Blizzard 2016 rampaged through Virginia last weekend leaving a blanket of snow and ice across White Plains – even more than last year. Two years ago, during the last big winter storm on the Northern Neck, I spent the weekend at the farm by myself. We lost power early, the temperatures dropped into the teens, and the fireplaces were shut down from lack of repair. I huddled on the couch with the cats and dog, and listened to the trees creaking under the weight of ice and snow.
Needless to say, it was a cold and eerie way to spend one’s first winter here. It didn’t take much to imagine what it was like during the great Washington and Jefferson snow storm of 1772.
Thankfully, we were much better prepared this time around. A last-minute generator purchase ensured that we kept power (it’s still in the box, ready to return), I bought ample amounts of snacks and adult beverages, and I made sure that Netflix, books, and house projects were close at hand. For a few days, the hum of civilization quieted and everyone hibernated. It was three days of homesteading bliss. On Sunday, the sun came to visit, but didn’t do much to help with snow removal.
Being on top of the hill, we got much higher wind gusts and snow depths than usual, totaling an average of 24 inches with frequent drifts of three and four feet. Reality set in when it came time to dig out the truck through four-foot drifts along the 400-foot driveway.
It was at this point that I realized we should have purchased the snow blower, not the generator!
When that didn’t work, we tried the golf cart… that didn’t work either.
And don’t think the birds were any happier about digging out than we were. While the ducks won’t have anything to do with the snow (they like to stand in the doorway and stare it away), the guineas were more than happy to be “guinea pigs.” The confusion on their faces was priceless.
Thankfully the bees were all bundled up with a layer of snow insulating their hives. I checked on them this morning and they were very slowly moving around – a great sign. I am hoping the extra fondant (winter bee food) that I ordered before the storm shows up quickly since they will be out of food soon.
There was a fire pit somewhere in the arrangement below. I can barely see the top.
All in all, I think that we successfully survived this year’s historic blizzard. Hopefully it’s the last big one for the season! How did you fare? What got you through the days of Mid-Atlantic hibernation?