In the mess of feeling I’ve had over the last many weeks, there was this shining bit of smug satisfaction: I was, in some small things, ready. For one thing, I’d made a boat-load of deer ornaments, plus the junk I’ve shown you already – but the big thing was, I’d compelled G to go out and get the house Christmas lights up a few days before Halloween – and I’d spent three days putting up the ones in the trees. Because cold weather was coming, and I’d spent too many dang years with my fingers aching and stinging – frozen to the bone, hanging those things. But this year – I had ‘em up before it froze
YAY. We got our freeze. Then the world warmed up to seventy degrees again. But, hey – a check off the list is a great thing. And I had put all these Autumn pictures up on Flickr, ready for a blog I haven’t posted yet, but was anxious to fire off – just the yard and the leaves. One of the most beautiful falls we’ve ever had. I wanted to get it up there before it became irrelevant.
For once, I’m almost on top of the holidays. Moving forward. Not just waking up one day and realizing that tomorrow is (fill in the blank) and I hadn’t even THOUGHT about it yet.
But global disasters (and yes, I am including our election in this) have a way of rendering EVERYTHING irrelevant. So I hadn’t posted those beautiful fall pictures of the yard yet. Not until today. Today, I am showing you a few, so that you will know what our yard looked like right up till October 28th or so: that’s less than two weeks ago, right?
The secret passage to the studio.
The back yard (garden, for you Brit-based English speakers).
The secret shop in the glen.
The front yard. You’ve seen this already. Just reminding you. See the nice, open yard?
The front yard. A nice feeling.
The front gate. You’ve seen this one too. This was six days ago.
You know, we don’t get Nor’ Easters here. I don’t really even know how to spell that. Maine fisherman probably know how to spell it. We get clouds and rain and stuff from the north west, but those storms don’t get names; not exciting and terrible enough. We get super cells once in a black-and-blue moon. But nothing like what hit the east coast last week.
The weather people have been telling us for days that we were in for some early snow this year. They even pin-pointd the day. If I had the energy, I’d put the darling little photo of my Gin, about eighteen months old and in a Michelin Man snow suit, drawing little circles in the quarter inch of snow we got Thanksgiving morning that year. We hardly ever get any snow before Thanksgiving. Heck, we haven’t had a real snow storm in the valley now for about three, four years’ worth of winters lately.
So we didn’t pay a whole lot of attention. Oh, I worked my plans around to avoid driving into the city, stuff like that. But really, any exciting weather usually comes to us as a dull day and maybe a drizzle of rain.
See? A drizzle. Just enough to kick up the dying yellow again. I do SO love yellow leaves against rain-soaked almost black tree trunks.
So I took a few shots. And when the snow came spitting down, I recorded that historic event (it was ONLY the 9th of November, remember) right here.
It even stuck a little – great, squishy meshes of sloppy snow.
Then we went to bed. I know the snow sky. I see it out my bathroom window. When it’s gonna snow, our sky looks brown. When I went to bed, it was gray. A couple of hours later, I smiled. A little brown. Two hours later, the sky had gone a brilliant apricot color I’d never seen before in my life – and snow was clogging up the windows.
I opened the blinds in our room – the entire world was this apricot color, lit up like daytime, like just before the sunset – vibrant, strange. And there was snow everywhere. This morning, very early, we began to hear cracks like gunshots, the groans of dying giants – and when G put the dogs out, our yard had become an odd forest.
A flipping foot of snow.
See that teepee sort of thing back there? Christmas lights, now weighed down with snow, pulled out of bushes and trees, buried entirely. This is what I saw from our downstairs windows as I stood there first thing this morning, barefoot and tousled. But it was only the beginning.
Some of the lights had survived.
And out the front, the world had magically transformed.
This was snow made of water and cement.
The people who got up to try shoveling found it heavy work.
And the trees bowed like they had just had terrible news.
The stuff came up to mid-shin. Covering my boots entirely here.
It was too much for many of our trees.
This branch came off the tree outside our front bedroom window.
Broke right off the top of it.
This one came off the side of the Vucan-eating tree.
Split off this bit. Our trees grow leggy, searching for sun. Too many of them to share the sky without shoving each other aside.
This was right up against the garage door. G had to make himself very small and twisted to get through it all to find the saw.
The dogs don’t seem to mind this oddness. I think, generally, everything is always odd to them. Here they are snarling and savaging each other in delight, sending sprays of snow everywhere. Canine jet skies.
Does this look like a sky that’s finished with us?
Then I walked around the back. Holy cats.
This is beside the secret shed. You can’t find the shed in the glen anymore. There is no glen, and will be no glen till we can get out the chainsaw and chase half a tree off the front of the shed. See the holes? Those are potential dog escape hatches., dang it.
This branch (looks like a tree, doesn’t it? Yeah. Our trees are fairly old and big and the branches are huge) came over from the neighbors’, took out a post and section of fence. There’s the side of the shed. The branch in front of it came from one of our trees.
The back yard. There are SO many strings of Christmas lights that have died here today.
I went over to check on our beloved neighbors. Reed is ninety years old now. This is how I found him – on his little plow. He’d already been down to his rental property and cleaned it up.
Across the street.
Down the street. Lowering sky. That blue house down to the left? Our neighbor, Devin, had been up on his roof at three in the morning, moving a gigantic branch off his roof in a foot of snow, all by himself. And he saw one of our big trees come down.
This morning, I caught this look. Reed is really about fourteen – he was having a great time -
and took off down the street looking for people who need help clearing up.
The secret path to the studio.
One neighbor went whizzing by, towing his kid behind the truck. They were having a great time. But this was SO dangerous – especially around that corner down there where everybody comes around at a million miles an hour. Yea. Kill joy. Me.
And all the fall leaves are still all over the ground. Under there somewhere.
Me. Trying to find my car.
I found it. And went down to feed the freezing equines. They usually don’t run to greet me. This morning, they did.
Big dustin stepping high over a dam of slidden snow.
Slidden off this roof, bits coming down in whOOfy-Plahffs.
Wet, discouraged horses.
Wet, discouraged tractor.
Possible header – not used. View from the arena.
So, now I don’t feel so guilty about the north east. Yeah, we’re not suffering a fraction of what they’ve got. But we did lose power twice yesterday. For about two seconds each time – enough to fry your hard drive and make you reset all the clocks in the house. We didn’t expect this. But isn’t that what makes life so interesting? Hmmm. I’d never realized how large a component of inconvenient there can be in interesting.
So, if anybody out there can just tell me exactly what season of the year we’re in right now? I’d appreciate the head’s up.