The home stretch

Here we sit, the final week of March is upon us. For many areas, the snow play season ended weeks ago. For some, it was resurrected in some fashion for a bit with the snows of yesterday. For us, we still have a very deep depth for this time of the year. It has been another week of not much melting and nothing new. My snow depth sits at 34″. I am certain that one could find deeper snow up this way if they ventured further north into the higher terrain.

I completely got past my stomach bug about a week ago, but then was attacked by a cold bug. It has not been a nasty one, but since it immediately followed the nasty stomach bug, I have not had a lot of energy in the past 7 days. So I have not done much exciting in the past 7 days either. In fact, when I think back to this past week, I am having a hard time coming up with anything I did that was too memorable.

The girls actually departed early on Friday for a quick little get-a-way and will be returning Tuesday morning. So it has been just the pups and I the past 3 days. Needless to say, with my lack of energy leading to just wanting to lay low, it has been a very quiet house the past 3 days! We all have been eating pretty well though!

So as mentioned, little in the way of snow loss has occurred in the past week. The exceptions are anywhere the snow is touching some kind of bare surface, like a roadway, roof or even a driveway that had the snow moved from it all winter. That is exactly the case for our driveway. Big Red and the blower do an excellent job of clearing the snow, as well as keeping the snow mat from getting too thick. The mat will vary in thickness though and is it always surprising to see how thick it actually got in some spots, as it always looks like it is only around an inch thick. I would say that the thickest it ever gets is around 3-4″, but that can pose problems when it thaws!

It can also pose some problems when enough snow falls that it needs to be cleared and there are the bare spots underneath. The blower on Big Red has no problems scooping up the rocks by the bucket load and shooting them right along with the snow. So unless we get a really big dumping, such as 12″+, I will probably not be moving snow from our driveway, or at least that section of driveway the rest of the season. The blower will remain on Big Red for another 2-3 weeks, just in case, but I am thinking it has the rest of the snow season off.

Where the snow has not been touched by Big Red and its blower, it is still plenty deep. In fact, in areas where the snow has had more snow added to it by Big Red, the depth is quite incredible for the 25th of March. The banks are around 5-6 feet deep and that depth extends about 30-40 feet towards the woods where the snow is blown from Big Red. It looks like a few more weeks until Gracie is able to use the swing set!

There is even one remaining roof with snow on it. The front roof of the woodshed is pitched so low that the snow just does not want to naturally slide off of it. As you can see from that last picture, it will slowly slump towards the edge of the roof, but I have to chop away at the overhanging part to get it to fall. Perhaps I should let it go one year and see how far the drape of snow will go. Probably not the best of ideas for the roof though!

The Big Lake still has a fair amount of ice on it. For those worried about that impacting any lake effect production, not much to worry about. Much of it is not solid or connected securely to the shoreline, but for ships traveling across it, they need to do a little zig-zagging to avoid getting into trouble. However, we are also just about done with lake effect season. We can still get some at this time of the year, but nothing like we get from Dec-Feb. Where the ice is “fast”, meaning it is solid and connected to the shoreline, the US and Canadian Coast Guard ice cutters have been busy keeping pathways open for the ships to use. In the last shot, you could barely make out the pathway made in Whitefish Bay, so here is a zoomed in version, which clearly shows the path through the ice for the ships. I found it interesting that at least for part of the pathway, it seems to follow the international border between the US and Canada. Only the final leg of it appears to stay in US waters as it heads towards Whitefish Point.

This past week, the girls put out a feeder for the chickadees. They are about the only birds that stick around all winter, with the exceptions of the crows and some other birds of prey like eagles, hawks and falcons. We strayed away from using too many bird feeders near the house years ago because they were attracting things other than birds too, like mice and squirrels. I think this one is far enough away from the house to not draw in too many mice to the house and the squirrels already know where we live! It did not take long for the birds to find the feeder and it has been a pretty active spot for them since going up.

With the driveway slowly emerging from the snow mat. We have begun our search for copper. The rocks are from the poor rock piles left over from the mining. They just take the larger ones and tumble them to get what is called 2″ aggregate. There is still a fair amount of copper to be found in those rocks, at least from a scavenger’s standpoint. Nora and Grace are the champs at finding pieces of copper and I had never found one. That is until Grace and I gave Nora a metal detector for her birthday a week ago and we all tried it out. I suppose it really does not count using that device, versus looking for them with the naked eye, but none the less, I found a dandy!

So I guess that about covers it for this one. Question for the week is…Will there be more, less or the same amount of snow on the ground when I write next?

Good night from the Keweenaw..