Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shut up about the snow already!

March in the Adirondacks is ubiquitous for two things: snow, and people complaining about the snow. It snows a lot in March in the mountains. March is one of the wetter months of the year and typically still well below freezing which equals snow storms a plenty. Unfortunately March gets a bad rap because it is a snowy month in a long line of snowy months. Some years it starts snowing in October and doesn’t stop until May. For most of the US, March signals flowers and sunshine. People start getting their gardens ready and are doing Spring clean-up outside. Not here. Nope. Here we are still shoveling and still salting the ice. And we have two more months of this by the time March rolls around. It doesn’t technically look like Spring around here until May. And even that is anti-climactic because “Spring” in the Adirondacks is also known as “Mud Season”. It’s not flowers and sunshine, that’s for sure. It’s boot sucking mud and car killing pot holes. I always joke that Spring in the Adirondacks is actually Fall in reverse. We don’t get those lovely days of birds singing and flowers blooming. We just get the snow melting and the leaves coming back out on the trees. Fall in reverse… Not very spectacular…. 

People like to complain about the March snow. I am always surprise when native Adirondackers do it because you think they would be prepared at this point for two more months of winter. I am not a native Adirondacker and I love the March snow. It’s the perfect snow! There’s so much you can do with the packy, wet snow in March that it is very useful. Here are some examples:

1.       Clean dirty chicken eggs – take a dirty egg and rub it with some fresh snow. The chicken poop and dirt comes right off.

2.       Clean water buckets and food bowls – Rub a handful or two of snow inside any buckets or bowls to be clean, then swish out with fresh water. Works great!

3.       Rejuvenate throw rugs – Drag your dirty, dusty throw rugs outside and lay them in the snow upside down. Stomp on them to smash them into the snow. Pick up the rug and move to fresh snow and repeat until the stomped snow is clean and the rug is not dirty anymore. 

4.       Milk cooler – I love milking goats in March because I can instantly cool down the milk. I just cover the milk bucket with a lid and pop it in the nearest snow bank while I finish the chores. I don’t have to rush into the house to cool down the milk. I can take my time and finish chores in a leisurely fashion while the snow cools the milk for me. 

5.       Leftover dinner storage – I don’t have a huge fridge so when I make a giant pot of stew, I have nowhere to store it unless I put it into dozens of smaller containers. In March I can put the stew out on the porch and not have to worry about it going bad (I do have to worry that the dogs don’t get into it!). 

6.       Cake cooling – March is a great time to bake a cake because you can cool it down for frosting by taking the cake pans outside and putting them in a snow bank for a few minutes. This also works well for any other types of food you have to cool down in a hurry. 

7.       Snowmen armies – Since March tends to be slightly warmer than the preceding months, the snow can be sticky and wet. This is the perfect snowman snow. It packs and stacks. It’s perfect!

8.       Snowshoeing and skiing – One great thing about getting to March is that it is finally light out longer in the evening. There’s time to enjoy being outside after work and after dinner is done. This is the best time to strap on snowshoes or skis and hit the trail. Plus it is warmer so you don’t have to pack on 10 extra pounds of fleece and wool to be comfortable.

For all of you grumbling about March snows, hang in there. May will be here soon! Meanwhile, you might as well suck it up and enjoy it.

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