trick, not treat: an october 27 snowfall

October 27 snowfall
I MEAN, REALLY. At 6:14 PM last night–pre-Halloween, mind you, pre-EDT clock change–it was already dark with 3/4 inch of snow on everything outside. Uh-oh. By dawn, this was the scene, with an inch and a half, I suppose. A 15-foot Kousa dogwood–still in leaf–is splayed with its tips touching the ground; so are many other things that hadn’t dropped their foliage in preparation in time. Another 2-4 inches is forecast for tomorrow, which sounds destructive to me. How’s your scenery as we approach Halloween? Tricks, or treats, from on high?

  1. Maria says:

    Wow, this is simple unbelievable. I am in the South, and we are just now starting to see some leave color changes here in the Sandhills of NC. Very “fallsie” kind of scenery. But it looks like your scenery just skipped Halloween and Thanksgiving and went straight into Christmas :)

  2. Laura Biegger says:

    Mid-America is having a beautiful, but very dry, fall. Temperatures very decent, cooling off now and then, just to prepare us for what is coming, I suppose. I’m not looking forward to cold and snow, even though it can be pretty!

  3. Dru says:

    we are running to get the hoophouse closed before tonight, as they are calling for multiple inches here on the farm. we had tomatoes last week, but not anymore..the pigs will eat those plants this week, and we wait until next summer for fresh tomatoes again.

  4. Brenda dumont says:

    Margaret, with the first snowfall, does that mean you can stay inside now and not finish the fall cleanup? And don’t you hate when you get a little sick and just think about how it’s setting you back on your cleanup? I do. :)

  5. Rebecca says:

    We had snow fall here yesterday too ~ it was beautiful. The only accumulation took place in the hills. I stepped out to see what it was like at 12:00am to check the sky and it was crystal clear with stars shining brightly – a sure sign of a very cold night.
    Sure enough, we did have our first hard frost/freeze last night making roads, steps, and walkways slippery this morning.
    I do love the snow but I am always sad to see the flowers go and I am always concerned with the possible loss of trees from branches breaking under the weight. Hope they hold up for you and that you have your shovels ready and waiting ;-)

  6. Emily says:

    Same trick on us here in NH. I have the vegetable garden set for winter but kept waiting for sun to work on the flower garden. Hopefully this will melt and let me get to clean up the front beds before the snow becomes a permanent fixture.

  7. Sandy Karac says:

    I feel your pain, Margaret! I woke up early this morning to find the same scenario here in the southern tier of NY state. I am just not ready for this cold and snow just yet….Just wanted you to know that I love your blog, your a real inspiration to me!

    1. Margaret says:

      Crazy, isn’t it, Dru? I got caught short on a few things myself and my house now looks like an emergency shelter for some plants that are too big to be in here with me.

      Agree, Rebecca — it’s beautiful. Only thing is the damage that it does when heavy snow sticks to trees and shrubs still in leaf. Ouch! You are so right.

      Hi, Sandy — and thank you for your kind words. What a strange morning, isn’t it? Brrrr…..

      You are so right Maria — we went right to Xmas. Wacky. I tried to drain the outdoor taps this morning and oops, they are frozen solid. Maybe later today…playing catch-up with overdue chores all day is where I will be.

  8. Christina Conklin says:

    Same problem here in the Berkshires. I always wanted a weeping kousa, but not this way! My Burkwood viburnum is now sadly draping over the deck while the 30′ plus Katsura frantically drops all its leaves as if in anticipation of the storm to come. What a rude awakening to the realities ahead!

    1. Margaret says:

      So sorry, Christina. I do hope it melts before the next dump of snow (2-4 inches tomorrow?) so we don’t have major damage. Damn.

  9. Mary Murphy says:

    Hi Margaret: Yikes – you really got blasted. I only just found out about our prediction of heavy snow for tomorrow (Saturday) here in Westchester County – Zone 6. Nuts – I was plannlng on planting out some Daffodils and also weeding some areas and laying down mulch. I hope that it is not as bad as predicted and melts away quickly – I’ve still got lots of Fall work to do.

