Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thundersnow?

Have you ever heard of thundersnow? Last night a crazy storm blew through the mid-Atlantic, icing roads and hurling wads of wet, heavy snow during rush hour. Rain turned to ice before snow, mixed with thunder and lighting, brought our area to a complete halt. My husbands normal one hour commute turned into a five hour trek, complete with a stop to push someone up a hill and drive home a stranded couple who didn't want to spend the night in their car. What a mess!!

I was hoping to take some photos of beautiful snow laden trees dripping crystalline icicles from their branches. That's not quite the way it worked out.


















I took this picture of my dogwood and river birch at the beginning of the storm. The white blobs in the picture are falling snow.

While keeping an eye on the clock and the news, waiting for my husband to make it home safely, I paused to check on my garden. The shrubs in my front and back yard and along the side of the house arched towards the ground, their branches almost bent in half. I could hear the snap of trees breaking in the distance, their limbs heavy with snow. Armed with my favorite snow-blasting, tree-saving tool, a large broom, I headed out.

The dogwood during the storm.







The branches of the river birch were close to breaking. I brought the broom up under the branches to release the snow. If you whack the branches from the top, you might just break them off.


















Heavy, wet snow and ice can be incredibly destructive to trees and shrubs. It's better to take a proactive approach and shake the snow off in the middle of a storm than to try and save them the next day. I had to relandscape our front yard about six years ago after a devastating ice storm broke the shrubs in half. It was frustrating and expensive!



















After snow removal from the UltraBroom 2000, a  much happier dogwood, with all of its branches intact.

8 comments:

  1. I feel your pain and have heard the thunder! We had ice in between ginormous snowstorms here in CT, and I'm afraid the pines in particular have suffered some damage. Good you were able to do all that clearing with your broom!

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  2. Snow can be pretty but the kind of devastating ice you got is surely NOT. Who knew one of the most useful gardening tools could be a broom?

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  3. Oh your poor trees! That snow can get very heavy and ice on top of that is devastating. Luckily you didn't loose power and your husband made it home safely. Your pictures are beautiful and I am so glad that your trees were not damaged thanks to your proactive effort.

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  4. We had a thundersnow here in Jersey to! It was so weird...snowing, then all of a sudden there was lightening, and it was blue, then came the thunder...definately a first first for me!!!! Good job with your trees girl!!!

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  5. What a sweet man your husband is! Glad to hear everyone is safe, including your trees!

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  6. Blue lightning in the middle of a snowstorm was a first for me! At first I thought a transformer had blown. Very, very weird! The trees and shrubs were all fine this morning. Whew!

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  7. I heard about this storm! I have never experienced thundersnow; it sounds frightful. I am glad your husband made it home safely, and I'm glad you and your broom saved the dogwood!

    P.S. Your dog and I are having the same dream!

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  8. Hey Schmitty! I wish I would have realized what all that wet, heavy snow was doing, but instead I went outside the next morning to find that a giant branch of the dogwood in front of my house had splintered off, taking with it an awesome robin's nest. Boo!

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