…And not just any snow but the wrong type of snow. Freezing rain overnight covered with slushy snow this morning made the roads and paths treacherous This time last year the temperature was a mere 20 degrees C higher! You can see why the term ‘global warming’ has been dropped for ‘climate change’.
With the temperature plummeting in a biting easterly wind it meant some sub-zero polelathe turning for as long as I can manage before retreating to thaw out in front of the woodburner.
Sadly the shed is an old open fronted cart shed – so no possibility of warming it up and extreme polelathe turning it is. As long as I can manage turns out to be about 30 minutes with the thermometer at -1 degrees C in the early afternoon – maybe a tad longer if I do some drawknife work to warm up. Still, I can comfort myself that we don’t really know what cold is in Southern England – imagine what it must be like in Canada. Then I heard recently from my old friend Maarten (Max) Meerman in Vancouver that it’s been 12C over there, positively balmy, it turns out that sometimes life just isn’t fair!
Sadly a large Rowan (Sorbus Acuparia) fell over on the commons recently. You can see the disease that brought the tree down – the brown rot in the centre of the wood. But luckily for me, as Rowan is a super wood for turning, one of, if not my favourite turning wood and with some usuable lengths I should be able to get some nice items from it.
With short stints on the lathe and very cold fingers I am limited to fairly simple shapes and items, but that’s no bad thing as it helps me to get some stock prepared before the season starts. You can just about make out the ‘two-tone’ of the light and brown colours of the spurtle on the right of the row. I’ve managed to split a billet from the right section of the cleft where the dark staining stops – the grain is a little wonky but nice and fresh and the colours make it worth persevering.
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Posted in Landrover, Lynchmere, Lynchmere Common, Uncategorized, What's in the shed today?, woodland, tagged Landrover, Lynchmere, Oak leaves, Series II landrover, snow on December 5, 2010 |
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I’d like to claim it’s all the fault of the weather, but really it’s just my lack of preparation, a bit like my blog really – and there are still several items to catch up on so I will shortly be posting on some of the shows that flew by in the autumn. Somehow I managed to leave my big shovel up at the barn after using it to shovel a big pile of s*&t….errr….. manure so I had to take a trip up to the barn in the snow. An opportunity to take some more photos.
I used to put the doortops on my 1965SWB during the winter but recently I’ve not bothered so it has natural air conditioning all year round. It certainly stands out in the snow – people can’t quite believe it. Since I don’t go far and am always hauling gear in and out it makes sense to me, after all there it no heater so it’s not going to be much warmer with the doortops on and the canvas down.
One thing that is strange at the moment is the combination of deep snow and the leaves on the oak trees. I’m not sure why but a lot of the oaks still have a lot of leaves on at the moment. Am I going mad or is this normal?
In the snow the commons take on a kind of Narnia like appearance.
You tend to notice features and shapes which stand out now but are not so remarkable when everything is green.
Meanwhile back at the shed, the snow has put paid to finishing the work on a Landrover restoration project. This landrover which is known as Puff because of it’s numberplate PFF623 – and because it’s Puff the magic landrover – it just appeared! – has had a lot of work done this year and with my friend Richard we’re not far from getting it done.
It will be perfect for hauling the firewood – but in this weather it seems that Alison has taken a shine to it so I may have to rethink the plan. At the moment it’s fighting with the shavehorse for room in the shed whilst we work on the brakes and redo the wiring harness.
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Everything seems to take longer in the Big Freeze and there are unanticipated jobs to do as well. The shetland cattle that graze the Lynchmere Commons during the summer are on the adjacent meadows for the winter and during this weather they are fed hay harvested from the meadows in the summer. But in the persistent low temperatures the water feed to the troughs has frozen solid.
For the last few days I’ve been moving water to them in containers to help out the grazier. Today temperatures rose enough that I managed to unfreeze the feed using a blowtorch, so that will make things a bit easier for a while
At the same time I managed to get into the woods for the first time in a week and move a load of logs that I’d prepared before the current snow hit us.
Not a big load, but enough for the depth of snow and the slope back up the hill out of the woods. But what should have taken an hour or two took the best part of the day.
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