Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Sunday 23 January - Fabulous snow & a winter wonderland

With so much snow comes much to do.  Thankfully, the snow had stopped falling from the sky, but it was easily above my knees as I discovered when I went out exploring first thing.  I stepped out into the garden amongst the olives and promptly sank.  Walking around was a challenge in itself, there was so much fresh loose powder that each step went right down and then had to be lifted high and clear in order to make any forward progress at all.  A very odd picture I must have made.

A mandarin in the snow
A quick survey of our surroundings revealed the house and barns in tact, but many olive trees had sadly lost branches, in return, however, they had given us a further small supply of winter fuel.  A small tree next to the house had had all its branches snapped so will be needing some serious attention with the saw.  Paths will need to be dug, the beastie, who spent the night in the ditch down the lane, will need to be rescued (if possible).  The road was amazingly completely clear.  The snow plough had obviously been working relentlessly.  It was an incredible bonus to see that even tiny roads like ours weren't forgotten.  It hadn't frozen overnight, so if we can get the beastie out of the ditch we should be able to get her home.

A very different way of viewing an olive tree
So I set about digging paths and lopping the broken branches off the tree at the side of the house, whilst KP, having cleared the entrance to the drive of piled up snow ploughed snow, disappeared down the lane with shovel and car keys.  I had a lovely morning, and thoroughly enjoyed digging trenches through to the barns, log store and cantina; the steps up to the house were found, revealed and finally swept of snow.  I think I might just be a little achy tomorrow.  But there was still the long drive out to the road to tackle, another long trench that can wait until KP returns.

KP stunned by by pulling up outside in the beastie! He'd done it!  He'd dug her out.  Amazing.  I really thought she was going to be there for days, and no way would she come out without the help of a tractor and tow rope.  And there they were, both looking a little sheepish.  But there was still a lot of work to be done to the drive to get her back into her rightful home, so we set to work with the shovels.  KP starting from one end, me from the other.

Eventually, sometime later, KP was manipulating her cautiously into the drive so that she was out of the way but in a position to get out again should the weather turn bad once more.  Job sorted.  We then finished the trench to the house together before looking back and surveying our work.  A good morning's labour, big satisfaction and a big pat on the back.

A beautiful Serra in the snow
Not wanting to call it a day yet, we wanted to stay out in this beautiful winter wonderland.  The landscape had it's own surreal beauty, it was very wild and dramatic and just a little scary.  There was an eerie silence that you only get with such a snowfall, the skies were a heavy low laden grey and the mountain rescue helicopter was a stark reminder that, pretty as it may be down here, these conditions are not to be taken lightly.

Skiing was out of the question, but a good walk was not, so long as we followed the roads with no off-piste discovery adventures and antics.  Still a little shaky after the narrow escape of yesterday, and with the distinct feeling that we may just have used up all our nine lives in one hit, we did actually, amazingly, stick to the roads.  Some, admittedly, barely roads at all as they were hidden under mounds of snow, but we were unusually cautious when decisions over direction needed to be made.

KP and the view across the valley
So we had a very pleasant and safe walk.  But what a long walk it was.  What with that and all our digging and clearing earlier we were a very weary pair who came home, more than ready to poop for the evening.  And how nice it was to return as the sun was getting low and the chill setting in to find a warm house with the sawdust burner chugging along happily.

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