Sunday, May 10, 2020

an interesting weekend

Last week, snow was predicted for Friday night,
but by Friday evening the forecast had been changed to rain.

So I was a bit surprised to wake up at dawn Saturday to this:

It was still snowing but very lightly.
Seemed like it would end soon.

But it didn't.

By 7 or so, it had actually started coming down harder.

I knew the goats had plenty of hay and water.
Moxie and Della had enjoyed breakfast at five.
Piper had been out, come right back in, and was sound asleep.

So I decided to have a mug of tea and do some reading.
A lazy lie-in.

As soon as I made my tea...the snow stopped.
The sky turned blue.

The sun came out.

Change of plan:
outside to remove some snow from fragile plants.
Many plants are budding now, or putting out soft new leaves, like this sugar maple:

Of course I couldn't shake snow from every tree and plant but I did lighten the weight on some, like the young white pines that were bowed right over. Will they will be able to grow straight up again without a permanent bend in the trunk? We'll see.

Nice thing about shrubs: their growth form is multi-stemmed, and in the case of this Kerria japonica below, also densely branched. I could easily reach way into the center of the shrub with a broomstick, gently shake one stem, and see dozens of stems simultaneously shed their snow. 


I was also able to gently tap the tulips
so clumps of wet snow fell right off.

The Clintonia borealis only started growing last week - I was so happy to see them coming up after almost losing them last year. I don't know how much damage they sustained from the snow, but there wasn't anything I could do. Any effort to remove snow would only have sent it deeper into the center of the plant. 

At least the still-open canopy meant the sun reached them right away and most of the snow had been melted from them by the time I came back indoors. Fingers crossed the buds weren't damaged.

My boots and jeans were soaked, and I peeled them off to dry before sitting down to enjoy my tea - remember the tea? - and watch gusts of wind blowing clumps of snow from the tall trees. It was like a snowstorm but with flakes the size of shapeless snowballs, and all under a bright blue sky. And then, before my eyes, a tree came down across the garden fence, inside the Upper West Side paddock.

Wet boots and jeans back on, and out to assess the situation. The tree could not possibly have fallen in a better way, and everything would be okay unless/until one of the goats decided to try to jump onto the top of the bole and use it as a bridge to get into the garden.

Back into the house, peeled out of cold wet clothes again, and phoned to tell a friend that the garden he was coming by to till was temporarily inaccessible. He answered the phone from his truck which coincidentally had just pulled into my driveway.

Wet boots and jeans back on again.

My rototilling friend - who is a logger - cut the fallen tree to stove lengths which I carried one by one to the back of my Highlander where it will stay dry til I decide where to start next Winter's woodpile. This is how most job planning works at my place: you think you're going to do one task but then you find out you have to do two unplanned tasks first. And the unplanned tasks are often bigger than the planned ones.

The amazing thing was the weather: the whole time we were working, the sky was brilliant blue and the sun was dazzling. After my friend packed up his tiller and his chainsaw and left, I decided to - guess what? - make a fresh mug of tea and set up the chaise and enjoy a little rest and satisfaction at a heavy job finished. I dragged the chaise out, put my mug on a little table, Moxie hopped up to keep me company...

and the wind came up and it began to hail.


Okay, I said.
I get it.


Moxie raced me to the house and I made a smoothie.

Later in the day, there was more hail, and overnight there was more snow. Piper didn't have a walk yesterday - Piper didn't want a walk yesterday - but we went out first thing this morning as the snow was melting. Maybe we're back to May now?

Aquilegia canadensis

I kind of hope so.