Thursday, February 16, 2017

Deer, bears, snow

What Diane and John see from their bedroom window in the morning in Winlaw: They're not in Surrey anymore!
A deer feasts on compost material in the snow. It's a temporary situation after a bear destroyed Diane and John's new composter last fall.  Another solution will be needed when the bears come out of hibernation in the spring.

Two deer take advantage of the current situation. 

In Surrey, it was traffic, rain, work and neighbours. In Winlaw, Diane and John have different issues to deal with. Snow so deep that it's hard to get wood from the woodshed to the house, for one. Then there's the little matter of compost in bear country.

Last fall, they bought a fancy rotating compost bin made of metal and super-heavy plastic, thinking that would be the end of it. But one night, as Diane reports in her latest email about their first winter in Winlaw, a frustrated bear "had a fight with it and bashed and battered it down the hill." He didn't get much out of it, but it's unusable, so this winter, they've been dumping their compost material out on the snowbanks. The deer love it, says Diane, but so will the bears when they emerge hungrily from their winter's hibernation.

As for the snow, Diane says it's so banked up around the house that John has a hard time getting wood in from the woodshed "and we rely on wood to keep the house warm." The first idea was to buy a sled to slide the wood over the snowbanks, but Castlegar was all sold out of sleds. For now, a big plastic container with a slippery bottom carries a nice haul of firewood over the snow and to the house.

After years of city living, it takes awhile to even find out what problems you're likely to face in a country winter. But snow and wildlife compared to harried workplaces and traffic jams? Diane and John know which they'd prefer to be dealing with.

The snow in their yard is piled up almost as high as Diane.

John and snowbanks by the house.

The snow-capped woodshed, and the little trail through the snowbanks that the wood must come through.

John puts a box full of wood into a big plastic container. It takes the place of a sled, which were all sold out when Diane and John searched in Castlegar.

And, he's off! John pushes the container up the trail.

The solution may be makeshift, but it looks like it moves a good-sized load of wood. Next year, a proper sled, perhaps?

1 comment:

  1. That's a lot of snow! I think they definitely want a solution to the compost problem before the bears come out. It all sounds like quite an adventure.