    We did have a cold snap last night and awoke to 32 degrees wtih my car covered in ice and frost. However, by some miracle, all of my Dragon Wing and Wax Begonias came through the night unscathed, as well as the Basil, Rosemary and Oregano. :-)

    I hope that your Kousa Dogwood recovers quickly!

  10. Kristina says:

    I’m so glad we don’t have snow yet! The weather here in Nebraska has been absolutely gorgeous. I hope it lasts far into November…or December!

  11. Deborah says:

    We got 4 or 5 inches here on Franklin Mountain, and it’s the same situation. Lots of shrubs and trees that still have their leaves. I spent an hour at dusk walking around the garden with a broom trying to gently knock the heavy wet snow off shrubs and trees. But how do you get the snow off a 20′ Katsura tree? At that point we had 2 or 3 inches of snow, but it just kept snowing. This morning all those same shrubs and trees were bent over with snow, and it was 21 degrees out so it was frozen solid to everything. I hope to rescue them this afternoon when it’s in the low 40’s. And another 7 inches is expected here tomorrow!

  12. Teresa says:

    Margaret, Wow that is a bit early but it is so beautiful.I look forward to the first snow but after than I am counting the days until spring. I am sure there you will have lots and lots of snow. Here in the midwest, we will get plenty too. I enjoy your pictures and look forward to re-reading your book when the snow starts falling here and we spend more time inside.

    1. Margaret says:

      Hi, Nancy, Yes, from Florida it would look very nice..but tomorrow we expect record snowfall, which (with all the leaves o the trees still) will cause terrible damage. Fingers crossed here…

      Nice to see you, Teresa. I bet you will get plenty — I read somewhere this week (one of the Chicago network websites?) that a record winter was forecast there. Ugh.

      See you both soon.

  13. Sarah says:

    It is very pretty, but I am very glad it is not me, as much as we don’t get nearly enough snow in my opinion.

    Trees are just starting to change color in Western Washington. My neighbor has some brilliant foliage, but my hazelnut just started being serious about dropping its leaves, and the cherry and apple trees haven’t even thought about it yet.

    And I am still gamely hoping for more than one ripe tomato this year. I really, really wish I liked green tomatoes, but alas, I do not.

  14. Anna says:

    We spent the evening covering our raised beds w/ contractor’s clear plastic…have about 200 plants, cabbages, kales, broccoli, turnips, radishes, cauliflower, Asian greens, Swiss chards, lettuces and escaroles still growing under Agribon-covered hoops. We’re in Central Jersey, and it’s been going swimmingly, but this could throw a wrench in our plans. Seems cruel after all of the rain!

    Margaret, just planted a Shoshone viburnum two weekends ago, do you think she’ll be ok?

    1. Margaret says:

      Hi, Terri. Would have been happy not to be a prophet this time. :) Yikes! Expecting 8-14 today/tomorrow. Not good. Not good.

      Hi, Anna. I think the viburnum will be fine — the ground won’t be freezing anytime soon, so it can still concentrate on root development between weather chaos.

  15. Walter says:

    I am afraid that it will be much more than 2 to 4 inches where you are. High winds are also predicted, probably more closer to the coast. I remember the destruction from the storm probably about 6 years back when the trees were still in leaf. Don’t remember whether it was early Fall or late Spring. Good luck.
    Enjoyed your presentation at the Hoffman Center.

  16. Nadine says:

    Honestly!!!!! In my little corner of the globe, we had exceptionally early snow end of November last year, but end of October? I don’t even want to think about it. Looking forward to listening the podcast…

    1. Margaret says:

      Yes, Nadine, you shoudl see it out there right now. Six inches or so already, with another 10 or so to come I expect overnight. Havoc.

  17. Perfecting Pru says:

    Oh Margaret! I saw your tweet earlier, I can’t believe you have snow already. And so much snow coming. It’s still warm in London, although I expect your weather will soon cross the water to us. Time to wrap up the plants. Stay warm, and I hope there isn’t too much damage.


    1. Margaret says:

      Thank you, Pru, for the good wishes. The lilacs are lying down; branches from the magnolia are snapping and falling, the dogwood — well, best not to look any more. Will survey in the morning. Just getting dark now, and 8 inches on ground. Expect to lose power soon for who knows how long when the big ancient roadside trees all over this area start to let go. Ugh!

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