Any common sense?

I was questioning my judgement for a good fraction of yesterday. For the last half of last week we had been watching the weather forecasts for the weekend with some trepidation. Predicitions called for a storm starting Friday night around midnight and continuing all day Saturday, with about six to ten inches of snow for our area of Maine. We decided that we could probably get there before it really started, and be plowed out to get home on Sunday, so we came up here.

It started snowing just about when we got to Portland, around 8:45, very lightly. The storm must have been moving from the southwest, because as we got off the Maine Turnpike and headed north we moved out of the snow. When we stopped for groceries in Windham we were interested to see that the parking lot was much more crowded than it usually is when we stop there. It was half an hour earlier than we usually get there, and maybe that was part of the reason, or maybe even in Maine people go out to stock up on groceries before a snowstorm.

I’ve sometimes said that high snowbanks remind me of the scene in the first Star Wars where Luke is piloting his X-wing fighter along the slot in the Death Star. Certainly the road from downtown Casco to our house was like that this weekend. The snowbanks are too high to see over. There’s a shelf in them about two feet up from the road, where the plows have made a second pass with the blades up from the pavement and offset to the side, so the top of the snowbank is pushed farther from the center of the road to make room for the next storm’s snow.

Sure enough, it continued to snow most of Saturday. There were periods in the afternoon when we looked outside and didn’t see any snow in the air, but mostly there was snow falling. It wasn’t particularly cold. We went out on our trails for a little while. The snow was so light and fluffy that the snowshoes sank down four inches, most of the way to the next layer of crust.

Around 8:30, a few hours after the snow had stopped, we heard the plow in our driveway. I went to the garage door to watch and Chris Pond, who has been doing the plowing this year, came out of his truck to talk for a few minutes. He says that this is the most snow people have seen here in many years, and that it has been very hard on equipment. He got a new plow blade a few weeks ago and broke it in half already. It’s not just me and my snow shovels and roof rake, and it’s not just people who aren’t used to Maine winters — people here are saying that it’s an awful lot of snow.
So what does it look like? In the bright sun of Sunday, here are some pictures:

The house, from the back:

Now, way over on the right of the above it’s not really fair; there’s a lot of snow in front of that window that came off the roof, either today when I raked the roof or last weekend when I was shoveling from on top. But most of the snow on the deck (except for a little I raked several weeks ago) fell there. There’s a picnic table and weber grill on the deck, somewhere, I’m pretty sure.

OK, now this picture just shows you how hard it is to tell with snow. It looks pretty uninteresting.

The thing is, there’s a lattice fence three or four feet high that’s completely under the snow in that picture.

This should be a little more convincing:

Normally, clotheslines are high enough that you can hang sheets and towels from them without hitting the ground. With this snow, the top of the crossbars is more like knee level.

I went out on the trails and hung a sign near the junction of our two diagonal trails (our trails are sort of a square with an X in the middle.) I don’t know how high off the ground it will turn out to be. The snow is never really level around the base of a tree (if there’s much of any wind at all when it’s falling) but I tried to be fair about where the snow level was:

Ever been out route 2 going to Greenfield? There’s a marker along the road calling out a flood height a few feet above where the road is. I was thinking of that when I put up this sign.

One Response to “Any common sense?”

  1. Chris Says:

    So were you snowed in by Sunday? I can just picture you trying to figure a way OUT after so neatly working your way up to Casco.