Sunday, February 7, 2010

Scenes from Snowpocalyse Now Redux

The December blizzard we experienced in the Washington, D.C., area should have been a once-in-a-generation event, yet here we are again in the same winter season with two feet or more of abominable whiteness on the ground.

Yes, it's only the first week of February, and we in northern Virginia are challenging a record more than a century old for total snow.  One part of me wants to see the rest of the winter break that record (set in 1898-99) and be a part of history.  The other part--probably the saner bit--thinks it's time for Old Man Winter to receive a visit from Dr. Kevorkian.

The doggies do love a good snowstorm, and Beth diligently dug them trenches all over the yard (doubling as access for us to refill the bird feeders and for me to knock snow off the tree limbs).  Even with those trenches, the pupsters managed to become little snowballs in short time, their long fur collecting bibs of ice and snow.

Unfortunately, Beth pulled a muscle in her shoulder doing all that shoveling, and I think we've a few plants which won't make it even despite all the work I put into dislodging the thick, heavy snow before it could do much damage.  Our beautiful American Holly in the front bed, for example, already was looking a bit peaked--likely due to root freeze after a lengthy cold snap struck ground soaked through with the melt of our last few snowstorms.  Now, it's broken in half by the weight of the snow.  I hesitate to guess what has happened to our other evergreen shrubs and young trees, all of which are currently visible as only slight mounds in the snow.  Somehow, our River Birch seems okay after a third time of having to be rescued from being bent in half by the weight of ice and snow.

Fortunately, we kept power through the storm and its aftermath.  Back in December, I thought to myself that things like a snow blower, tire chains, and a generator would be nice to have on hand, but the infrequency of storms necessitating their use really made them poor investments.  I'm sticking to that thought.  How many more snows can we get like this?

At least this time around, we got plows through our neighborhood, including down our cul-de-sac.  Thanks to the plows, I only had to shovel out the driveway, and of course the 5-foot-tall wall of plowed, packed snow at the end of it.  Needless to say, after that task, I wonder why I pay gym dues.

A beach home in the Bahamas is looking awfully good right now.

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