How do you really feel about Winter?
Yeah – Tell me about it.
I’m a snowboarding, cozy nights, fireplace-loving, warm drinks kind of girl, but I’ll be honest, the realities of the last 13 years in New England have put a damper on my winter loving ways.
Back home (in Colorado) the snow comes and then it goes (over 300 days of sunshine, after all) – and then it comes again and it looks all pretty (again) and then it melts away. But here (outside of Boston) – it tends to stay, and it turns brown and gross. And the plowman that we have to hire due to the 100 yard-long driveway with the 5% grade at the end, just keeps pushing things around and the turning radius just gets smaller and smaller while the manky piles get bigger and bigger.
By the end of March I am begging for the straight up honestly of pure unadulterated mud.
I am sure you are thinking – plow guy = luxury – and you would be wrong. No doubt, he is as important as the fuel guy (as in, we couldn’t live here without him) and he has saved me (literally) on more than occasion (including last week). But plow guys have their limits and those generally involve not being able to put finer details on things. There is often a lot of mess to move around even after they are done. In our case we always have a pile right behind the cars at the garage door and due to the layout of the driveway, the biggest snow pile is always left on top of my biggest, most visible, and favorite flower bed. When things get really bad, that pile has persisted into May (which is totally unacceptable to me, and inevitably I find myself re-shoveling the snow back onto the driveway in April to get it to melt faster – there are bulbs in there after-all!).
If you could get away with shoveling less snow would you?
Of course you would; us too… so every time it snows, we lamely dig out just enough to get the cars out and pretended not to notice the rest. And 13 years later…Florida has never looked better.
As you know, if you’ve been around this site a while, I’ve worked with Troybilt on lots of projects over the years because I truly love their machines and their earnestness to constantly make better and better products. This year they asked me to test out one of their snowblowers – and having never owned one – I was eager to see what I’ve been missing all my life.
First off, I love that I can make clean lines and if I get tired of the dirty snow, I can cut new lines and move it elsewhere. The snow shoot sends the snow far (at least 12 ft) – and way farther than I can physically toss it. I find that deeply satisfying. But there are other great features too:
I’m not a fan of pull starts. I tend to not be coordinated enough or strong enough and there is some sort of skill to them that eludes me. While I had no problem starting this with the pull start, it also has an electric plug start. If it is really cold or the starter is giving me trouble, I can just plug it in and turn it on that way – then I can unplug and go. So. Much. Better.
It took me years to realize that the excessive amount of flat tires on everything from my work truck to the wheelbarrow were probably caused by cold winter temperatures. I thought I has some mysterious tire popping problem but actually cold weather causes tires to go flat. So I love that they have designed the snowblower tires so that they can’t go flat.
Being new to the snowblower thing, I thought it could only be used on certain surfaces, but no!
I can snowblow the grass (or even the flower beds if I cut everything back next fall). There is an easy adjustment to raise the height of the blades enough for these kinds of surfaces. My kids haven’t yet outgrown the joy of snow fort making and now we are scheming to strategically clear lawn areas into piles that allow for more epic constructions. We can’t wait. Bring on the big storms.
And lastly – as I tested out the over-the-grass capabilities I realized I could make new winter paths and start to enjoy the garden in ways I’ve done before. I don’t need to stand at the driveway edge and look in from afar (I have a big garden). I cleared a few winter trails and as storms come and go I think I will experiment with this more. After I was done, I took a walk in the garden with my camera and enjoyed capturing scenes that I haven’t before (because who wants to trudge through the deep stuff?). These are a few of the shots – I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them.
This woodpecker worked for hours and hours on this tree… and a couple of days later when I rechecked his (or her) progress, I found this tree had nearly a dozen more holes and sawdust covered the snow on the ground. I had no idea that woodpeckers were that industrious!
The ever-unfinished treehouse never fails to charm me in the winter.
Pierus (Andromeda) under a coat of snow.
We painted the house black over the summer… and I think it has never looked more charming in the winter… don’t you agree? Next project – upgrading that light fixture!
The barn (which needs a paint job too) and the Heptacodium miconioides (Seven Sons Tree) looked so pretty. I pruned it substantially in the fall, but in the winter, I can see that it probably needs a bit more.
This post is sponsored by Troybilt.