The Blizzard, or Dig We Must


Friday we’d been hearing panicked reports of the blizzard bearing down on us, but saw no snow all day. When it finally began around 7 PM, it was almost a relief. When we went to bed, there was just about two inches of snow, but during the night the wind picked up, and we awoke Saturday to a full-fledged blizzard. The temperature was a few degrees above freezing all morning, making the snow very heavy and clingy. Many small trees, like these around the pond, were bowed to the ground.


I’d been hearing the noise of branches rubbing against the back of the house, and thought a tree must have fallen there, but when I walked around, I saw it was just more small trees. I shook them to unload some of the snow, and they sprang back up.


Leo, on feeder duty, watched this with interest.


There were plenty of branches down, and in the front yard the top half of a holly tree had broken off and flattened our lilac bush, but it may recover, they’re pretty resilient. This shot looks down the drive, where Ellen was shaking more snow off bowed trees. While out there, she heard a loud crack, and went to investigate.


A large pitch pine tree, seemingly perfectly healthy, had broken off from the weight of the snow I guess, and fallen from the edge of our property into the road.


As you can see, it wasn’t the only one, and by next morning the tree next to it, right where Ellen is standing in the photo above, had fallen, too.


The road was unplowed, and remained so all day Saturday. We started shoveling the driveway, doing several 20-minute shifts. This is only the third or fourth time we’ve needed to in the twenty years we’ve lived here, but with the height of snow expected, and the heaviness of it, there was no way we could just drive out through it as we usually can.


Sunday morning the storm was over, and the sun out, but it remained cold. Winter wonderland was in effect, that pretty globby snow everywhere.


Rows of icicles lined the eaves. Are we in the Black Forest, or Vermont? No, southern New Jersey, where this amount of snow is rare indeed.


I tried to find an average spot to measure it, and here it was about 13 inches, but other spots were deeper, so an average of 15 inches is probably about right. And by Sunday the snow had settled some, so it may well have been higher Saturday evening.


So, today it’s back to shoveling. The part we did on Saturday just needed tire paths, then new ground was shoveled at the end. As I write this, we’re about 20 feet from the road, needing one more go. Then I still have to do the area in front of the other garage door so I can get my car out.


Out in the road, things are in much better shape. A road crew must have come through and removed most of the fallen trees, leaving only a small mess for me to deal with later.


And the road, while still snowy, has been plowed and is starting to melt.


We should have no trouble getting Ellen’s car out tomorrow, and hopefully mine as well. Since I’ve also been busy (inside) processing and packing orders for my new print, that’s a good thing! They should all get to the post office Monday.

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