Saturday, February 1, 2014

Stay Indoors, He Said

Today we had a moderate amount of snowfall.  This morning, when giving the day's forecast, the weatherman said that snow would be heavy at mid-day, and that people should just stay indoors.

DH and I looked at each other incredulously.  "Did he actually say 'stay indoors'?" DH asked with disbelief.  "Are people actually that afraid of snow?"

I shrugged, but confirmed that I, too, had heard the weatherman say that the outdoor conditions would be such that people should stay in their houses.

Needless to say, neither DH nor I heeded the weatherman's advice.  After a late breakfast (omelets with chorizo, ham, onions, peppers, mushrooms and cheese), he headed outside to see if he could get the 2-up snowmobile running.  Last week he'd gotten two new bogey wheels for it, but then discovered it was seized up from not being run at all last winter.  The snow picked up in intensity while DH was being snowmobile mechanic.

Within an hour, I heard the joyous sound of a snowmobile coming toward the house.  It lives!  The Bearcat lives!

DH on the Bearcat

Having the Bearcat back in working order meant that we could head out to the fence line to prune apple trees.  DH had tried last weekend to take the tractor over there, but it had nearly gotten stuck in the drifts in the field.  Time to switch from tractor transport to snowmobile.

And so we did.  Forget staying in the house just because a goodly amount of snow was falling from the sky (and, truth be told, driving in our faces if we faced the right direction).  There was stuff to be done outside.  Pruning trees is a mid to late winter activity, before the sap starts running again.

I bundled up in bibs, boots, coat, hat and gloves, and grabbed the loppers and the anvil pruners.  Then I hopped on the snowmobile behind DH, and he took me to the apple trees, going the long way.  From the garage, through the yard and the edge of the garden to what we call the South Road (which is just a path we keep mown from the garden to the woods), back into the woods, and out the other side, then down the north fence line stopping at each apple tree in turn.

View from the backseat of the Bearcat, heading into the woods on the South Road

We spent an hour or so trimming trees on the fenceline, me working the anvil pruners on the branches I could reach and DH using the loppers for the ones higher up.

Pruning a wild apple.

At one point, I lost my balance trying to move through the snowdrifts under the tree's canopy and did a slow-motion fall flat on my back.  Which made me laugh at the ridiculous feeling of knowing I'd tipped beyond the point of no return, yet it took so long to actually land on my back in the snow.  It was like I balanced on the edge of one heel for three or four seconds, knowing I was going over all the way, before actually completing my fall.  DH found it pretty funny too, especially when he stood offering his hand just out of my reach.

After pruning the trees on the north fenceline, we rode the snowmobile over to the orchard, where DH dropped me off to prune those fruit trees.  They are all much shorter than the ones in the fenceline, so I was able to prune them myself.

Once that task was complete, I went inside to work on dinner.  In light of the warm spell we're having--high near 30 degrees today!!--I had decided it would be a good day to grill the last package of hot dogs I'd discovered in the freezer.

Of course, with all the snow we've had since the year began, even being under the deck our grill had quite a bit of snow around it.

drifted in grill

 So I grabbed my knee boots before heading out to grill the hot dogs.

grillin' boots

I can't imagine how boring the day would have been had we obeyed the weatherman's warning and just stayed inside today.  Afterall, that snow is so unsafe.  And, cold.  How could anyone possibly be out in it for hours without causing harm and misery to themself?  How could they possibly have fun, or laugh, or accomplish anything?

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