A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snow Shovels - An Artistic Photo Retrospective

When we bought our house here in Grand Forks the previous owners left a bunch of stuff (after asking us of course) for us.  These were all little things that individually aren't a big deal, but collectively have saved us numerous trips to the hardware store, many dollars, and untold annoyances.  They left us some garden tools, spare lumber, spare window screens, their old lawnmower - that served me well for a whole year, and about seven different snow shovels.

Leaving these snow shovels was truly the greatest blessing, not just because they probably would have cost $10 to $15 apiece, but also because I would have had no idea what I was buying.  Though I did live in snow country before (Massachusetts and Connecticut*), I really only had one snow shovel, and it was just a snow shovel.  I had no idea there are many different varieties of snow shovels, and for the snow shovel connoisseur/aficionado each one has a valuable place and serves an integral function in keeping the homestead properly snowscaped.

*These are also the two hardest to spell states, and they just happen to be right next to each other.  Coincidence? or sinister New Englander plot?  You decide.   I can't tell you how many elementary school geography quizzes/tests were ruined because I spelled Massachusetts wrong.  It's a friggin' geography test, not a spelling test, who cares how you spell it?  It's exactly like the Lisa Murkowski write-in vote recount controversy in Alaska, it's all about intent.  Who knew that my personal struggle with spelling Massachusetts 25+ years ago would be a portend of electoral issues in present day Alaska.  I am truly a trend setter...  

All of the shovels are legit, old school shovels.  Wooden handled, metal shovel, and sturdy as all get out.  None of this modern day plastic junk.  So without further adieu, I present the photo essay of the different kinds of snow shovels currently in use on the homestead.
The grain shovel.  It's best for large snowbanks or the berm left by the snow plow at the end of the driveway.
The mini-snow plow shovel.  It's blade is curved (hard to see from this picture) and is great for the driveway and sidewalks, especially if there's just an inch or two.  You just push along the ground and plow the snow forward.
The classic flat bladed shovel.  I use this for clearing the steps and sometimes the sidewalk.  It also is great for scraping/clearing the grass area for the dogs potty time.  I end up clearing about 400 square feet of space in the back yard to make sure the dogs have plenty of elimination location options.
OK, so this isn't technically a shovel, but it is an integral part of homestead snow/ice management.  This is the preferred tool for scraping ice from the back steps, and considering this is our main entrance to the house this tool is essential in keeping people and pups from falling on their backsides.

For those of you who used to live in cold climates this might stir echoes of the past and conjure up happy memories (yeah right) of shoveling snow as a kid.  For those who've lived in Southern California your whole lives this is probably completely foreign.

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