Dear Hortense Hoelove,
What do you think is going on in this picture?
Oh, that’s an easy one. The snow is alive and those are its varicose veins. Actually, I’m kidding and hopefully you knew that. The snow is not alive. I suspect those are the trails of meadow voles frolicking under the snow while eating all the roots they can get to. I’m so very glad you sent me this picture and I didn’t take it in my own yard!
Which garden tools are the best for chipping away at ice? Is it acceptable to put your garden hoes to work on such a job?
Iced In In Indianapolis
Dear Iced In,
I can not support the use of hoes and other garden tools for ice chopping and general removal of whatever wintry mix you are dealing with. They simply are not made for that and many are not strong enough. Please put those hoes away and get yourself some proper snow removal equipment. That said, Hortense herself used a sod lifter to remove ice from her driveway that had been partially thawed with some ice thaw crystals of some kind. The bag said that the ice thaw crystals were environmentally safe, and she truly hopes that is the case. Though she was careful to keep the stuff off the lawn and planting beds, she still doesn’t want it to foul up the creeks which is where the storm sewers carry whatever gets thrown into them off to. Hortense also wonders why she is referring to herself in the third person in this answer. She suspects it is because she has been trapped inside for two days.
One really has to be careful out there and inside one’s mind, too.
If I see one more picture of snow or ice on any more blogs or news websites or if I open one more email from someone who wants to show me their snow drifts, backyards looking like ice rinks, any plant parts encased in ice or other winter type pictures, I think I will go mad.
Snow and Ice Weary,
Here is a picture taken in my backyard, which is, of course, your backyard.
Isn’t it interesting? The snow is not that deep but it is as hard as a piece of Styrofoam. Very interesting, indeed.
P.S. As soon as our amaryllis blooms, you should post a picture of that!