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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oh, Yes, It's Winter

Autumn's been a time for rain, more rain, and lots more rain. With a sinkhole over our septic tank, the rain built up into a kiddie pool and leached into the crawlspace under our house. Another four inches. Mike Tinsley, from Stratford Building Corp., came out, ripped out the Visquine tarp covering the crawlspace dirt, pumped out most of the water and brought in a series of increasingly powerful heaters to dry up the rest - well, most of it. In the meantime, we had rain gutters installed around the house, draining rain and snow melt onto our gravel driveway and into a drainage ditch behind the house and running down the hill. The builder's excavator will be dumping some fill into the sinkhole this week, and Mike will tamp it down with a Johnny Jumper Compactor (kind of like a jackhammer with a steel plate on the bottom). Eventually, we'll get this settled out. But, today's big story is snow.

We got about four inches overnight, and it's snowing again as I write this.

After a quick breakfast, I fired up the ATV and plowed our driveway down to the county road, stopping at the old garage to pick up Pete's old bedding to dump in the trash can before pickup. Pete's been living the house with us for the past month or so, and is very comfortable - even though he and the cats hiss at each other, and Pepper does his best to gobble up Pete's food.

Pepper's First Snowshoeing
Plowing on the way back up, I ran into our neighbor, Theresa, who walks her Australian Shepard and Mastiff on our place. They'd just come down in the snow, and she was still glowing from her first snowmobile ride last weekend or the week before. Dave, her beau, had bought her a snowmobile. "He must like me," she said, smiling broadly. Yeah, I think so.

When I got back, I put Pepper on a lead, strapped on my snowshoes, and headed down to the spring to put the SD card back into our trail camera. Who knows, maybe we'll get more shots of our neighbors' Tamworth hog.

I soon discovered that snowshoeing poles are a hindrance while walking a dog on a lead. The hand upon which the lead is looped can hold a pole, but really can't use it. The off-hand is useful, but the best pole is - Pepper, the wonder dog. And, since the snowshoes provide great stability, poles really aren't necessary. Pepper's a puller, and as we walked to our topmost meadow, it occurred to me that, even though he's only about 50 lbs., Pepper would make a terrific sled dog; except that his hind leg feathers accumulate a lot of snow, which ices over.

Pepper Resting Before Hill Climb

Snowy Feathers

Upper Meadow

On the way back to the house, we passed an apple tree, the fruit of which is hanging on for dear life, as if it hoped autumn would continue a while longer. No chance. Winter is here.

Stubborn Apples

1 comment:

  1. Boy you guys have serious winter. I love all the pictures of the dogs and the hog. Stubborn Apples sounds like the title of a book. (poem?)