“One to three inches,” forsooth!


“One to three inches overnight,” the weatherman said. “No problem,” said I.

The weather has been quite mild since the last storm. Enough to spoil you, but if you have any sense at all not enough to suggest that maybe winter’s effectively over.


In fact I was quite pleased with myself, because the return of weather coincided with the knowledge that it had been a couple of months since I cleaned the stovepipe and generally serviced the woodstove area. So I spent an hour doing that yesterday, and was basically ready for whatever came. But I truly wasn’t expecting much.

I woke up before light, and what little I could see out the window suggested that it had certainly snowed. No surprise, it was right on schedule. And not supposed to be any big deal, right? I’ll just cocoon through it.

Uh huh.

Ten Inches of wet, heavy stuff. Ten Inches! You know what that means? Not only is it possibly the biggest single snowfall since I moved to the desert, which I don’t really remember but that would be cool, but there’s a disaster going on at the Chickenhouse! If it was fluffy powder there’d be no problem, but that much wet snow will destroy the chicken yard’s top cover! I have to get there right frickin’ now, and it’s probably already too late! (Many pics after the fold.)

“Getting there right frickin’ now” was going to be a problem.


First I had to shovel my way down the stairs, which would have been easier with a shovel. So I broomed my way down, then waded to the powershed for my shovel.


Then dig off enough of the Jeep to start it warming up. The automatic transmission (Yes, yes, I know) is failing and the forward clutch doesn’t like to engage when the trans is cold.

While that’s going on, I waded around the cabin to the solar panels…


…not that it was going to make a lot of difference.

There was no way I was going to make it up the driveway’s hill, so I had to risk the wash. On other such occasions I’ve gotten off track with the snow and poor viz but the Jeep has never actually stranded me. I had surprisingly little trouble getting through this time; maybe I’m getting the hang of it.


So I got to the chickenhouse, a drive of maybe a mile and a half by the route I had to take, with much less drama than I deserved. I went right into the chickenhouse, greeted the thoroughly freaked-out hens, and hurried through it to the yard…


…to find things as bad as I expected but not as bad as I feared.


All that wire can hold an enormously heavy snow load. Why it didn’t tear loose, I truly don’t know but it wasn’t going to hold forever. So to work…


For this you need a shovel, strong arms, thorough body cover because all that snow is going to fall on you, and quite a lot of determination.

I brought all of the above except the arms. Torn rotator cuffs are forever. So by the time I was finished I was a tired and sore but happy man.


The snow stretched the hell out of the wire but the top cover didn’t part anywhere. I was impressed. I’ll need to take up the slack when the weather moderates and the snow melts, but that’s probably not an hour’s work.


The ladies were properly scandalized by all these uncouth doings. They were told this was a decent establishment. How dare I allow such chaos and disorder?


That’s Landlady’s solar panel rack, which I did not have the means or the remaining energy to clean off. Maybe this afternoon.


On the way home I decided I had earned some meat for lunch, so I drove to Ian’s. The snow was deep but the traction surprisingly not that bad.


I must say, that would be an impressive snowfall by Michigan standards. At least southern Michigan. Given what we usually get in the high desert, this really might be the biggest single snowfall I’ve personally seen since coming here.


Private to the person who gave me my good chore coat…


Gad, I love this coat.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to “One to three inches,” forsooth!

  1. Ben says:

    Is it safe to assume that eventually that legendary snowfall will morph into legendary muddy conditions?

  2. Jim Price says:

    Great story for this snowy Sunday morning. That’s quite a dump for the “desert.” Are you expecting more, or is this likely the extent of it? A warm fire and a steak sound like an appropriate reward.

  3. All those pictures and my question is mostly unrelated: above the woodstove….sword and shield??? Did the stores stop selling .44 or are you just feeling overconfident?

  4. Mike says:

    I bet you thought you’d left the heavy snow behind when Michigan was in your rearview mirror.

    As for me, I’m off to deal with the one-inch dusting that turned into a half foot last night.

  5. Joel says:

    The mud will be epic. No fun at all.

    It was forecast to snow as much today as it did overnight, but at this moment I’m starting to think it possible that the snow has shot its load. Could easily be wrong about that.

    CZ: I’m always going on about having a Plan B, right? To the extent that it figures in my defense plans at all, the messer is probably somewhere around Plan N. Behind the cow spear but ahead of throwing dishes.

  6. Mark says:

    Glad to see a fire extinguisher.

    Suggestion: Locate it next to the exit? It will be accessible away from the heat source, and you are afforded the option to fight the fire or unass the building.

  7. coloradohermit says:

    Sounds like a typical weather forecast here in the CO mts when you end up with a foot of flurries.

  8. Joel says:

    😀 Everybody assumes that’s my only fire extinguisher. Have I mentioned lately how paranoid I am about fire?

To the stake with the heretic!