Archive for the ‘ice’ Tag

08/17/2021 Snow Clutz   Leave a comment

I am the poster boy for clumsy. I love winter and I love the snow but I just can’t seem to walk all that well on it or even near it. Winter is right around the corner and I’ve been trying to get myself mentally prepared for what’s coming. Every year before the snow starts to fly I try to determine exactly when I will fall and what damage I’ll might do to myself. It isn’t a matter of when but how often.

As a kid growing up my friends and I spent a great deal of time in the woods exploring. Even then it was the joke amongst the group as to when I would fall and hurt myself. Everyone thought it was funny and for years I fulfilled my role as the group clutz. I thought it was funny too but only because I hoped at some point it would end, you know, after I got all grown up. Must have been a figment of my imagination.

Let’s spring forward to my college years. I attended Edinboro College in Pennsylvania which just happens to be located in one of the Great Lakes worst snow belts. I couldn’t catch a break, I was on my back a lot in those days and not in a good way.

I then enlisted in the Army in the sixties and ended up in the northern section of South Korea with howling Siberian winds and snow up in my butt. Again, guard duty became quite the adventure as I attempted to remain totally silent while sliding down an icy hill on my back in the middle of the night. I have a scar or two that are constant reminders of those fun days.

Then came the 1970’s. I was enroute home from a job in a really nasty ice storm. I stopped to clean my windows and to take a much needed whiz. I lost my footing while whizzing and slid approximately fifty yards down an icy hill ending up under a nearby parked car. I couldn’t walk for more than a week and spent Super Bowl Sunday propped up in a chair so I can watch the game. I think the Steelers won but I can’t be sure, but those pain pills were the best.

I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. I’ve had a few falls in the ensuing years like breaking a leg and then two years later breaking an arm. Once the snow begins to fly I can guarantee you at least two or three more falls as I wrestle with my snow blower in the driveway. Those kind of things are minor and don’t even bother me anymore. I really hope your winter goes better than the one I’m anticipating.

The Snow Clutz is signing off for now. LOL.

01-26-2016 Journal – January Thaw?   Leave a comment

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I’ve been hearing weather rumors that we might be getting a few days of warmer temperatures.  I hope it’s true because being housebound is starting to make me crazier than usual. My better-half and I have been out a few times just to run errands but it’s been too cold to take those long walks on the beach or in the woods that we like so much.

After just a few weeks of freezing temps the house is already covered in ice and the build-up on the eaves has begun.  If we’re lucky this warm-up might just be enough to get the ice melting and dropping to the ground. As you can see by these photo’s there is ice hanging everywhere.

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The snow hasn’t melted off much yet and a few inches still remain.  From the amount of tracks in our backyard there appears to be quite an assortment of wildlife roaming around after dark. Some of the tracks are a little unusual making me wonder exactly what I’ve been missing.  Maybe we have a Bigfoot or two hiding in the woods or just one helluva big dog, bear, or deer. Who knows?

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If the weather gods agree I  hope to get back into the woods for a few hours this week.  Since the snow is only a few inches deep it won’t be necessary to unpack the snow shoes from storage. There always seems to be plenty of interesting things to photograph at this time of the year and some hearty wildlife to chase around for an hour or two.

We’re about three months from getting back outside to begin some of the garden preparations prior to planting. This winter has sped by so fast and Spring will be here before we know it. Then it will be back to work.

CAN’T WAIT!

01-21-2016 Journal–Here Comes the Other Shoe!   Leave a comment

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I filled up the gas tank of my car yesterday and spent $18.00. I also ordered a heating oil delivery of 100 gallons at $1.30 per.  What the hell is really going on? We have all this good news happening and still the stock market is yo-yoing hundreds of points up and down.  I’m certainly glad I pulled all of my IRA funds out of the market and bought Certificates of Deposit.

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It’s been a number of years since we’ve seen these low prices but I’m not getting my hopes up just yet. Being the cynical SOB that I am I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  There’s no way in hell the powers-that-be can let this go on for much longer. Don’t you know it’s the job of the citizenry to pay more taxes, more surcharges, more fees, and to give, give, give, until it hurts. If you don’t do that or even complain just a little then you’ll be branded as selfish and of course racist. I’ll just keep holding my breath until it’s time to pay the piper for all this temporary good fortune.

