Thursday, February 19, 2015

Flying the coop

We are leaving this arctic world for a week.  By the miracle of flight we are able to spend seven days in Florida where it rains instead of snows; where the grass is green and the lakes are liquid; where the summer birds fly freely.

This morning I shoveled the three inches of fluff that fell last night.  It was beautiful and fresh, and not even very cold.  That makes three days in a row of shoveling.  Yesterday it was a bit warmer and I was able to cut back the snowbank at the end of the driveway by at least 3 feet or so.  I hope that gives our plower a little more room to maneuver.  He's running out of room to put the snow, and I'm trying to avoid hiring a backhoe to reposition the pile.  My friend, Malcolm, had to shovel his long driveway by hand because there is no place for the plow to push the snow.

I have begun to develop an attachment to my snow shovel.  Over the years we have bought and discarded many inferior models.  They tend to disintegrate under the stress of repeated use.  The current one is a marvel.  I am thinking of mounting it on a plaque with an inscription:  My daily helper  January-March 2015.  I have shoveled almost every day this week, and the blue shovel has held up well.

I uncovered the deck one more time.  I think I'm making a ski slope in the yard.  Two immense piles rise above the deck railing and threaten to tumble back inside.  I wanted to clear the porch furniture because we are expecting rain this weekend.  Can you believe it?  Of course the rain will fall on frozen surfaces and create instant ice shrouds.  People with flat roofs are scrambling to unload the snow before the rain falls on a snow sponge and threatens to collapse the roof.  The weatherman predicts heavy fog on Sunday because the warm air, hovering over the cold snow will bring the clouds down to earth.

There are few animals to be seen.  Dog owners shovel paths in their yards.  The birds fly around looking for food.  They roost in the trees, fluffed up to twice their size, in an effort to keep warm.  There are no deer tracks.  Usually there is evidence of great bounding strides across our back hill, but no deer can navigate this depth of snow.  The only tracks are from rabbits.  They come up to the house, and I think they may be nibbling on the azalea bushes which are now at ground level.  I put our Christmas wreath on the ground (snowbank) thinking that the green leaves might feed the bunnies.

I am sure that Florida will seem even more of a respite than usual.

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