Thursday, December 27, 2012

No Time Like Snow Time

Snow is not my favorite kind of weather.  My memories of snow are howling winds and brown-tinted drifts piled in inconvenient places.  Where I grew up was too flat to get any good from a sled or skis.  Snowmobiles were OK as long as you could avoid the bare patches where all the white stuff had blown off and into the fence rows.  Of course, we didn't own snowmobiles.  They were the domain of those who had cabins at Ruidoso or Red River and spent portions of the winter in the mountains.

Snow meant cold, but cold rarely meant snow.  Temperatures in the teens were no fun.  Yeah, I know, many of you think temps in the teens is a warm spell.....not me.  Those temperatures were always accompanied by howling winds that dropped the chill factor below zero -- or at least into the single digits.

I grew up in town but spent many of my free hours helping my grandfather who always had cattle and horses.  The cold weather meant breaking ice for the livestock and feeding them hay.  Sometimes the challenge was just to get to them.  Breaking snowdrifts could be interesting and sometimes involved a walk to find a tractor.

The crazy thing is that often the field would be virtually bare of snow and the roads filled and overflowing.  After years and years of road graders smoothing the roads they were often lower than the fields on either side.  When the wind moved the snow from the level ground of the fields it naturally went to the lowest place -- the road.  More than once I have driven on the turn rows of fields rather than in the road.

I figured that with the move to East Texas we wouldn't see much snow.  Obviously I hadn't done my homework.  We had several inches fall on Christmas Day.  They are still with us.  The challenge here is picking up tree limbs and avoiding the vehicles driven by East Texans who are unfamiliar with snow and ice.  Their timidity on the roads seems to be a greater hazard than the snow itself.

I know this sounds like a complaint but it really isn't.  The snow is a  blessing.  It was preceded by good rain and my ponds are replenished and my pasture has a good dose of water that hopefully will start some of the winter grasses to growing.  This snow will actually help reduce the amount of hay I'm having to feed because of the drought that hopefully is breaking.  The forecast calls for moisture for most of next week.

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