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‘The end of life as we know it . . . NOT’

I see again that the next gigantic, horrific, and dangerous "Storm of the Century" is making it’s way across the country. I’m supposed to feel bad for all those folks living in the mid-Atlantic states who’ve have mild winters almost every year for as long as I can remember. While we in the north are up to our asses in snow drifts they are posting about the flowers they just planted and closing their schools when they get an inch of snow. Boo-hoo folks. Suck it up, shovel some snow, and fall on your ass a few times.  Actually go to a store and buy a snow shovel. See what it feels like to have a little bit of winter to deal with.

Am I being too harsh? Am I not feeling their pain? That would be a big YES. I can sit back for the foreseeable future and listen to every weather person, news commentator, and politician who can get some face-time on TV as they whine on and on about this terrible storm. 

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‘Hurry, get to the store for bread, milk, and TP.’

I have only one more thing to say. I just don’t care.  The government in it’s infinite wisdom should invest it’s money to buy every illegal alien a snow shovel and bus fare to the east coast. They should be able to have everyone shoveled out in just a day or two.  Rumor has it that our racist citizens really don’t like all that manual labor so let’s give that job to the illegals too. Make them earn all the free benefits we are all being forced to pay for.

Have a wonderful and snowy winter you poor bastards.

U. S.A.  . . . U. S. A.  . . . U. S. A.

01-03-2016 Journal–Sunshine & Horses!   Leave a comment

With the holidays, the warm weather, and the snow storm behind us it’s time to move along into 2016.  I was pleasantly surprised this morning when all of a sudden the clouds parted and the sun came out to play. It’s still as cold as hell but having that sunshine makes all the difference in the world.

It was time for my better-half and me to get our butts out of the house for a few hours.  We ran a few errands, did a little food shopping, and of course took a few pictures.  Winter pictures tend to be lackluster unless you have a monster storm of some sort.  We decided to take a cruise around the adjacent neighborhoods to check things out.  As you can see in this picture even some of the horses weren’t too happy with the cold which required getting their coats out of storage.

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They all seemed glad to be out of the barn for a few hours and were pretty frisky.  This good looking fellow wanted to visit with me with the hopes that I had an apple, carrot, or sugar cube in my pocket. Unfortunately for him I had nothing with me. In the future I’ll be carrying a few things in the car so as not to disappoint our four legged friends again.

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‘Where’s my snack, Jack?’

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It felt good to get out into the fresh air for a while but we returned home to this scene near the house. I’ve been showing you photo’s of my garden all summer and it’s only fair to show you how sad it looks right now.

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‘Now’

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‘Then’

I think I just succeeded in depressing myself all over again.  Oh well, just five more months of winter (OMG) and things will be green and growing again. It’s going to be a very long, long, long, five months.  Now I do need a drink.

09-23-2015 Journal–Snow, Sleet, & Ice!   Leave a comment

I always seem to be talking about Winter approaching these days and with good reason.  Winter in Maine lasts at least six months but it certainly seems longer. Just two weeks ago I was sleeping under a ceiling fan for eight hours a night because it was so damn hot and humid in the house. At the time I thought that miserable hot weather would never let up.  Let me tell you, it’s let up.

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‘Ahhhh Memories’

As of last night I’m convinced Winter is much closer than I thought. The last few nights we’ve  had temperatures in the low forties which are wreaking havoc on what remains of the garden.  I was reminded early this morning when the cold air in the room jolted me awake.  Last night was the first official #5 night for my electric blanket. Unless some sort of Indian Summer happens it could mean an early arrival of the season which includes an unwelcome amount of our favorite white stuff.

Fall is probably my second favorite season of the year after early Spring.  I love the vivid colors of the foliage just like every other photographer on the planet. Maine is already known for it’s beautiful scenery along the coast and inland in the forests and around the many lakes.  Throw in millions and millions of colorful leaves and it becomes for a short time an effing paradise.

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My cameras and lenses are cleaned and ready. My snowblower’ been taken out of mothballs, gassed up, and ready to go. All that’s left for me to do is the unpacking of my unfashionable and ugly winter clothing.  It’s almost impossible to look good wearing three layers of clothing, a hat, gloves, a scarf, and big clunky boots. . . and unfortunately I’m just talking about the women. The men look even worse as they let their beards grow out and suit up with their favorite snowmobiling outfit.  There’s nothing better than hanging around an ice fishing hut with a few of your buddies telling tall tales about fishing, hunting, and sexual prowess and guzzling as much  beer as you can drink.

The never-ending number of hunting seasons always irritates me a little.  There are times when entering the woods around here to take pictures can be a life threatening situation. If you not wearing bright red or fluorescent green you could easily be mistaken for a moose, a turkey, or even a cow.  It’s a little like Vietnam out there if you throw in a few cases of beer to make things interesting. Scary doesn’t even begin to cover it.

