Saturday, January 31, 2009

Slices of Ice

Just About Everywhere

Ice lingers. Parts of my arena are smooth enough for ice skating.

I used to love to skate, but my knees are far too risky now. Once, when I was young, my cousins and I skated all over the place after an ice storm. We managed to go up the road, into the woods, through the woods, to the little pond we used to skate on, back along the trails. We were out all day skating on top of the iced over snow. I did, however, manage to ruin some of the sole of my Mother's skates that day on the way home. As the day wore on, the sun melted some of what had been perfect skating surfaces and since I had no shoes or boots to change into, I'm afraid the last half hour or so was slithering through slushy stuff.

We'd be out for hours across the way on a little pond in the sandpit. I don't know how we stand the cold, but I can remember just skating and skating. Were I still sound, I'd be out now somewhere, just gliding along.

Winter used to be fun. There was a nice hill in what is now part of the paddock--the hill's still there but part of it is overgrown with trees and brush in my neighbor's yard. My cousins lived next door and my Aunt and Dad shared the field with the hill--no fence. Dad would take the tractor and drive up and down a few times to pack the snow and we kids would get out our sleds and off we'd go. Sometimes we'd add our own extra paths, all start at the top of the hill at the same time and see if we could miss each other as we crossed trails on the way down. How many times I'd walk back up the hill to go back down I'll never know, but again, we'd be out for hours.

The even better hill is in what is now my pasture. There used to be cows out there so sledding could have "interesting" consequences if you hit a "soft spot." *S* And the little pond in the sandpit had really steep sides so another daring feat was to sled down them onto the ice and across on a rather speedy tour.

Now, aside from the first few minutes of, "Oh, isn't it pretty!" snow is just a nuisance. The other day, when I took out the tractor to clear the driveway, I got soaking wet from the rain. I don't have a cab--not sure if they make one for my model--so I just got wetter and wetter as the rain came down. Usually, clearing the driveway is kind of a fun challenge if I have the time, but this was decidedly not pleasant. When I had the truck with the plow, of course, it was not a problem. But the truck is now with my friend Bill and I just have the tractor. In a sense the tractor is better as I can move the snow out of the way with the front end loader and it is much easier to navigate around my yard.

Right now, the snow is a big nuisance since it is spilled out all over the place in white patches mingled with gray patches of solid ice. Wherever the snow melted enough and didn't dry up right away, frozen stuff has taken over.

I was able to get the wheelbarrow to the manure pile going out of Chance's stall, but the last ten feet or so were really risky. So when I cleaned Toby's an Tuck's stalls, I dumped the wheelbarrow by the arena gate. More work for the tractor to clear when it thaws again, but at least I have the tractor to do the bulk of the work.

Spring or the thaw is going to keep me very busy. Both runin shed roof areas need a thorough cleaning, and the paddocks need a good drag. Then, I want to plant some new grass seed in the pasture. And, there are several sections of interior fencing needing repair. To top it off, now is the time to trim all the stuff growing up to the electric wires on the pasture fence.

There are plenty of other places where trimming would be far easier now before the leaves are green again. And I still have leaves all over the lawn to deal with.

The Boys are being pretty quiet out there as the footing discourages romping and frolicking.

I guess we are all deep in the winter doldrums at the moment.


  1. I love hearing about the winters of your childhood. I too love to skate. I remember one of our neighbors had a pond with goldfish swimming under the ice that we used to skate on.

    Problem is your winter is only half a winter. It's freeze/thaw and that is always a problem. In Boulder, Colorado we do get frequent snow but it melts rather quickly with the wind and dry climate. However I always had an indoor to ride in. Where our boys live it's pretty much snow on the ground all winter and you plan accordingly.


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  4. I know what you mean, in 'theory' I love the snow but when it happens all the inconveniences it causes makes me realise im older now and I actually hate it!:)

  5. i think we're all the same as we grow up - become unable to deal with it! but we don't usually get snow like yours, thank goodness!