October 29, 2011

Preparing for a Historic Storm

First of all---IT'S OCTOBER!

I figure that I have better post this now, before we loose electricity here in Worcester ( just west of Boston, on the map above). An unseasonable record-breaking snowstorm is dumping over a foot of heavy, wet snow on us tonight, and it doesn't look good.

First, the greenhouse heater won't start ( not that it will do any good once the electricity goes out). At first, I didn't worry, because the soil temperature is still warm ( near 45 deg. F) and the greenhouse is stuffed to the gills with plants that we dragged in today ( ugh, I am so sore) but what I didn't count on was that since the snow is SO heavy and wet,  and that the greenhouse is basically hovering around 35 degrees, the snow is not melting, nor sliding off, which it would normally do in the winter. This snow is so heavy, that ever 2 inches on a thin pane of glass will break it.

I  went to Home Depot to buy a snow rake, but they are sold out. So I am using a squee gee on an extension pole, ever hour, to remove the wet snow.

Second - The deciduous trees cannot handle the snow weight.  

In our yard, as throughout the northeast, tree limbs are coming down left and right, and the storm is just beginning. I tried to knock the snow off of the smaller trees,  especially the stewartia and the nicer Japanese maples, the rarer ones which are already snapping, and the magnolia's? So long. ( I already lost a mature yellow flowered one). The worst of the storm is not supposed to start until  tonight, so the outlook is not good.

As anyone who lives in the northeast knows, the summer foliage has not yet left the trees. The leaves have not yet dropped off most of the deciduous trees,  trees like maple, birch, ash, magnolia and oak, are not designed for holding heavy, wet snow ( which is why such trees loose their leaves in the winter). There will likely be devastating damage to most trees that still have their seasonal foliage.  As I type this, I can hear the trees snapping and cracking out in the woods. Not good.

Third- with no electricity, I cannot use the electric heaters in the greenhouse anyway.

Fourth, I can't drink, because I need to be sober enough to go out and pull the snow off of the glass.

The good things list is shorter.

1. IT will be pretty in the morning.
2. It will be fun to run the snowblower to make paths for the trick-or-treaters.
3. Pumpkins will make great Halloween snowmen heads.


  1. best of luck to you .....sounds like you have your work cut out for you,,,,sad about the snapping trees,,,

  2. Oh Matt, so sorry, sounds like a mess, we had one like that five years ago, many severely damaged trees..I remember all the cracking in the woods..hang in there!

  3. You must be exhausted. So far no trees down, electric still on, but no snowblower. We put it into the shop for a tune up and it was not ready. I can not imagine trying to keep the snow off a greenhouse! Good luck, hope you don't loose too many treasures.

  4. Good luck, I can not image trying to keep up with the snow on the greenhouse

  5. So far so good - keeping up with the snow on the greenhouse,still scary--- cause the winds are picking up to 40 MPH, and the trees are snappin! Ive lost about 4 panes of glass so far.I think I am going to give up shaking the snow off of the japanese maples, it's sad, but you can't fight mother nature, right? At least the electricity is still on. Terryk - We are just exhausted from rushing to move in all of the larger plants, many of which I was planning to keep outdoors until Thanksgiving ( camellia's, and heavy pots of olives and agapanthus). You should see what the greenhouse looks like inside - crowded! Need a week to reorganize.

  6. Oh, after hearing about last winter and now the beginning of this one, I am so glad I moved from Massachusetts to western Washington state three years ago! I do not miss the snow one bit. It doesn't stay pretty for long.

  7. Wanting to comment I started to wonder what I would want to read if our situations were reversed I and were the one in need of some uplifting thoughts. Swear words would be involved for sure, but I don't know you well enough to use them here. I'll just say "this really sucks!"


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