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As you can see from my remarks, I’m neither a hunter nor a fisherman. I’ve never been all that crazy about killing helpless animals with high powered weaponry and high tech fishing paraphernalia.  I prefer to do all of my shooting with a camera. I also hate the thought of eating wild game thanks to my father who insisted I try to eat a little of everything he ever shot. Yuck!

Time to Crank up the electric blanket and hunker down for another six months of snow, sleet, and ice.  I only hope I don’t slip and fall this year and break any additional bones. Trust me, it’s happened before.

03-07-2015 Journal- A Spring Tease!   Leave a comment

The ice and snow is finally melting.  It would appear that we’ve seen the last of the big Winter storms for this year.  While the temperatures are in the mid- forties during the day the nights remain cold as hell.  It’s a great trade off as far as I’m concerned. We still have tons of snow and ice on the roof of the house but it’s already been reduced by at least twenty percent.  The remainder should fall this week as it appears to have moved a few inches with this minor thaw.

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‘When this ice hits the ground the entire house will shake.’

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I made a trip to Lowe’s in preparation for the rebuilding of my mailbox for the third year in a row.  If I had the extra money I might even consider a small yet annoying lawsuit against the town to demand repayment for all of the mailboxes they’ve destroyed over the years. From the looks of things as I drive around I’m just one  of thousands who have the same complaint.

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‘I know this looks almost usable but the door won’t close and the pole it sits on is missing. Take away the snow and it will be sitting on the ground.’

I’ve come up with a creative solution to the mailbox problem which will require me to spend a bit more money than I’d like.  If it works I won’t be buying any more mailboxes in the future.  As that project proceeds I’ll post some photo’s so all of you that don’t suffer from this problem can have a chuckle or two.

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‘This is a sample of one of the many Maine seasons. We have Summer, Snow, Snirt (Snow/Dirt), Mud, and Black Fly.  This is SNIRT.’

The sun is shining this morning and I’m anticipating a decent day where I might actually get out of the house and into the woods.  This year has been one that made it difficult to get out and about even with snowshoes.  I tried it once and was exhausted within minutes.  With three feet of snow on the ground even snowshoes can’t help.  I think today I’ll get my car desalted, take a few pictures and celebrate seeing actual pavement for the first time in months.  I may have to be retrained to drive on real dry asphalt.

C’mon Spring!

02-25-2015 Journal–Sunny & OMFG Cold!   Leave a comment

I can’t believe it but I’ve succeeded in sleeping in until 9am this morning.  I suppose  the late night pickup at the Portland Jetport is primarily responsible. My better-half’s flight was scheduled to arrive at 10pm but air travel being what it is she arrived on a different airline and at 1140pm.  Airline travel sucks on a good day but then you add in Maine and winter weather it becomes ridiculous. I won’t get into a major rant on airline companies today because anyone who flies anywhere that isn’t first class or non-stop is well aware how they make you suffer. Maybe they’re doing it intentionally to force as many people as possible to pay the extra money to avoid flying coach with multiple connectors.

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Maybe I should thank my better-half for bringing back a little sunshine from her journey.  For the first time in a long while I was awakened by bright sunshine blasting through the layer of ice hanging from the house and into my bedroom.  It’s a brilliant sunny day and the temperature has yet to reach 20 degrees.  These photographs were taken from inside the house because it’s almost impossible to walk anywhere in this deep snow.

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As you can see it’s impossible to enjoy the scenery without ice and snow being the main focus.  The cold weather is expected to last well into March which means this ice will be hanging around (no pun intended) for at least another month.

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The birds are finally making an appearance in fairly large numbers.  They’re roosting in nearby trees and soaking up as much of the sunshine as they possibly can.  It’s tough being a bird in any northern state at this time of the year.

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The squirrels aren’t going to be too happy either when they’re finally able to stick their heads out of their nests.  Mother Nature has badly damaged their feeder which will be my first Spring project.

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02-15-2015 Journal – Snow, Birds, & Shoveling!   Leave a comment

I have a huge smile on my face today for the first time in a long while.  I’m celebrating the big OOPS from the weather forecasters.  All I’ve been hearing for the last week is OMG prepare for the blizzard of the century.  The warnings began with stock up on food, water, gasoline, and possibly condoms.  Then they said, the snow is going to be so deep you may not be able to leave the house at all, it’s the storm of the millennium, the blizzard of all blizzards, wind chills of twenty below zero!  God help us all!  It was all just so much BS.

