surfeit of snow (few birds)

Subject: surfeit of snow (few birds)
From: "Wim Vader" <>
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 10:50:31 +0100
>Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2000 10:03:20 +0100
>To: birdchat
>From: Wim Vader <>
>Subject: surfeit of snow (few birds)
>Bcc: alanmyers, birding-aus, eurobirdnet,nel,annavader, marit, cyndie,
polyglotta, saskia, chiel, hayo, lexentitia, katjaarakelova, alicja,
anabra, franz, gerhardcadee, tadasbirutis, kathyconlan, hansblokpoel,
judynew, michelle, marianne, joergen, traudl, robb
>                       SURFEIT OF SNOW IN TROMSØ, N.NORWAY, AT 70*N
>Last Tuesday I paid some people to help dig out my (20 yrs old=) car, that
needed to undergo its periodic test of road-worthiness---it had been
standing three weeks in my driveway, enough to make it almost disappear
from sight in the snow. I decided to put the car in the garage, at the top
of my steepish driveway, and not use it for the rest of the winter; but the
repairs took a few days and it kept snowing, so in the weekend I had a
major operation trying to clear the driveway once more.
>Now virtually everybody in Tromsø has a "snøfreser', a machine munching
snow at one end and blowing it high up in the air at the other end; I share
one with my neighbour, and it lives down in his garage. Sadly this machine,
like all strikers, keenly understood when its demands would be most loudly
heard, and went on strike on Saturday, so that I had to do most of the work
by hand (well, by snow-shovel). (Afterwards I stupidly went to the museum
with the plan to identify some amphipods, only to find that my hands
trembled too much for any dissections to be possible!)
>But after a few hours work both Saturday and Sunday I felt proud, like
Sisyphos must feel when he gets his rock nearly up the hill, and resady to
go and get my car and get it out of the way.
>but , as the Norwegian proverb says: 'How long was Adam in paradise?'.
Sunday afternoon a blizzard started up, which roared on until this morning;
now it is quieter, although still snowing heavily. And my driveway looks as
if I never had been at work at all, with 2-3 feet of fresh snow covering
everything, and a great extra mount near the road, compliments of the snow
plough. More than 60 major roads are closed, and more than 100 villages
isolated (Here, with all the fjords and mountains, a closed road does not
mean a detour, but that you can't get there). Many schools are closed in
the country, as the school buses can't  manage. And here in town the
morning chorus consists almost exclusively of the sound of the
snøfresere---mine is still on strike, and I have laboriously dug a  narrow
trench from my door down to the road, using a shovel. No amphipod
dissections this morning either!
>So now I also know how Sisyphos feels usually!
>I think this story can explain why I have not written my usual Tromsø-bird
pieces for some time; I have been otherwise occupied! I DID have a lone
Fieldfare in my garden the other day, however. And yesterday people phoned
in a flock of Bohemian Waxwings from our part of town. And I have seen the
sun already two times this year!!
>                                       Wim Vader, Tromsø Museum
>                                       9037 Tromsø, Norway
>PS This was written amost two weeks ago, but bounced for some reason. in
the meantime, I have seen the sun once more, snow level is up to 1.7m, and
I still have not cleared my driveway: the people who promised to help me
yesterday, never turned up. temperatures are just around freezing, and the
load of fresh snow that fell last night, was wet and very heavy. I have
seen a Goshawk and a small flock of Waxwings, though, so my year list crept
up to 20; scope for growth!

                                        Wim Vader       

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