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ice dancing

Occasionally the winter snowfalls conspire to make walking around our yard treacherous. My wife responds by putting ice cleats on a pair of snow boots and switching to them to walk on ice and from them to climb into her van, enter her destination or go back into the house.

I walk very carefully.

For the most part, her plan is a lot smarter than mine. Old brittle bones break easier than what we grew up with and heal a lot slower. Being a gambling man is not very clever.

On the other hand, I am also a solution man. Here is the harrowing solution.

On a sunny afternoon with temperatures well above freezing, I connected a “blanket harrow” to the trailer hitch on my Polaris Sportsman ATV (our snow plow) in the direction where the tines were at their more aggressive angle (upright, digging in) rather than the laid back smoothing angle.

After several laps across the crusty ice, it broke up handsomely such that it would both melt easier and even when it re-froze, it would still have plenty of texture to prevent slipping with normal winter shoe treads.

That same harrow, available from any decent farm supply store, could be pulled behind a garden tractor or darn near anything else that strong or stronger.

Their more common use is to scratch the surface a bit before broadcasting seed and/or to rake in freshly spread seed.