A Yard Full of Snow

Chicago snow

Since I moved to Chicago about 20 years ago, I can’t remember having this much snow on the ground for this long.  It would snow, be pretty for a few days, and then melt leaving everything covered in a layer of depressing gray and brown.  So for as much as this winter has been a struggle, I do find it much prettier and cheerful than a normal winter.  One caveat though; it would be easier to enjoy if it weren’t so constantly frigidly cold.

After the last snowfall earlier this week, we are now over 60 inches of snow this year so far, making it the 7th snowiest winter ever.  For the true weather nerds out there, by my measurements this is equivalent to 5.5 inches of rain since December 1, and has average around 7-8% water content.   That’s very fluffy snow–great for all of us snowblowing and shoveling, but not very good for snowmen.

Chicago snow

We have not seen our road since Christmas.  The main roads are clear, but we’re a little lower on the village plowing totem pole.  I’ve never used my 4 wheel drive as much as I have this year, and on the plus side, my two relatively new drivers have become great snow drivers.

Chicago snow

The plants and shrubs are hopefully surviving the snowpack.  I wasn’t really prepared for so much snow, so the evergreens are on their own to battle the weight of the snow.  The yews and boxwoods seem to be doing pretty well, but some of the Arborvitae are not fairing quite as well and pretty large branches are falling over.   We’ll have to do some more tying up of the branches in the spring.  I’d hate to lose the privacy screen they provide.

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Chicago snow

Another casualty of the snow is the Christmas decorations.  Santa is apparently still welcome at our house, and will be until he ground thaws.

Chicago snow

The lights are also going to be up for a while.  As much as I love Christmas lights, we have at least unplugged them so as to not annoy the neighbors.

snowy chicago

Our shed has been snowed in also since December.  And not just snowed in, but the frozen ground heaved the stones in front of the door and we haven’t been in since before Christmas.  Thankfully, the snowblower had already been brought up to the garage, but inside is still all the sleds, snowshoes and a few more bird feeders.  Bummer for such a snowy winter!

Chicago snow

Then there’s the ice.  As the sun has become higher in the sky finally, the snow-covered roof is beginning to drip.  Many of the shrubs have become encased in ice.   This Alpine Currant reminded me of an icy jellyfish.

snow alpine currant

While the icy shrubs are one thing, icicles on the roof are much scarier.  There are inches of ice on the roof and in the gutter.  This is not going to be good as the temperatures begin to rise this week 🙁

eave icicles

And I’m sure this pretty monarch wishes it had found a way to migrate south instead of spending the winter on my fence.  But, on the flip-side, it’s located right out the side door and reminds me that one day, the real butterflies will return

Chicago snow

8 responses to “A Yard Full of Snow

  1. A lovely walk through your yard. Yes, X-mas lights still up…us too. The cold has been so terrible and I feel so much for those Moms with young kids having to stay inside the whole time. Thank goodness for shopping malls with indoor playgrounds, those things just started to go up with my youngest. Wish they were there for my oldest…they were a Godsend!!

    • True, a lot of cabin fever for the younger kids this year. Kind of disappointing to have all this snow and really not even able to enjoy it very much. Sled hills pretty empty and no snowmen in yards. I don’t really miss those indoor playground days. Kids loved them, though.

  2. I like the butterfly, made me smile. I thought you had more snow than us, but I just saw the top 5 snowiest cities and Buffalo was No. 2 at 94.4″ and Chicago did not make the list. All the news reports have been showing Chicago day and day out too.

    • I’m glad I left the butterfly out this winter. Very cheerful. I think what a so unusual with the snow this winter is that we just don’t get this much on average. Average snowfall is only 38 inches for an entire winter. That’s why I feel like most winters are just so gray here. Gray sky, gray/brown ground. I did see that about Buffalo. Even edging out Syracuse this year.

  3. A lot of snow you have! Is that lake effect snow? I don’t think I could live there, I would have cabin fever all winter! We have over 14 inches of snow this week and I am feeling cabin fever!

    Michael 🙂
    http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/new-cutting-and-serving-boards/comment-page-1/#comment-4943

    • No, not lake effect. We are on the west side of Lake Michigan. The snow belt to the south and west have really suffered this winter from lake effect snow though. We’ve been finding ways to keep busy so cabin fever hasn’t been too bad. When it does set in, it’s more from the cold than the snow.

  4. It is an unusually cold winter, isn’t it. After two days of snow I’m so happy to see the sun out today. Hope your shrubs and trees are managing under the deep snow cover and will be ready to rebound when spring arrives.

    • I feel like we’re back in the 70’s and 80’s with this weather. Hopefully the snow cover will protect the plants from the cold. It will be an interesting spring. Enjoy the sun!

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