The Ugly, the Beautiful, and the Welcome

At the beginning of the week, because of a nasty winter rain, the driveway and the walks at our house were treacherous. As I’ve noted many times, in Maine, we loathe rain in the winter. Back in the day, it wasn’t a worry. Now, however, rain in winter is becoming more and more common.

Looking at the icy paths, Clif said, “Time for wood ash.”

“I hate how messy it is,” I replied. “But we don’t want to risk falling.”

So out came the wood ash, making the walks and the driveway safe but ugly and dirty.

Lucky for us, we have a beautiful dog of the north to brighten our day.

Then, just as we were wondering if we were going to have two months of hideous March weather, along came a welcome snowstorm on Wednesday that gave us eight inches of light snow, no rain, no wind, and, best of all, no worries about power outages.

During the storm, here’s a photo I took from my “bathroom blind,” of a junco on top of the bird feeder. I really like the contrast of the dark gray against the white snow. I also like the way you can see the blur of the snowstorm in this photo.

Yesterday morning, with the sun rising and the sky clear, I saw that the storm had wiped away all traces of ugliness. However, this meant work for Clif and Little Green.  Note the wall o’snow at the end of our buried driveway.

The front yard is once again a sea of clean snow.

Exactly right for Maine in February.


34 thoughts on “The Ugly, the Beautiful, and the Welcome”

  1. We use ash too, but the pellet stove ash is fine compared to the regular since it burns more efficiently, so at a very icy bad time recently I mixed it with some potting soil that I felt was okay to sacrifice, and that worked. Good thing your dog matches the ash! The weather looks like that here now too, in the Woodstock NY area.

    1. It seems you are north enough to get real winter weather. Pellet ash sounds better than wood ash, but we must use what we have. 😉

      1. I think wood ash might be better for the road since it would be grittier. Maybe it’s all preference. It’s great to only have fine ash in small amounts to clean out of the pellet stove every day!

      2. I’m sure it is! Since we have a wood furnace, we have an abundance of wood ash, and that is what we use on the walks and driveway. As I mentioned previously, the ash is dirty, but much better than slipping and falling. And it’s free.

      3. I wish ours would work that well. That’s why i tried it with the potting soil, and I wish i could use the endless coffeegrounds we have here, but I don’t want to poison things for the wildlife. I put the coffeegrounds in a pile outside on dirt to act as compost that helps the soil, but animals and bugs don’t really like it, at least the ones we have.

  2. I love the shots of your beautiful dog and the junco on the bird feeder! I always complain about the “dirty” snow and enjoy when it’s covered with fresh snow. Our road turns into an ice rink at some point every winter and is often covered with wood ash. The snow is falling here and my feelings of enjoyment over the snow will probably lessen when we go out to shovel.

  3. My husband believes in the efficacy of wood ash too and I used to have to put up with dirty paths and people trampling it into the house as well! Fortunately, the house we live in now has no open fire or a wood-burner and we haven’t had much ice in recent years either 🙂
    Beautiful snowy pictures, Laurie and a lovely portrait of your wonder-dog!

  4. Fresh snow is a beautiful thing, especially when accompanied by bright morning sun! Your pictures showing the end of the driveway where the plows have made a small ridge remind me of my days back east. That can happen here too some years, but not to the the extent it did back in New England. Our snow shovel sees very little work.

    1. Even with all the weather changes, New England is still New England, which means snow in the winter.

  5. I’m learning a lot about living with snowy conditions from your winter posts. I can see that slippery snow would be very difficult for the very young and the very old, but I guess, as with anything, you become skilled at living with the conditions you know. I absolutely love you dog, he just looks like a picture postcard sitting in the snow.

  6. We got that same blanket of snow, about 10 inches, but it was so light and airy that it was kind of fun to do the snow blowing and shoveling! Give Liam a hug from me!

  7. Always love to see Liam –

    I have a “bathroom blind” too – Some bird feeders are outside my bathroom window & I hide behind the curtain to stalk the birds.

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