Give it some welly

My wish list is expanding. Snow shoes (for getting to the chickens and up to the ring feeder), nonleaking boots, nonleaking wellies, non leaking waterproofs, a snow blower, a snow plough for the buggy, skies for the buggy.

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After yesterday, snow blower is at the top. And the frustration of a fitness tracker also peaked. Shovelling snow is pretty hard going. Keeping paths cleared out of the house and to various sheds, gates, etc is very useful. It may not have to be done but if not, you (or really I) suffer the consequence of compacted snow that forms an ice rink for the next month. It’s also better to deal with it as it comes rather than waiting until you have lots of it, or so I feel.

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Wednesday was spent several times keeping the main paths clear (door to boiler room, wood shed, chickens, and gate to top field) as the heavy snow flurries were on and off. Yesterday, I set my sites further afield. No, I did not clear a field although it did feel like it. I decided it was a good idea to clear the entrance to the byre. See, our tractor is not four wheel drive and even with the diff lock it can have problems on ice or compacted snow. And after helping to fish a man and his vehicle out of a verge due to snow this week I really didn’t want to be in a tractor that lost control (I have a fear of tipping a tractor so I usually approach all angles with caution). While feeding our cows in the byre I envisioned the tractor compacting the snow on the way in and then not being able to reverse because it had made an excellent toboggan run. Pre-thinking of potential problems makes lighter work later. And I’m all for maximum efficiency with minimal effort. So, out came the snow shovel and an hour and a half later I had cleared a landing strip to the byre door, a section so the door can be opened, as well as a path through the handling area to the other door. All the while wondering how much a snow blower would cost and decided I really didn’t need as many layers.

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And this is where the problem with the fitness tracker comes in. When you are shovelling snow, bent over and heaving it into piles, scraping it off to the side, it says yes, I have moved but not exerting much, for it doesn’t notice you taking any steps.  It didn’t even ask if I had been active! Even if it had though, my options to chose include: walk, run, weights, cross train, bike, stationary, elliptical, cardio, zumba, yoga, pilates, dance, tennis, soccer (it’s an American company), basketball, swim, hike, ski and ‘other’. Whoppie, most of those I never do. I don’t think feeding the calves while keeping the sheep at bay is what they classify as yoga even if it is a unique pose you would never find me doing anywhere else. I think they need to make variations of the fitness tracker app for those in agricultural; chasing sheep, moving feed bags (20 or 25kg bags), shovelling (snow or dirt), moving stones, baling hay, tossing hay when the spinner breaks down, shoving bales, the list could go on.

So, the area around the byre is clear. If more snow falls it will be easier to clear. If it turns icy it is easier to put down grit. If it turns milder it won’t take as long to dry out and cause less problems in the weeks to come (yes, weeks because even if it warms up it take ages to thaw). I guess I could just add a four wheel tractor to the wish list but think a snow blower sounds more fun.

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2 thoughts on “Give it some welly”

  1. Hiya, thanks for another amusing blog. You are wondering about getting a snowblower, well, I have one and this past week it’s been a very useful bit o’ kit, i’ve used it every day. I sometimes look at in mid summer and think that it’s not used much but when it is needed it’s worth it’s weight in gold. What you said about clearing the snow when it comes is the right way to do it because if you don’t do it, thinking ‘there’s more coming tonight’ by the time it does snow again it can be too deep for the blower to deal with. I don’t class myself as an expert on snowblowers but if you think i could be of use by answering any questions you have drop me a line.

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