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.