Sunday, December 10, 2017

December Snow

Snow-dusted blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
An early December snow arrived on Friday and we got 7-8 inches. It started out light, and I was as excited as every other person on Facebook, snapping pics of snow-dusted leaves in between work phone calls. 

When the evergreen mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) got too much snow, my husband and I gamely fashioned a crook to shake them off from afar - to keep them from snapping under the weight of the snow.

Vaccinium corymbosum early in the snow event

Still, the snow kept coming. We went out 3 more times to shake them off, the last time with a flashlight. As we stood back to check our work, I noticed a pine tree sinking slowly towards the ground. We stood back, helpless to do anything about it except watch in horror.

Then it snapped, crushing the plants in the front bed as it fell. It was too dark and still too snowy to do anything about that so we went back inside.

The pictures below are not black & white; that's how little color there was in the gray morning light.

Pine in front bed; Viburnum prunifolium took a direct hit

A tangle of broken branches in the front bed

Snow was still sprinkling come morning, and we shook the bushes again. A flash of blue sky appeared; the snow stopped, and the whole sky turned blue. By 10:30, a robust melting made it look like it was snowing heavily. The birds nervously approached the bird feeder, startled whenever a clump of snow broke free from the branches.

A viburnum that won't bloom in spring; this branch
was broken in the crush; it was loaded with buds.
Juniperus virginiana

I spent the afternoon trimming up the fallen pines and freeing lanky shrubs trapped by snow. A large Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) had snapped and spilled into the neighbor’s driveway. Fresh trimmings for holiday decor! Nope, I piled them on the brush pile to keep the critters warm.

So ends this unusual snow event for us. The plants should be fine, the front bed will get reworked come spring, and folks all over the area have been reminded why they don’t like snow.

Pretty view but this droopy pine later snapped too.


  1. Lucky you with the snow! In Rockdale County, just east of Atlanta, we didn't get any.