Snow DragonWhere some saw irritation, Russell Hare saw opportunity. The more than 12 inches of snow that fell across Eaton County this past weekend shut down activities and business throughout Mid-Michigan Monday, Feb. 2.
It didn’t bother Hare, however. It inspired him to create. The Olivet resident couldn’t wait to bring his vision to life, starting early Monday, Feb. 2 — around 5 a.m. he estimates. From the snow he spent at least an hour shoveling, Hare began to chisel a 30-foot dragon.
“I thought if I had to shovel the driveway, why not do something fun with it,” Hare said.
His first thought was a large snake, but that didn’t capture his imagination quite like a dragon. He started painstakingly packing the snow, giving the dragon its shape — a 30-foot body from the tip of its nose to the farthest point of its tail. He added a leg and claws and then started in with the detail in its face.
Hare said he’s been an artist most of his life, but this was his first attempt to create with snow.
“A lot of the challenge is in the detail work,” Hare said. “I’ve had to work with the shape falling apart in spots.”
About 10 hours in, Hare still had a lot of work to do before he was finished.
“You’re never satisfied as an artist,” Hare said. “You try to get to about 80 percent of where you want it to be or you will never finish. The customer is usually 110 percent satisfied, but you are your toughest critic.”
There are no customers, though, for his latest creation. He has only himself to satisfy, which he said means he’s not sure when he will finish.
Typically, Hare satisfies customers in the area with woodcarvings he creates with his chainsaw. He said the move to chainsaw carvings was a natural progression in his artwork. He started to get serious about his work a few years ago when he started creating birdhouses as a means to supplement his income when construction work was slow.
Hare displays most of his creations on Facebook at and on a number of Facebook sale groups like Eaton County Buy, Sell and Trade. Visit his page for updates on his dragon’s progress.