Strategic Shoveling


Shovels are my least favourite gardening tool. I plan to exploit a 15 year old boy next summer to take care of all the shoveling required to build my garden. Right now though, I’m dealing with water.

That water in the first photo is just snow/ice melt because the temperature has risen above freezing. The volume of the rivers flowing over this property will increase dramatically in the next couple of days when the new storm hits.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve detected a pattern in the local weather.

  1. It snows.
  2. It warms up a lot.
  3. The snow and ice melt.
  4. It rains a lot.
  5. The ground is saturated so all the water runs on the surface.
  6. The temperature falls very far, very fast.
  7. The water running across the pavement and soil flash freezes.
  8. The temperature rises a bit and it snows.
  9. Repeat.

The only variation I’ve noticed is the duration of each stage.


The rivers generated by the rain we’re supposed to get will wash across the island and then freeze solid. The little wavelets still exist – they’re just ice.

All of this leads to new experiences for me. Yesterday was the first time I have ever started up my car knowing that the tires are sitting in ice – actually frozen to the pavement. Luckily Molly is much more rugged than I give her credit for. 🙂

I’ve started to think about drainage projects for next summer to take care of as much of this as I can. I could use Tony (ex-neighbour on the West Coast) for that, but in his absence I plan to use his projects as inspiration.

In the meantime, I wanted to try and reduce the thickness of ice which will develop at the bottom of my back stairs. I dug a trench. It’s not a deep trench, or a long trench, but it is strategically placed.

With any luck, the pool of ice next to my porch won’t be 4 inches deep this time. It takes a LOT of Safety Salt to melt 4 inches of ice.


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