Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

An Unpresidented Amount of Snow

Oops, sorry, that post title was a typo. It should have said "An Unprecedented Amount of Snow."

But, honestly, unprecedented is not really accurate, I guess it's an alternate fact. (In case you're one of those people who is confused about what an alternate fact is -- it's. a. lie.)

Maybe I should just start over.

We had a lot of snow this past weekend, which is unusual around here. The last time we had this much snow was December 2008, when we first moved here. (See NY Times story here -- hey, you know if the NY Times wrote about it, it must have been pretty spectacular.) It started snowing here sometime early Sunday morning, continued off and on most of that day, without sticking to the roads. But then, in mid-afternoon, it started coming down in earnest, in big fat fluffy sticky flakes, and by evening there were 5 inches out there. It continued overnight on Sunday, and on Monday morning we measured in several spots with a ruler and found a little over 9 inches out there covering up the garden.

I found myself surprisingly calm about it. Most of my Facebook and blogger friends already know I despise snow, having lived with it for more than 55 years in Massachusetts. I've coped with my share. PNW natives ooh and aah about it, because it's rare here. Bugger them.

The front garden on Sunday morning

Paving stones with snowy "grout" -- they're completely covered now

Mexican feather grass in the gravel garden

Trachycarpus fortunei

The view from the upstairs bedroom window just before bedtime

The front garden on Monday morning under 9+ inches of snow

In the photo above, you may be able to make out my footprints in the snow heading toward the door of the greenhouse. We lost power at about 2 in the morning, so I got up, got dressed, went out, and turned on the propane heater to keep it warm out there.

Partly shoveled driveway -- note the cap of snow on the yard waste bin

Somewhere under that layer of white are a couple of rosemary bushes

Culvert planter with a cap of snow, covering up a handful of Agave havardiana, Chamaerops humilis, and Nolina 'La Siberica'

Greenhouse with snow starting to slide off the roof

Obligatory shot of patio furniture covered in snow

Bent over English laurel

Broken and partly broken Douglas fir limbs hanging over my 'Pacific Fire' vine maple

Just enough room to open the greenhouse door

When I ventured down in the middle of the night to start the propane heater, I managed to push the fluffy snow back just enough to get the door open and slip inside. Since then, of course, there's been lots of melting, and it's no longer fluffy.

Lilac limbs bent down and leaning over the road. Once things have melted, I'll probably cut most of those off at the base, I doubt they'll straighten up.

Broken lilac branch

There's rain heading our way and warmer temps, which should melt the snow. I'm hoping it won't lead to flooding.


  1. This winter is really turning out to be one for the record books all around, at least for the western states. It was intrepid of you to get up and slog to the greenhouse in the middle of the night! I'm afraid I'd have pulled the covers over my head and sought to hibernate until the worst was over. I'm sure all the plants and seedlings in your greenhouse appreciated the intervention. I hope you get a gentle melt and the damage to your garden is minimal.

  2. We didn't get any to stick on the ground this go around. Do you prune the lilac at all? We have an old one along our fence line and I wasn't sure what to do with it.

  3. Same story here, of course. We had just finished cleaning up the yard and lawn after the wind storms and now we'll have to do it all over again. New snow is pretty. Old snow is just messy.

  4. Being a Pacific Northwest Native I just have to speak up in defense of the other half of your state, the side in which I was born and raised. Snow is not rare in the PNW, it's rare west of the cascades. The eastern half of both Washington and Oregon deal with snow all winter long. The PNW isn't just the I-5 corridor!

    Okay, Eastern Washington kid steps down off her soap box. Hope your snow melts soon!

  5. Going to the greenhouse in the middle of the night is over and above the call of duty, but I would probably do the same! Fresh snow is beautiful, for about a day, hope yours goes soon.

  6. I'm a PNW native, and I haven't gone "ooh" or "aah" over snow since elementary school. I'm especially sick of it this winter. Glad you have a propane heater for backup in your greenhouse. I need to get one of those.

  7. Blimey Alison, that's serious snow. I hope the plants in the greenhouse appreciate your heroic efforts. I'm quite sure they will.

  8. Wow. That is unpresidented. Reminds me of a state legislator I used to work with who used to talk about the physical year.


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