Crow’s Nest: Getting ready for snow

December 16, 2020

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

The waiting for the snow storm makes me more anxious than the storm itself will. I think we’re ready: snowplow hooked up, snowblower poised, shovels out. I live onsite so it’s not like I won’t be able to get here to get the work done. But snows of the depth predicted are a lot of work, and after it melts, you have nothing to show for all that work.

Actually, one might have even more work since plowing gravel inevitably means damaging the gravel surface, and sometimes putting it all back takes more time than the plowing did originally. But plow we will, and soon after it stops the preserve will be cleared and ready to welcome visitors. Keep in mind that a snow-bound parking lot will be smaller than our regular one—I don’t plow the grassy overflow areas.

There will be lots to see in the snow, and we are open to cross-country skiing our trails as an alternative to hiking. Lots of photo opportunities will be revealed as the snow decorates the preserve.

One more way I’ve prepared for snow: I’ve mowed the meadows on our best sledding slopes.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Above and below, the best slope on the preserve, measured in the ratio of downhill “whee!” to uphill return climb. I also mowed below the smaller slope at the visitor center so that sledders don’t end up deposited in the brambles at the bottom.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Monday’s snow was a teaser: enough to build snow people, but not enough to support sledding.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

See you out there!