Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blizzard, blizzard which blizzard?

My street looking more like Alaska than NJ

I hurried home from New York City to avoid getting stuck in a little blizzard that dropped 29 inches of snow in neighboring Cherry Hill. Many of you in the heartland of the country or in other cold climes will probably say poppycock, but then there are those to which this is quite a spectacle. My relatives, all safe in Florida or California coastal warmth would probably say "Que bonito!" at the Christmas Card images we now have, not realizing the other implications of all this snow.

Notice the balcony railing above my porch
The reality is that winters in the Delaware Valley Region have been mild since I moved here from California. There is normally a small snow storm once a winter that drops 6-10 inches and we are done for the year. Yet somehow, since I moved here we have had the three biggest snowfalls on record: 1992, 1996, 2009-10. Mild winter, big snow fall; you figure!

Balcony railing snow fall on a board 6 inches wide: 19.5 inches of snow

All this snow will certainly be wonderful water for all our garden plants, except for those that are crushed by the weight of the snow or frozen. My rosemary that has lasted and flourished for the last ten years is under three feet of snow. I hope it survives. My wonderful bridal veil spirea has collapsed from the snow it was supporting. I could not get anywhere near my backyard because with the drifts the snow measures over three feet thick. My boots only cover eighteen inches and my body likes it warm...

After I cleared the path to the gate this is what I found beyond it!

Cranberry Viburnum with a little whipped cream will still be tasty to the remaining birds in the Garden

My neighbor Amanda having a little fun

The day after: rediscovering my Prius

At the neighboring Wegman Shopping Center in Cherry Hill 12 foot pile of snow!

If you wonder why public trees don't fare well here is one answer. On top of the snow, there is salt that is slowly cooks the trees, and of course there is the impact occurred by vehicles and snow removal equipment.
The current storm is making mince meant of the spirea. The big blobs are my barbecue and picnic table

As I write the blog another storm has descended on us. This one, barely three days after the big blizzard, is anticipated to drop 18-24 inches of additional of snow. Pennsylvania has announced the closure of all major Philadelphia Highways and public transportation will close early at 5 this afternoon. I pity those who ventured out to work and are now fearing how they are going to get home. I also hope that our electric wires don't collapse under the weight of the snow. I think that I wrote something about our past mild winters with little snow. As Gilda Radner as Emily Litella used to say when she goofed: Never Mind!
February 11 Addendum: The total snow fall for the season is 71.6 inches of snow so far! This morning I went out in the garden with my boots wearing ski pants and window washing brush to shake of the snow from my precious shrubs that were covered and collapsed under the snow. The Japanese styrax was collapsed and a major branch had cracked. So much for prevention...If you are in the blizzard affected area and can make it out safely go shake off your shrubs gently you will be glad you did in spring.

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