And Then Suddenly, It Looked Too Much Like Christmas!

I had no idea what was coming back when I wrote my last blog entry and pre-scheduled it to appear on Monday, October 31st, but now I think that I chose a very timely title, “It’s Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas”! Last Saturday, the 29th, we left to run some errands around 3:00, just as the first snowflakes fell. By the time we got back at 6:00 there was about three  inches of very wet snow on the ground and… the power was out. It happened that quickly!

Recalling what we did during Tropical Storm Irene’s visit, we immediately put on our headlamps and went to work. DH filled pails with water from our stream to use for flushing, while I made dinner on our gas stove by candlelight. After dinner, with the house temperature down to 55 degrees F, we settled down to read, each comfortably snuggled under a knitted wool afghan. I had on a cashmere camisole, tee-shirt, flannel pajama top, lambswool/angora sweater and wool fingerless mitts, flannel pajama bottoms, sweatpants, wool leg-warmers (made from sweater sleeves) and two pairs of socks!

Around 10:00 we started hearing trees cracking, followed by muffled thumps. I tried to soothe Emily, the cat, who was agitated, but she didn’t want to be touched while in hyper-vigilant mode, paying close attention to every unusual sound. I figured we were o.k. as long as we didn’t hear a CrAsH!!, which would have meant a tree had hit our house or garage! We tried to go to sleep, but the disturbing noises continued and became more frequent. Around 11:30 I went outside with a flashlight and found this!

It caused no damage, whatsoever, narrowly missing all our bird feeders and picket fence!

Walking further around the corner of the house, I looked up to see this shocking sight!

I couldn’t tell for sure, in the dark, but it looked like the only damage was a bent gutter. I was relieved the next morning when I could really see what had happened. The weight of the snow on the leafy branch had slowly brought it to rest, unbroken, against our roof. It was frozen there.

The lower branches of our dear crab apple tree, which puts on a show like this every spring…

were nearly touching the ground! I started shaking all the branches I could reach. DH noticed what I was doing and came out to help. It was still snowing, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to remove some of the extra weight!

I guess feeling like we’d done “something” made us feel better, or maybe we’d simply worn ourselves out, because we both slept soundly for the rest of the night.

This was the dramatic view toward the east at about 7:30 on Sunday morning, October 30th.

Thankfully, our crab apple tree looked as beautiful as ever!

Unfortunately, the eight-foot tall hydrangea bush in our front yard, which we had also tried to clear of snow during the night, now looked like this!

Although somewhat worse for wear, we were glad it bounced back by Wednesday.

Here’s the big oak branch, still dangling, as seen from its back side:

All those leaves had gathered so much dense wet snow, their weight became more than even an oak (a very strong wood) could withstand. An article in Sunday’s paper said there was four times as much tree damage as after tropical storm Irene!

I headed over to the garden and caught this interesting view of our grape arbor and the trees beyond.

As a size reference for the amount of snow cover, the arbor’s overhead boards are three and a half inches high.

I shook the snow off each of our dozen precious blueberry bushes.

Some of them are over six feet tall now, having been grown from potted seedlings we bought almost twenty years ago. Because they’re woody plants, they would take many years to recover if their branches got broken.

By the time I’d finished, I noticed the sun was above the treetops.

What a gorgeous sky to the north!

It was estimated that we would be without power for a week. I certainly wasn’t happy with that news, but we were blessed to only have gotten this much snow…

not the thirty inches they got in Hartford, just half an hour from us, or even more, like in the western hills of Connecticut!

P.S. If I’d had internet access, I would have enjoyed giving you a daily update, but now that we’ve had power back for about twelve hours (It returned around 5 a.m. on Sunday, November 6th, having been off for seven and a half days.) I just want to say that I’m glad that this particular “adventure” is over. I’ll post some highlights over the next few days.

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6 Responses to And Then Suddenly, It Looked Too Much Like Christmas!

  1. Northern Narratives says:

    So glad to hear that you are OK. I heard on the radio that so many people on the East Coast had no power. Crazy weather. Now, if you would kindly send some snow back to Minnesota. It’s hard to believe it’s November and we haven’t seen one snowflake yet. Judy

    • Over 850,000 homes and businesses were without power the day after the storm in Connecticut alone. We watched our town slowly change from black on the outage map (80-100% out), to brown (60-80%), and then red (40-60%). Not that the color changes made our house any more well-lit, but at least it felt like something was happening. I guess that’s the point of the map. 🙂

      I would gladly have sent you ALL of our snow, but all that’s left in our yard is a few patches in the deepest shadows. 😦 Perhaps someone in Northwestern Connecticut could help you. They got over thirty inches there!

  2. I just can’t imagine. However, when we had the BiG storm, way back in ’93 in Birmingham, some people were without power for two weeks! I hope you didn’t lose much more in the way of your blueberry bushes and hydrangea. What do you DO when something like this happens? Were you able to drive any? .

    • “TWO weeks!! Seven and a half days was plenty long enough. Although I suppose it was a tad warmer in southern states than here in New England; our house temp got down to 48 degrees F one night!

      The hydrangea looks ugly, but I think it will be fine and the blueberries only lost some twigs. But we did lose the entire top of a young pawpaw tree and major limbs on its partner. They bloomed for the first time last year. sigh. I don’t know if DH’s planning to replace the lost one or cut them both down. You have to have two for pollination. But our peach (oh, how I love peaches!) was unscathed!

      Our ornamental sand cherry shrub had several branches break off down near it’s base, but this was good! We realized a couple years ago that neither of us like the looks of it, but we were stumped what to put in its place as the main feature in a flower bed. Well, now we’ll get rid of the shabby thing! And yesterday, when I was running errands, I came across spring bulbs marked to half-off, so I’m going to add more soil to raise the area where the bush was and plant mixed tulips there. At least the bed’s guaranteed to look great next spring!

      We’re used to dealing with snow here in New England. We have a snow blower for our drive and walks and the state’s snowplows can usually keep the roads passable, unless the snow comes down very quickly, which was the case Saturday afternoon, but we could still drive safely. Check back to this old post, or this one, to see some “Real” snow! LOL!!

  3. I replied:

    “So glad to be back online!

    Thank you for caring so much – I’m sorry that our power cut had you so worried. I called some libraries, was it on Thursday?, Friday?, but none of them had Wi-Fi available yet. I just didn’t bother checking again.

    This snow was a very dense kind, like a snow cone’s ice, but in a finer texture. Sometimes snow is very light and feathery, fluffed full of air, but not this time.

    Now that the power is back on, (lol!) a warm front is headed our way. We’re expecting 60-some degrees on Tuesday!”

  4. Thank you, Tammy. I’m so glad that I could share my story through pictures. It’s very true that a picture is worth a thousand words!

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