This winter has been uncharacteristically harsh in our usually fairly benign locale. Started off with just a couple of minor snowfalls that drifted in, then melted away almost immediately. We were lulled into a sense of complacency ... everything was green, the temps were mild, and we began pulling together all the tools we'd need to do some pretty aggressive pruning on our apple and cherry trees. Naturally it began to rain, so we decided to hold off until the morrow. Next morn ( as Murphy's Law would have it ) the gentle precipitation we saw as we fell into bed that night morphed into a raging snowstorm as the temperatures plummeted, and we awoke the next morning to a landscape buried in snow. Our poor inukshuk looked like it was struggling to escape rising white quicksand ( quick snow? ), and as the day progressed the snow quickly reclaimed any lingering green patches, until within a couple of days of the same we were buried under three feet of frozen H2O.
We have a driveway just short of a quarter-mile long, all uphill, and soon we couldn't even get up in our four-wheel drive truck with chains, which meant carrying supplies up from the base on toboggans and in backpacks, walking like splay-footed ducks to prevent sliding downhill on the ice. Our husky ( who one would think might be predisposed to have a toboggan hitched up to her to share the burden, looked at us as if we were imposing some diabolical brand of abuse upon her, and promptly went on strike. Lazy mutt. )
This lasted a few weeks, until recently Chris and I went out with picks and shovels and spent a couple of hours waging war with the ice in the tracks, raising a few impressive blisters along the way as well. Finally we're able to get the vehicles up and down again, though not before sliding off into a ditch and having to impose on a neighbbour to pry us out again. Sigh. Winter starts seeming very old at this point.