The Halloween Massacre

Remember that October freakshow snowstorm that tore through the Northeast and ruined Halloween for millions of kids? Well, it ruined some things for a couple of grown-up kids I know, too. In our neck of the woods in Northern Fairfield County, we were covered with about 17 inches of the white stuff and were out of power for 6 days, give or take. Some parts of our little town were in the dark for over a week and it was major news for months. It was a “historic” storm by all accounts, and all of our beautiful trees still covered in fall foliage lost some or all of their branches due to the weight of the leaves and wet, heavy snow. We are still cleaning up after it, months later, because every high wind brings down a few more branches that were severed in the storm. Now that it’s spring, we know we have major clean-up duty over the next few weeks to try to get everything back in order. I can’t help but mourn the death of my gorgeous northern magnolia that was my only source of color in the backyard. So let’s rehash a bit, shall we?

We knew the storm was a brewin’ days in advance of course, so come that fateful Saturday, we were squeezing in all of our winterizing preparations (normally done early December for us). I raked the yard and did a quick run with the leaf blower before taking the mower out* and doing a round of the front and back yards. I didn’t know how long the snow was going to stick around and I didn’t want it to matte anything down prohibiting grass growth come springtime.

Mower Girl

Yes, my hubby thought it was a photo-op.

Mower Girl

And the snow started coming down as I was hoofing it to finish the side yard.

Mower Girl

We waited inside, skeptical that this big storm would be as big as everyone was saying. Sure enough, it started piling up FAST. SO fast that every hour, I was running outside like a mad woman shaking my precious lilac tree branches free from snow so that the limbs would bounce back up and avoid snapping. My husband thought I was nuts but alas! I saved the tree from absolute annihilation. When Matt went out to play with Griff, he started to help clear the lilac tree, too.

I also love love loved my aforementioned magnolia tree. It brought me such happiness… blooming right around my birthday and bursting with pink blossoms. We actually had two. The first magnolia, the larger of the two was right in the middle of the backyard, before the woods line began. That one, seen below, was unsalvageable.

Watching the branches break one by one through our back window was heartbreaking. One by one, they snapped with a crack as loud as a gunshot. Then, a huge weeping willow branch came down on it, splitting the tree clear in half. It would be big bucks to try to replace it, seeing as it was fully mature. Here’s a shot of one of the severed limbs surrounded by willow branches.

When I say that the noises were like gunshots, I mean it. I would walk out to assess the damage every hour or so and literally sprint back into the house because the sound of our back woods being decimated was so loud and scary. Every ten seconds was a CRACK! of splitting wood. Matt was busy starting Phase 1 of driveway clearing with his bada** new snowthrower while I was snapping pictures.

The morning after was not much of a shock as I had documented most of the damage the night before. Still, the damage looked surreal cast against the gorgeous blue skies of the following day. Here are a couple of shots from around the yard the morning after… starting with the oxymoron-ish snow-covered pumpkin.

A shot of the backyard - the willows in the background used to be twice as full.

The side yard magnolia tree - HALF of which bloomed this March. Tear.

Our neighbor’s massive tree that was split down the middle… he had the whole tree completely removed after the storm due to the damage. The tree was a major light-blocker for our yard so we anticipate more sun in our own backyard this summer. (Which may or may not be a good thing.)

What would shots of a snow storm really be without a couple of our prancing puppy? I love how his hind legs have to kick out of the snow to clear it.

Here’s one of him surveying the aftermath.

Aaaaaaand one of him just being him. :) He can have this much fun because he’s not thinking about the hours of clean-up that his parents have laying ahead of them!

Do you have any crazy stories from the October snowstorm? Is anyone still crying over a lost tree? Just me? Okay, I’ll get over it.

*I am totally the go-to lawn person in our house. Girl power! When I was 10 or so, my father taught me the basics of lawn care including how to use a push mower and instilled in me a great sense of pride in one’s lawn. Plus, I prefer to mow because I’m maniacal about the neatness of the job while my husband brags to all of his buddies that most Saturday mornings when I go at it, he gets to watch from the hammock.