October Snow

It’s October 16. We had snow. And I mean SNOW.

See the difference in the size of my clothesline with and without the snow? You may not be able to tell measurement in the picture, but it’s about 4″ of snow. In mid-October. Pretty amazing! And isn’t it odd how half the snow is on top of the clothesline and half of it hanging below the line?

Most of the trees are doing ok, particularly the maples & evergreens. They began dropping snow off their leaves by about 10:00 a.m. Some oaks are in trouble, as is my gorgeous river birch. Their trunks are bent over the weight of their snow-covered leaves. The shrubs and ornamentals seem to be having the hardest time of all.

It makes some sense that ornamentals would be struggling more than the natives. After all, native species (maples, pines, spruces, etc.) have been here for thousands (millions?) of years. If they hadn’t figured out how to deal with the occassional early snowfall, they wouldn’t have survived.

Those things we brought here from other places, such as the Purple-leafed Ninebark (left in photo), White Fringe Tree (center), and Pampas Grass (right), didn’t need to make the necessary accommodations for the weather in their native habitats. Again, you can’t really tell measurements in the picture, but the 7′ Ninebark is now about 4′, the 5′ Fringe Tree’s only about 3′, and the grasses are pretty much flattened. I have no doubt that the grasses will be back next year, but I don’t think they’ll be giving me their usual all-winter show of tall plumes.

The weather forecast tells me that the temperatures will be in the 60s in a few days. Life in western New York – this is what it’s like. I do my best to sit back and enjoy it. After all, you have to admit that it looks pretty beautiful out there. I hope it doesn’t scare off too many would-be visitors for this weekend’s Allegany Artisans tour – I’m looking forward to demonstrating weaving on my beautiful, little counterbalance loom. Will you be stopping by to watch and munch on some yummies?

1 comment to October Snow

  • Judy T

    Peg – it is beautiful, and I love looking at it when we get the early snows, but I hate to see the damage it can cause. A few years ago when we had a heavy early snow, and it stayed cold, but not freezing, I had luck saving a young tree and some really bent over bushes by VERY gently using a broom to remove some of the snow from the leaves, branches, or limbs that were most at risk. It seemed to work well, but you need to be very gentle so as to not cause damage to frozen branches or limbs – they can crack easily.

    Hope the snow didn’t scare too many away from your show.

    We’re still looking at green lawns (I mowed yesterday) and haven’t seen snow yet. I’m looking forward to the more usual fall temperatures they’re predicting for next week though.

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