Here in the Northeast, we're digging out from under all the snow left by Winter Storm Stella.
Yesterday, we received about a foot of snow that began falling during the early morning hours. This particular snow was wet and heavy, and came with gusty winds and low visibility. Schools and shops were closed, commuter trains were suspended, and a travel ban was put into effect for the area's major roadways. This weather system was lighter than expected for much of the region, but it still left a beautiful thick coating of powdery, white fluff across my farm’s landscape - I just had to get out, plow the carriage roads, and enjoy the drive around the property.
Here are some photos…
Here I am with our Polaris Ranger Crew 1000. It is equipped with a small snow plow, so I could clear some of the four miles of carriage road at the farm.
The snow started coming down overnight, and continued to fall furiously for much of the day.
Visibility became poor quickly. It’s hard to see across the paddocks – the chicken coops are so faint in the distance.
During the morning hours, snow fell an estimated two-inches per hour in the area. It was accumulating so fast, and came with lots of wind.
I love how snow collects on this 100-year old white spruce fencing I purchased in Canada. Regardless of the conditions, it is hard to resist taking photos during a snow storm.
This is the long party lawn between the southeast paddock and my clematis pergola – it’s hard to see the corncrib on the right behind my weeping hornbeams.
Here is one of my six newly pruned weeping hornbeams lining one side of the “party lawn”. These hornbeams will look so beautiful when leafed out.
Here is a view looking down the drive toward my front gate. On the left is the cutting garden. The burlap covered planters are a pair of giant Kenneth Lynch garden urns.
The curvaceous tree is a weeping larch tree, Larix decidua, located at “the triangle” where the carriage roads leading to the Boxwood Allee, the Pin Oak Allee and the woodland, all converge.
Behind the weeping larch is a favorite grove among visitors and guests at the farm – my stand of American beech trees. They are slow to grow, but can live up to 300-years. Even in high winds and heavy snow, they hold onto their leaves.
Here is the long Boxwood Allee in front of the stable – look at how the snow gathers on top of the protective burlap coverings. The outdoor grounds crew did such a wonderful job constructing the burlap tents this season. Foot-high snow drifts accumulated at the foot of the allee, all the way to the end.
Our New York offices closed because of the blizzard; however, I always keep in close touch with everyone at the company. The Polaris Ranger Crew 1000 is doing a good job getting me around all the spaces that needed clearing. It’s the perfect vehicle to use to traverse the property and photograph the snowy day.
This is the winding carriage road leading into the woodlands – it is a spectacular view in any season.
And here are the great eastern white pines, Pinus strobus – these majestic trees always stand out in bold dark green over the landscape – even on this stormy day.
This meandering carriage road leads to the run-in paddock for the Friesians. The fast-falling snow made it hard to see – I am glad the stakes delineate the roads, especially in the back fields. As soon as I plowed a road, the snow would cover it all up again.
This is one of my stately sycamore trees – the symbol of the farm.
Here is a view looking between two of the paddocks, and beyond the antique white spruce fencing.
I always love passing through the Pinetum on snowy days. This area includes pines, spruces and firs, as well as other evergreens – all the trees are doing so well. Hopefully, it will develop into a nice green woodland.
The Pin Oak Allee is another eye-catching stop during tours of my farm. I planted these nearly 10-years ago, and they are doing excellently. Pin oaks are very beautiful with the upper branches pointing upwards, the middle branches growing perpendicular to the trunk, and the lower branches drooping down.
On top of the Equipment Barn are antique finials I purchased years ago. On this day, they were getting more and more difficult to see because of the heavy snowfall.
Here is another look at the six matched standard weeping hornbeams, Carpinus betulus ‘Pendula’. These are precious trees – very dense with gracefully arching branches.
Here is the stand of bald cypress across the drive from the long pergola – I love the bronze color against the stark white of my snow covered farm.
The pergola is hung with many feeders. The birds perch on the feeders as well as on the ground. We gave all of them a treat of bread. I love wild birds, and they are starving this time of year.
Fernando and Wilmer have returned from shoveling. They cleared around every greenhouse, and the steps to every outbuilding, but the snow is falling so fast. Everything will have to be shoveled again before day’s end.