Monday, February 22, 2010

Wirehaired Vizsla on the Last Frontier!

Thanks to Vickie, owner of the lucky and beautiful Zsofi (Zöldmáli Ancsa) for sharing these really cool photos! Life in Alaska for a Wirehaired Vizsla is quite a bit different than it is here in Virginia, despite the snow cover here!

I sure do love those Zöldmáli dogs!




Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Aftermath

Conditions are perfect for slowly getting rid of all this snow without floods and mudpits till summer. Sunny and cool days, cold nights. A lot of the snow is evaporating, and we hope to get the horses out for a trail ride this weekend. And the dogs are really in need of a good run on some grass. Not sure what to tell them there, it's going to be a while.

This photo doesn't really do this justice, but on rt. 340 just north of us, this stretch of road drifted so badly that people were trapped on the highway overnight in their cars. Sandy snapped this picture as we passed through a couple days afterwards, and some of these banks were over 10 feet high.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Cavalry Drives a Bobcat.

We. Are. OUT!! Thanks to a bobcat on tracks. This guy saved us probably fifty man hours in fifty minutes. I don't yet know what he's charging us, but I know what I'll write in the memo line of the check: Worth Every Penny.

We are going out to dinner with our neighbors tonight and I am SO excited to get out of the house. Even driving a car is weird, having driven nothing but the ATV and tractor for 8 to 12 hours a day for a week.

Here's the ATV on diesel duty...

And here's how we do some indoor bird dog training...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Diesel and Beer.

What if you and your neighbors spent five days plowing a mile of private road to finally get to the main roads, and then woke up to find a quarter mile of five foot drifts between you and freedom?

That's what we're dealing with here. Tomorrow another long, hard day of moving snow begins, and I'm not sure we won't need at least one more day after that to break through.

Before the latest wave of snow my next door neighbor and I left trucks at the end of our road. Today I hand shoveled a path wide enough for an ATV to get from our road to the adjacent road, so now at least we can access our truck to restock on food and the two things we've been going through most quickly - diesel and beer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Make it stop.


Last night, a full four days of digging after the first storm hit, we finally got our neighborhood's roads cleared to the main road and got vehicles out. Yesterday was 12 hours of neighbors moving snow with the front end loaders on two tractors. Digging ATVs out by hand, pulling tractors out with other tractors, and pulling those tractors out with trucks. We even managed to get a bobcat stuck for a while!

When the next wave of snow hit, we went out last night one more time to clear the roads. So much hard work went into it, we hated to see them get covered again. This morning we were out early, trying to keep them open. But this one quickly escalated to whiteout conditions with dangerous drifts and we were forced to move vehicles to the end of the road and wait this one out. In an emergency we could get a vehicle out, but with less than 6 hours of snowfall left, it'd have to be a pretty big emergency to get me on the road right now. I went with my neighbor to a nearby gas station to fill up the diesel cans, and there were uncomfortable spans where blowing snow reduced visibility to, literally, nothing.

The 20" snow we got in December was a curiosity. It's interesting how different my mindset is for these latest back-to-back blizzards. I'm taking a couple pictures but nothing like in December. And I have no interest whatsoever in measuring snowfall. All future winter storms will be compared to this week. And, with any luck, none will come close.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Still Digging

Still digging out from last weekend's snow, and we're expecting another 10 to 20 inches in the next 36 hours. Our road is not yet passable and there's nowhere to put any new snow!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Uncle.


We worked hard to prepare for this latest snowstorm. This included buying a pair (set?) of mukluks for Gromit, who is a baby. If you want to see what made Sandy laugh harder than she ever has in her life, watch this video now.

It has taken me longer than usual to post photos because this storm flat out overwhelmed me. I tried to keep up with it by plowing regularly as the snow was falling (thirty inches was the total tally), but our little tractor was no match for the ferocity of this storm.

Even now after three days of digging, the road is not passable. It's going to be a long week, with another 6 to 10 inches of snow expected Tuesday night. I cry uncle.


I was on the tractor Saturday afternoon when the sun appeared. I honestly can't recall a time I've been happier to see it.

When I got back to the house, Winnie was standing up to her ears in snow, pointing a blue jay from an inch and a half away. I called off my awesome bird dog and checked on the bird, who was either not well or not normal. But we hung out with him for a bit and he eventually flew away. Weird.

This is our great little workhorse of a tractor.

I'll probably take more pictures tomorrow. As things evolve from 'Emergency' to 'Inconvenience,' I'll have time to take more.