Winter Wonderland (in October?!)

This was the view from the front kitchen window at first light this morning–that fuzziness is the still-falling snow blowing around.  I couldn’t even bring myself to take the camera outside to document the bent, and in many cases, flattened, trees and shrubs–I just got into boots, parka and warm working mittens and headed out with the broom.

A good look from the back kitchen window indicated the hoop house was still standing (whew!)–last year our first wet snow completely flattened the new hoop house, but John was able to pop it back up, and then retrofitted it with posts and a central rafter.  This year that was done as part of the construction, along with sturdier side bracing.  It all worked perfectly, and this was a real test–8 plus inches of heavy, wet, wind driven snow, most of which was sitting on the hoop house when I got to it.  It was easily knocked off by pusing up on the inside with a broom, leaving it a bit saggier than yesterday, but in WAY better shape than last year’s model!!

(Notice the lovely, smooth garden beds?  Not littered with dead vegetation, bamboo poles, string and other messes?  Sally labored all day yesterday, hauling countless wheelbarrow loads to the burn pile–we knew what was coming–I am SOO grateful!)

I went outside late this afternoon, after the snow had stopped and quite a lot of melting had already taken place, to document the damage.

We had some casualties–a very large limb broke off the white mulberry (Morus alba) near the road,  and a lot more of it is very flat.  The Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) was so bent over, I was sure limbs had broken–I shook the snow off it and it snapped back so fast a branch hit me in the face!  It is now as beautiful as ever, and the colors are incredible.

The most depressing sight was the mound behind the kitchen that had been the magnolia tree (Magnoli x loebneri, “Leonard Messel”)–it appeared to be completely destroyed, and one major limb had sheared off at the base.  This variety has a shrubby growth pattern, but only one of several small trunks had actually broken off.  With the snow removed, it has slowly been recovering–I just hope the would heals well, and doesn’t cause problems next year.

Today was the scheduled D-Day for our meat chickens–a full day of butchering, plucking, etc, etc.  As the power was off this morning, we postponed that activity, and even though it was restored before noon, I wasn’t convinced it would stay on. The last thing we needed was to have 30 plus chickens needing to be bagged and frozen and no power!

So I did something I haven’t done in forever–sat on the couch in my living room, enjoying the fire in the woodstove,  and knit! At this time of year (with more normal weather), I’d only be on the couch if I was sick–here’s the baby blanket I was working on:


  1. James Peckenham says:

    snow….I am now grateful I’m further south.

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