It’s April – Stop Snowing! (4/2014)

It’s April – Stop Snowing! (4/2014)

Note:  Gross picture ahead.  Read on at your own risk.

It snowed somewhere in the neighborhood of 18-24 inches from Saturday 3/28 – Wednesday 4/2.  On Wednesday, it was snowing when I got up and didn’t stop until 6pm.  What day did I choose to take Scarlett to the vet?  Wednesday of course!

April in MT

April in Montana

I was pretty “amped up” about being able to get out of our driveway without getting stuck.  So, an hour or so before I needed to leave, I grabbed the shovel and went out and shoveled the part of the driveway that tends to drift.   Mind you, this is probably fifteen yards of shoveling.  On the walk out to the drift area, I dragged the shovel along the sides of the road, so I would be able to find the road once I was in the car.  I know it must sound weird that I can’t see the road, but everything was completely white and in flat light, it all looks the same.  That much snow levels out the road and pasture.  I guess I can’t explain it, you’ll just have to trust me.

So, shoveling done, I was ready to leave.  I went through a mental checklist.  Okay, Jenny, what are your problems?  (I know there are a lot and I’m not asking any of you to chime in :) Let’s stick to snow/driving problems for this post):

Problem #1:  Finding the road.

Solution:  Follow in previous tracks.  Negative – JR left at 8am for Gardiner and his tracks were fully filled in with snow – no visible tracks.

Drag a shovel down the road and kick snow off the edges of the road.  Check.

Problem #2:  Freaking out when I get near the drift area.

Solution:  Don’t freak out.  You shoveled the drift areas.  Sure they aren’t anywhere near clear, but we don’t have all day.

Problem #3:  Overcorrecting when the car starts floating on snow, followed quickly by freaking out.

Solution:  Don’t overcorrect.  Don’t freak out.  Mmmm hmmm.

Okay, here I go.  Put the car in 4WD and raise that bad boy up as far as it will go.  Check.  Turn the radio down for better focus.  Cross my fingers.  Realize crossing fingers allows less steering control.  Uncross fingers.  Blast through.

Holy moly!  I made it, I made it!  I was very excited, but tempered my excitement with the knowledge I would have to get back later that afternoon.  I looked to the right to make sure no other car was coming, even though there is never another car coming.  “What the heck is that?” I thought.  At first, I thought it was a mountain lion waiting to pounce on me.

Side note – I was already prepared for “the worst,” whatever that may be, so “logically,” the next thing to assume was “mountain lion,” of course!  However, the mountain lion tracks HAVE been spotted again, a mere 30 feet from the back of our house – jinkies.

Whatever I saw, it wasn’t moving.  I swear it looked fuzzy though.  I decided it was just a pile of dirty snow caught up in the fence (makes sense right?) and turned left.  I certainly was not going to turn right to have a look.  That would only make it necessary to back up in the snow.  Not today!

Long story short, I got back home okay, too.  I jumped out of the car and started yelling, “We did it!  We did it!”  “We” being me and Scarlett, of course.  How could I have done it without her? :)  It’s silly, but I can’t tell you how happy I was to have a successful snow outing with no assistance required.  I’m ready to end the winter on that note!

Later on, I took Scarlett for her walk.  I had forgotten about the fuzzy/dirty snow thing until we got to Scilley.  Oh my goodness, I was right.  It was fuzzy.  It was a dead deer.

Poor Deer

It doesn’t look like it was an easy death either.  Best I can guess, it tried to jump the barbed wire, got caught, and broke its neck when it hit the ground.  I just hope it was quick.  I hate to think it laid there suffering, tangled in the barbed wire.

You can tell I’m getting used to life out here though.  My next thought was, “Wow, in a day or two I should be able to get some great pictures of bald eagles!”  One redeeming factor out here is that no dead animal goes to waste.  That deer will be food for who knows how many animals.  Sometimes, on the side of the highway, we see nothing but a bloody rib cage left behind, picked clean.  ~I’ll give you a moment to process that image.~  Mmm hmm, yuck.  I just hope the mountain lions have moved on and won’t be dining on the deer.  Looks like Smith and Wesson may continue to join us again on walks for awhile longer.

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