Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February Thaw!

This picture shows the distance we hiked. We went from our house on the right to the stand of trees on the left.

Oh, the heartache! I just lost a good four paragraphs of bloggery by pushing the hitherto unknown Automatic Blog Delete Key. Well, I lost four paragraphs anyway. We'll never know now if they were good or not. I'm not even going to try to duplicate them, but I want to get my pictures posted, so you'll get a very perfunctory version. Blame modern technology!

These last couple weeks we experienced a string of better weather, a wonderful thing known as a February thaw. There were multiple days of temperatures above freezing. Last Sabbath, on one of the warmest days, we went into church with morning temps still below the freezing point, but what a change a few hours later when we emerged. Liquid water! I never knew how exciting that could be, back when I lived in California.

Later that afternoon, Laura and I decided to hike out to the stand of trees not far from our little farm. We quickly discovered that while the warm air might make hiking more comfortable, it did nothing for the snow crust. We made a halting group as we would walk a few steps, then suddenly plunge through the crust, our knees level with our eyebrows.

We had fun exploring the old cars, farm equipment, and an old barn, but eventually decided to hike back home. Tiggy asked why we called it a hike since it is so close to our house, but since we spent most of the time climbing up and down like a Stairmaster workout, we felt quite exercised.

Westby had an even harder time than Plentywood during the thaw. The large piles of snow on the main street rapidly melted and formed swimming pools in front of the local businesses, one of which happened to be the apartments for which Noni is in charge of clearing the walks. Laura and I are contract employees for her, so we had vested interest in the developing situation. Within a few days the temperatures had dipped again and the cheery spring puddles had become impenetrable skating rinks. Fun to look at, but a little treacherous for the elderly residents to negotiate.

Snow shoveling is hard work, but we get $15 an hour for it. Of course we only get 1/2 hour of work every couple days, but it's a living. At least for Laura, who's excited to have her first real job (translation: working for someone besides me), and we've already got yard work lined up for after snow season.

Standing by the drifts on the Plentywood/Westby highway. And this was before the blizzard!

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