Life Beyond Boating  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

Winter 2009-10
December 20, 2009
"The Blizzard of 2009"
And winter doesn't officially arrive until tomorrow

Click thumbnails below for a larger picture
Sunday, December 20, 2009

What timing -- another first-of-the-season blizzard on the day before winter's official arrival, just like last year.

This one swept up the East Coast burying everything from North Carolina north, dropping some two feet of snow on Washington DC and Philadelphia.

It began here just after midnight and kept coming down until about 1 pm this afternoon.

That's when I headed out for the first snow moving of this season -- moving it from one place to another.

The snowthrower beneath the lean-to started right up, but I discovered it was frozen solid in the mud.

It took some rocking in forward then reverse to finally break it loose, and I didn't break a drive wheel shear pin in the process!

The tarps over Chip Ahoy held up well. It looks like this season I've got it set up the best ever, with no pockets at the lifelines catching piles of snow.

The path across the front of the house over which I haul in firewood. The snow ploy guys haven't been by yet -- and since they no longer park their equipment here it's nice of Bob to promise to keep plowing us out.

Barbar's Honda CRV buried with drifted snow.

The wind has been blowing strong since late yesterday, gusting to almost 40 mph, causing some strange drifting while leaving bare ground.

My Chevy Blazer, protecting the firewood racks.

The Blazer has some unusual drifting on its roof.

Barbara's drifted Honda.

Chip Mate the dinghy in its winter position.

Sunset over the unplowed lot. This is the lowest, earliest, and most south the sun will set with tomorrow bringing the winter solstice.

A night shot of the new paths, to the right past the covered picnic furniture out to the shed, to the left  back to the lean-to and bird feeders out back.

The still unplowed lot beyond the path out front. The Blazer is running, started remotely, to melt the snow while we await the snow plow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bob Donovan pulled in at about 9:00 last night and cleared out most of the lot. He's supposed be back today after he gets some sleep and finish up.

The so-far-this-year trusty snowthrower.

Sunrise over the shed arrived at just after 7 am.

The lean-to out back with its new hoops inside is holding up well.

The plowed lot with Chip Ahoy covered and tucked away out back alongside the house for the winter.

The parking space, cleared out more or less.

Inside it's toasty warm thanks to the blazing wood stove.

The rack of firewood (right) was full before the storm arrived. It's time to get out there and cart in some more.

December 22, 2009
Winter Solstice Plus One

This morning, one day after the winter solstice, Barbara and I met the dawn at the Sun Circle at (Preston) Beach Bluff Park, on the Marblehead-Swampscott town line.

Designed as a mini-Stonehenge, this is the monument's first winter solstice since its creation.

Still moving snow, I used the snowthrower today to cut a new path across the yard between Barbara's house and mine.

December 28, 2009
The Thaw



Christmas Day was a relatively balmy 37 -- comfortable enough for Barbara and me to cook our venison steak outside on the grill, the second Christmas we've grilled dinner.  (Dec. 25, 2009)

The thaw has continued for days, reaching the low 50s on Sunday, accompanied even by some rain; the snow piles have diminished.  (Dec. 28, 2009)

With the Montreal Express and its Arctic cold heading our way, these balmy days are about to end . . .

. . . but at least most of the last snowfall has all but disappeared -- just in time for me to pick up the winterized outboard and back the Blazer to the shed to unload.

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