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A Moment In Time. January 17, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday, in an effort to deal with water leaking into the house through an upstairs window, I got a really large extension ladder out of the barn and, despite protests from my non-functional shoulders, set it up against the ice-berm at the front of the house.  The mission was simple: rake the snow off the roof and remove the ice dam without dying.

Now, as a charter member of the Pansy’s Club, I’m all over that “not dying” clause, whether it holds legal water or not.  So I looked up (a LONG WAY UP) at that ladder resting on a rail of ice and went back out to the barn, returning with a greasy looking utility rope, doubtless one of Lizz’s old climbing ropes which had been retired to Yard Duty.  I fixed one end of it to an outdoor faucet (hey, it was around two corners, so friction would be my friend) and the other to a small shrub near our fair-weather fire pit (ditto on the friction there) and took the middle up-ladder, pulling it tight and securing things about where I thought they ought to be.

So up I went, roof rake and three pound sledge in hand(s) to deal with The Issue.  I got most of the roof cleared from one position, though there was a good deal of leaning and lateral force involved, and I was glad to be tied off, albeit to sketchy anchors.

Then, just as I was (delicately) attacking the ice berm/dam at the lip of the slate roof, a huge gust of wind caught me, sending the ladder four feet to the right and ending up all akimbo at a crazy angle…  I came to a soft halt, Thank You Jesus, and thanks to my sketchy but sufficient anchors.

With limbs quivering from the adrenalin I regained the roof’s edge, planting the roof rake and hammer in the slush of the remaining ice dam, and took a deep breath.

I looked around to compose myself.

Over my left shoulder, the wind turbine atop Berkshire East ski area had begun spinning, sending a message of local self-sufficiency back through the grid.

To my right, above the newly snow-free ridge line of our house, a fat gibbous moon was rising; and from a tree delineating our eastern property line, a huge eagle was just taking flight!

I swear, a big fatty eagle, with a wing span that looked like five feet.  It circled me once, then headed down river.

Call me a liar, or call me a slacker for not having my camera at hand, but hey, I was busy.

I finished the task at hand and got the ladder back in the barn without incident, though I have to admit that I was pretty hosed by the time it was all over.

And miracle of miracles, the leaking window stopped being bad.

And so it goes, and so it goes.


1. kkryno - January 17, 2011

Don’t you just hate that squishy feeling at the back of the knees when you think you’re about to fall a pretty good distance?!!

Glad you fixed the ice dam and lived to tell the tale!

Aren’t eagles magnificent? Up here they just consider them glorified vultures. I’ve given up trying to point out the beauty that Alaskans take for granted.

2. lisahgolden - January 18, 2011

My palms became sweaty as I read this. I’m terrified of heights. Ladders? No way.

I love it that you were rewarded by the moon and the eagle. Your description is enough for me.

3. Miz Lu(mena) - January 18, 2011


4. sherry - January 18, 2011


5. Paul in ABQ - January 18, 2011

Very glad you are all right. I was apprehensive as I began reading.

6. TheCunningRunt - January 18, 2011

Nay Sweat, Lads and Lassies – all in a day’s flail!


Vikki, yes, eagles are magnificent birds. And it’s amazing how people become jaded/bored/oblivious to the beauty which surrounds them. I’m trying to keep an appreciation of Nature alive in myself by really looking at things and photographing my world from as many different perspectives as I can.

7. Miz Lu(mena) - January 18, 2011

I guess you were just a little too big for the eagle to carry off, but he was thinkin’ about it! Sometimes you just had to be there.

8. Mauigirl - January 18, 2011

Thank goodness you took the precaution of tying the ladder! I won’t let my husband get on a ladder unless I’m holding the bottom with white knuckles. And then I can’t even look up at him without getting dizzy! Glad the eagle didn’t get you. Are you sure it wasn’t a vulture? 😉

9. littlebangtheory - January 18, 2011

You know, I hadn’t thought of myself as a snack, but now that you mention it, eagles can be scavengers, and with as much snow as we have on the ground a nice hot meal of fresh “ladder kill” might have been appreciated…

10. Pagan Sphinx - January 19, 2011

No wonder your daughters worry about you.

11. U - January 22, 2011

I loved and hated this story all at once. Be careful, I beg. I will never cease to admire your eye for, and appreciation of, both subtle & grand beauty.

12. susan - January 23, 2011

Not having a head for heights myself, I applaud your courage and resourcefulness. You did get a fine reward but that’s down to you being sensitive enough to be looking.

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