Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Winter Preview

After spending an hour chopping ice off the driveway, I thought it was time to ramble around the garden and check things out. As I started to walk across the sloping backyard, I began to slide downhill in loops on the surface of an inch of ice that coats everything. Chastened, I gingerly crept back uphill to the house and put on my crampons, then crunched across the yard as if I was walking through a potato chip factory. All of the garden gates save one were frozen shut, but I was able to enter that gate and wander about, and except for a few fallen limbs from the ice, everything looked good.
Unfortunately this winter is rapidly shaping up to be long and brutal; snow is forecast on five of the next seven days. This reminds me of the winter a few years ago, when we got a layer of ice, then a foot of snow on top of it, so the ice never melted until April. By that time, the deer were all starving, shambling about with their coats hanging from them in wrinkles. I felt so badly for them that I started feeding them shelled corn just to get them through the winter. For several years after, I would see deer with big scars and patches without fur; apparently where sores and wounds didn't heal properly because of starvation.
Still, I shouldn't complain too much about our winter; the other day I was reading an online discussion about the hardiness of some little garden plant, and someone from the far north chimed in, saying that the plant had survived one winter where he lived when they had brutal cold with no snow cover... the ground froze ten feet deep. There is nothing better than reading about some poor soul who tries to garden on the north slopes of Alaska to cheer you up in winter.
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Don, I'm a fan of your blog and wanted to contact you but couldn't find any contact info on the site. Could you send me an email so I can follow up with you? lspichkin@
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