but we need a solid three days below freezing to get some property work done without sinking the trucks in mud.... So weather gods, send us their cold and (some) snow! 🤣

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    1. I don't mind snow or the cold, but this is a bit excessive!

      Hope you guys get some cold weather soon!

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  6. That’s amazing! I also live in the north but it’s been a LONG time since we got that much snow in one snow fall.

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    1. We get it about every 3-4 years now. It used to be a yearly occurrence when I was a kid, but it has been pretty mild the last few years. I guess we were due for it.

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  7. The arena roof collapsing issue is a real thing - a few years ago we had more than average snow and I heard of three arenas in the province that had roofs collapse. And that was not nearly as much snow as you got!

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    1. A lot of the issues in other provinces is that they don't build to withstand the snowloads. It's not necessarily a matter of "if" around here, it's a matter of "when". The barn we are at is quite ancient, so I worry about the age a lot.

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  8. Yikes - that is a lot of snow. Buildings collapsing and horses walking over/through fences is a real concern. We get a fair bit of snow, but usually in smaller doses. I can't remember ever getting more than maybe a foot or 1.5 feet in one shot. It is very damp here, so we get heavy wet snow and a few years ago there were several older arenas that collapsed.

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    1. The year of Snowmageddon in 2015, we shovelled the snow off the roof at the horses because it was heavy and wet. This year, we've managed to have drier, fluffier snow, but it still weighs quite a bit.

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  9. OMG that is a lot of snow. I remember the few times up north in DE when we got over 2 feet of snow in one storm I had to dig tunneels for the dachshunds I had at the time. That is insane...of course we have so much mud here i might actually not mine SOME SNOW. UGH but still. Stay warm and safe and send Spud south to me :) Thanks

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    1. Bahahah.
      I dig a little path for the dogs here as well - Cedar would be happy to cut his own path, but Roxy is a bit more hesitant.

      I'm sure Spud would LOVE to go down south. He was initially from an area where heat and sunshine were a real thing. Poor guy is probably wondering what he did to deserve living here, LOL.

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  10. Our 1 day snowmageddon is already melting in a big old west coast wind and rain storm . I cant believe how much you get - but i have to admit to looking forward to the Spud in a tunnel pics each year;)

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    1. I spoke to my parents yesterday and they said it was absolute pandemonium on the island, LOL. People cleaning out grocery stores and panicking on social media. I mean, if you aren't used to it and aren't prepared for it, it can be a real shock! Living here has taught me we can handle quite a lot of things, especially the things nature throws at us!

      The paths the horses have created are multi-useful bc they aren't wide enough for Spud's belly that the snow actually cleans the dirt and mud off of his sides, LOL.

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  11. Replies
    1. and its only supposed to get even more insane this weekend!!

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  12. That is a crapload of snow! Ugh.

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    1. And it's trying to snow this afternoon.

      NOOOOOOOOOOO.

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  13. Lol yea if that happened here ppl would probably believe it was actually the apocalypse ! That’s a lot of snow! Love the giant parking lot snowman tho haha

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  14. Wow, I thought that my western-wisconsin 13-18 inches of snow in a night was impressive, but this is a whole 'nother level. Where do you live again? (I tried for way too long to come up with a less creepy way to ask that question) I promise I'm just curious about the weather.

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