People often wish me a warm winter. I appreciate that they are doing it kindly, but warm winters are a pain in the longjohns!
The beautiful cold spell ended and, whereas it still froze at night, temperatures reached plus 1 or plus 2C during the day.
This almost always means DULL. The first picture is looking towards the mountains at sunrise. This one shows at least a hint of colour.I managed to get to Williams Lake before it snowed. The town was as dirty and dreary as it gets.I wanted to make the trip in one day, and most of the drive along Highway 20 in the morning was completed in the dark. It took an extra hour because of the packed snow on the road, which became more slippery as the temperature rose closer to town. In the dark, I met very little traffic – except dozens of logging trucks heading west. The haulers have enjoyed November’s cold weather – it froze up the bush roads early so they could get back to work. As I left town, the same trucks were all coming back loaded…and throwing up a wall of mud spray. Fortunately, as the day drew to a close the temperature dropped below freezing again, just enough to stop the mud. Just before dark, I passed the same dead logging trailer that had been sitting beside the road in the morning.As almost always happens when cold meets warm, it snowed. (I had planned my trip to Williams Lake just right.)Whereas I’m happy to see the snow cover, it does create more work. Such as brushing off solar panels and vehicles.And even scraping windshields. Warmth means more humidity: when it is cold and dry, windshields rarely need to be scraped.The extra heavy wet snow meant I had to pay for having my road ploughed.With the resulting mess.The neighbour managed to clear the yard well enough, but his truck could not deal with the heavy wet snow and it broke, so my road is now a terrible mess. The two other standbys that I use for ploughing are both not set up for it this year yet. I can drive out OK for now, but the mess will freeze and be much harder to deal with when the next snow comes. I am trying to find an alternative plougher, but my place is quite a distance from anyone with a machine.
Warm snow clogs onto the dogs’ fur and is tracked inside so there are dog-shaped patches of water on the floor. It clogs snowshoes and makes hikes hard work. Another disadvantage of winter warm is flies.They are smaller than a housefly and towards the end of summer, they bat around the house in their thousands. Some manage to get themselves inside, and on every warm day they emerge. I swat them against the window – this means extra work cleaning the windows. If I miss any, they buzz around my lights at night and in my off-grid, silent house, the noise is an abomination.
One advantage of warm is that I use less firewood. But not as much as you might think. If the sun does not shine the stove stays on all day. Even if it is cold outside, as long as the sun is blasting through the windows, no fire is needed. Also, I cook with wood and must use a certain amount no matter what the temperature. Another disadvantage of warm is that wood is harder to split. If it is cold, wood pops apart with far less effort.
So all you kind people out there, should you be so inclined to wish me a good winter, make it a COLD one please!