Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Turkey Tracks: The Blizzard of 2013

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Turkey Tracks:  February 10, 2013

The Blizzard of 2013

We knew it was coming.

We were warned.  We went to the store and stocked up for the usual two days.

But, understanding what “blizzard” means is  a big like trying to understand what “hot” means if you live in Maine or what “cold” means if you live in South Carolina.

And I lived in Nebraska for 10 years.  And I certainly read about all sorts of blizzards if I didn’t actually experience one.

I can just tell you that I have never seen so much snow dumped out of the sky in one time or place.  I would look out and see a veritable wall of white swirling around in wind that was swinging tree tops wildly.  No one could get a good picture of that effect.  For one thing, no one with any sense who was surrounded by trees would dare go outside.

The word “blizzard” now means the following:  put the snow shovels INSIDE the house; put the snow shoes and poles INSIDE the house as opposed to, say, the garage, which is 50 feet away and might as well be a mile if 4 feet of snow is between you and it; and don’t think anyone is going to come right away to clear out the propane vents or the generator or help you get to the chicken coop–nevermind to the garage and a car.  For that matter, cars aren’t going anywhere for some time to come.  And, be glad you have a really good pair of TALL boots because you’re going to need them.  An ergonomic snow shovel would also be nice.  (Mine was trapped outside the kitchen door until about an hour ago when help arrived to shovel and plow me out.)

Here’s the situation with the kitchen door.  See the snow driven through the screen at the bottom?  The crew told me that one man they ploughed/shoveled out had the snow come through the screens so forcefully that it popped out all his screens.  I had trouble locking the doors last night as the snow inside the seals was preventing a solid closure.  I finally figured it out, cleared it all out, and could lock the doors again.  I wasn’t worried about intruders–no one was coming up our hill–but about the doors keeping a good seal and not blowing open.  The snow on the deck is in drifts, and most of it is waist deep–except for the large mound just beyond the door which marks where the grill is.

Blizzard of 2013, kitchen door

Here’s the front porch.   You can see the snow out there is higher than the window sills and almost up to the railing top.  Sorry about the view through the screens; it was the only way.

Blizzard of 2013, front porch

Looking out to the garage.  See that the snow is halfway as deep as the doorway?  I dug that path yesterday, trying to get to the propane vents on the north side of the house, back up to the left.  It filled in by another foot last night.

Blizzard of 2013 garage

Here’s the chicken coop through the dining room window.  It was completely covered.  You can see the cage to the left that adjoins the coop is covered.  The coop was covered that high a well.  It was hard to clear it off a there was a limited place to put the shoveled snow because the sides of the path were already so high and because the slope next to the coop is severe.

Blizzard of 2013, chicken coop

This is the view from the back door after the crew shoveled me out.  You can see how buried the hot tub is and how much snow there is between the path and the hot tub–about 12 feet of waist-high snow.  That’s going to require some hearty shoveling.  We did not do the back path that goes around the hot tub to the driveway.  There is just too much snow.

Blizzard of 2013, hot tub

Here’s what the kitchen door looks like after shoveling.  The only way to get to this door was to shovel a path around the side of the house and then shovel the drifts down from the outside.

Blizzard of 2013, kitchen door outside

Here’s the right side–you can see how high the snow is in relation to the windows.

Blizzard of 2013, kitchen windows outside

Here’s the back path, around to the chicken coop.  The railing to the left is on the deck, which is 2 plus feet off the ground.  So you can see how much snow that is in the back yard.

Blizzard of 2013, back path to coop

It’s hard to convey just how much snow we got.  Three plus feet fell in flat, measured sites.  But, when it blows and drifts, it can be a much greater accumulation.

So, now I have a “blizzard” memory and experience.

It’s a beautiful day here today, Sunday.  Clear blue, blue sky without a cloud around, and the snow is all sparkling like diamonds in the sunlight, especially if you pick up a shovel full.

Can I tell you that we are going to get snow or rain tomorrow.  And, on Wednesday.  But no one is using the “b” word.

Written by louisaenright

February 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Thanks for keeping us updated. You have given a good picture of what it’s like with all that snow. Glad you evidently still have or at least now have power. Phone too? What an experience!

    Susan Daniel

    February 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm

  2. Liam thought this was amazing….so did I! Can’t believe you shoveled to the hen house yesterday…You are amazing…Be safe now!

    Susan Heath

    February 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm

  3. Louisa–Susan Daniel sent me this–I wish I was in Maine right now rather than in Virginia–there’s no snow here and it is just plain cold. Do you have an email address–I wanted to email you not long ago, but can’t find your address.

    Susan Jacks Burkett

    February 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm


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