Friday, February 14, 2014

Digging Out

We had a nor'easter the last couple days with a snow total of about 20+ inches of snow. That's a pretty significant snow in Baltimore. Upstate New York...not so much.

The consequences of snow generally depends on where it falls and how prepared that area's authorities are to deal with it. My son lives in a rural county with one (1) snowplow to deal with miles of narrow two lanes roads. They're overwhelmed when it snows. On the other hand, someplace like Minnesota would take most snows in stride and keep on powering through.

BUT! Sometimes even the best prepared receive a tad more than they can handle. Then life gets interesting.

About twenty years ago, when we lived in the Hudson Valley in New York, we had a never-ending winter with snow, snow, snow...until the point came when we had no place to put it. It's one thing to clear your driveway by piling the snow in your yard. It's another thing entirely when that snow is piled so high you're tossing it on top of a five foot pile!

Somewhere I have a photo of the hunk standing on our front porch (about three feet above yard level) behind the snow piled in the flower bed. All you can see is his head. The snow in the yard was already at the six foot level--blocking the sight line down the street so it became dangerous to back out of the driveway.

We lived in the country. But what about urban areas? Where do they put the snow? In Newburgh, the city closest to us, the snow was a five foot wall running down the center of the main street. Eventually, they hauled it away in trucks down to the Hudson River where they dumped it.

Folks are talking a lot about the extreme cold and worrying about the extra snow storms. What is it? Climate change? A new ice age? I don't think so. While humans are clearly contributing to the changing climate, I think there's also an element of normal change. There have been extremes over the years since man has been noting down weather statistics for posterity.

Should we panic? No. But I reckon it's a wakeup call for us--a signal that we should be doing what we can to make changes that benefit the planet.

But first...we have to clean the driveway.

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