The first snow fall on the prairie has a tendency to arrive in the middle of the night so transformation from fall to winter is a rather abrupt event. You awake in the morning and your whole world has been painted entirely white in every direction. My first reaction to new snow is to walk around the yard, looking for odd shapes that will signify where I left something outside, for one day too long. There have been times where various items were never seen again for many long months. The spring melt usually results in the comment, “So that’s where that’s been hiding!”
When you live in the country and own a driveway you learn to leave the first two or three inches of snow in place and drive on it. This packed snow makes it easier to scrape, shovel or plow new snow, without throwing gravel all over the place. A long narrow driveway through the woods presents some difficulty in getting rid of the snow. Just pushing it aside works for the first few storms but then the woods and trees restrict the movement of snow. In time the road narrows until the final storm, at which point passage ceases. Living in a snowy area demands that you think ahead otherwise your world will continually grow smaller.
The perfect answer to snow removal is a snow blower. Small or large the results are the same. The snow is flung aside in a high fluffy arc, deep into the woods, never to be more than a distant snow drift.
Our house sits some two hundred feet from the main road. A major snow event means the first priority is to dig out the vehicles in the parking area, by broom and shovel. Once the snow blower has enlarged the parking area the vehicles can be moved and the original location can be cleaned. When a snow storm is forecast we always park vehicles in a sensible location.
While I would never say we live in a windy place, I will admit that at times it can get windy. A blizzard occurs when we have a heavy snowfall with winds about forty miles an hour. During this type of winter event two things take place. First, the snow can be stripped off the open fields right down to the dirt, and at the same time almost any object will cause a drift of snow to form. A single fence post can cause a long thin drift. A row of evergreen trees can create a drift twelve to fifteen feet high during the night.
After a blizzard, when the roads and driveways have been opened, a drive around the country side will reveal some spectacular drifts of snow. This drift is fifteen feet high and runs for a quarter of a mile. It is never wise to leave home when a blizzard is forecast and when you get stuck, you never leave your vehicle. All this talk of snow makes me want to find my shovel and set it close at hand.