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I went to bed last night expecting to wake up to 24 plus inches of fresh snow, drifts seven feet high, and winds over fifty mph.  NOT, NOT, AND NOT.  I went out early to clear the driveway and measured just 4-5 inches of new snow and the wind speed was moderate.  So many businesses and agencies who listen and swear by these weather people had cancelled their activities as reflected on every TV channel in the area last night.

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I returned to the house and made myself a great breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast and coffee. I looked out the window and it still wasn’t snowing.  I returned to my chore of clearing more snow from the deck so I could reach the bird feeders.  The birds have been clamoring  for days for seed and suet refills and I was beginning to feel just a little guilty. 

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It took about twenty minutes to complete and all the while the birds were circling me and the feeders and waiting for me to get he hell out of the way. These woodpeckers are especially aggressive and are constantly fighting with the blue jays for ownership of the feeders. On top of that they barely tolerate me being in the area. Damn birds.

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For two days I’ve been clearing tons of snow and ice from my deck.  It wraps around the second floor of the house and is a joy in warm weather.  However in the winter it’s a real bitch.  I’ve found out this year  just how well built it really is and how much weight it can hold.

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I think I’ll retire to the living room soon and get reacquainted with my X-Box. I need an hour or two of head clearing mayhem before the better-half gets home from work and rewrites my honey-do list.

Thanks to all of you weather people out there for your miscalculations and incorrect forecasts.  Keep up the good work.

02-01-2015 Journal–Miscellaneous Winter Crap!   Leave a comment

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I’m almost fully recovered from he damn flu . . . . finally.  My ability to taste food has returned and my temperature has fallen back into the normal range. I’m feeling good and looking forward to the continuing insanity that will be the remainder of my winter.

I always plan for slow times in January and February but this year isn’t cooperating.  I started out with the flu in January, next a colonoscopy, then a car inspection, an annual doctors visit, a dentist appointment, and finally an eye exam.  After all of those pain-in-the-ass chores it will be the end of March and winter will be almost over.  Along with that list is the ongoing bathroom remodel which has been in limbo because of the flu.

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The weather remains snowy and snowy and even more snowy.  We already have more than three feet of snow and are expecting another foot or two within the week.  If you are a skiing, skating, snowmobiling or snowboarding snow bunny then Maine is where you need to be. 

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My house has two feet of snow on the roof and ice hanging everywhere else. There must be ten ton of ice and snow that at some point will come crashing down behind the house. God help any living thing that happens to be roaming around when that happens.  There could be deaths reported.

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I hope these steps survive the ice drop in one piece this year. In years past I’ve been required to replace rails and steps after they’ve been crushed by the falling ice.

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I love waking up to the winter view from the window in my bedroom but this is what I saw yesterday as I opened the curtains.  More freaking ice.  I suppose it could be worse and I’m almost positive it will be.  My better-half and I are heading out into the snow and ice with cameras in hand to see what we can see.  I’ll post any interesting pictures as soon as I can. 

It’ time to gear up and get moving.

12-07-2014 Journal–Winter in Maine!   Leave a comment

The last few days have been fugly and for those of you that don’t know what that means I suggest you call someone.  Sleet, freezing rain, ice, snow, regular rain, high winds, and temperatures moving up and down the scale from 9 degrees to 40 degrees.  A little bit of everything you could possibly imagine and none of it you would ever ask for.

The ice storm early in the week was responsible not only for icy roads but for falling tree branches covered with ice and snow.  We had two small trees down in the back yard but nothing too terrible. Other folks weren’t as lucky with collapsed roofs, damaged vehicles, and damaged shrubbery.

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We took a ride around the area earlier today and these photos pretty much explain how Maine feels in the winter.  This first shot is of what a prosperous farm looks like in Winter.

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A very solemn sight to be sure. I prefer the corn to be green and growing and the machinery in operation.  The next photos were taken along the Saco river with the first looking north with the sun at my back and the second facing south with the sun in my eyes.

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Regardless of the direction I’m looking that water is frigid, the cold wind was freezing my face, and I ran for my car when I was finished.  The parking area near the river was covered in ice and it was purely luck I didn’t fall on my ass like I usually do.  Through a bare spot in the ice I saw a reminder of Summer and of all the teenage kids who seem to congregate here.  I don’t know who Jake is but an artist he aint!

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I look forward to seeing more graffiti in about five months. I sure hope it’s better than this stuff.

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