Snow events

looking through patio door to fallen trees

Monday Feb 24, noon:

This is the current view from our dining room patio doors. I just watched these trees crashing down from the neighbouring lot—more exciting dining entertainment than I usually get at lunchtime. I guess the fence repairs this year will be more significant than usual.

I’m so very glad they didn’t come down 30 degrees to the right, or I would be wearing the skylight.

And it’s still snowing. Hard.


Tuesday February 25th, late afternoon

So.. what has been happening in our neck of the woods?

bent over, snow covered trees
These are normally upright and almost twice this height. Including the one that is now horizontal.

I arrived home on Sunday at noon to about 6 inches of snow. By then there was already some damage to trees, so I went round knocking accumulations off anything that was accumulating within my reach. Obviously this excludes anything tall—which is a good deal of what is around us.

On Monday, as per the above notes, things just got worse. It snowed. And snowed. And snowed. Apparently a system moved in and then just sat there. The forecasters said it was a unique event that none of their models predicted. They also said it would warm up and start raining in the afternoon. Nope. It snowed. Not a breath of a breeze. Just snow. By Monday afternoon it was up to my kneecaps (and that’s with the accumulated weight compressing it, it would have been quite a lot higher if it had been lighter snow). It kept snowing, though it was compressing at a rate that meant it didn’t get significantly deeper. We spent Monday listening to the sounds of trees breaking, some in our yard, and hoping none would be trees next to the house.

broken alder in slough
There goes another one

The power went out fairly early in the morning for the entire island (and as far as I can tell for all of the Gulf Islands), and was followed by the internet shortly thereafter. We have a generator to run a small set of circuits, so we have no trouble staying warm or cooking, and we have lights in most places we need them—we don’t suffer and are much luckier than many. (Our biggest gripe is an inability to shower—the hot water tank isn’t on those circuits. And dishwashing is therefore a bit more challenging.)

big pile of snow on what was once bushes
Do NOT stand under a tree with a big snow load. These used to be bushes.

Now it’s Tuesday. The morning was mostly sunny with localized rainstorms under trees as it began warming up.

drops falling from snow melting on trees
Localized treestorm

Most of the big snow accumulations piled up high on trees are down now, so it’s much safer to go outside.

Power came back on about 3 pm. We’d been at the store buying lukewarm orange juice and talking with everyone about the weather and lack of power. Hurrah! we all said.

All this has been exhausting. Tonight I’ll be packing up to (heading to Vancouver tomorrow early) and then spending the rest of the evening relaxing. Sheesh.

Here’s my current tally on storm damage.


Alder down, two alders with split trunks vertically.

Douglas fir with 18” diameter trunk down in the “wild” part of our lot, may have taken more with it but can’t tell under all the snow.

The weeping willow is certainly Not Safe to walk under at the moment. It’s been dropping BIG branches. Oh well, we had booked an arborist to cut it back anyway. But it’s going to take some work clearing this mess out before I can get into the veggie garden.

branches under willow
I swear there are as many branches on the ground as on the tree


Part of the wisteria trellis collapsed sometime during the night. This despite all my attempts yesterday to dislodge snow from it.

collapsed trellis
Oh dear…

Can’t do much about the big trees, but I tried to shake off the small flexible ones with their tops bent over by the weight of snow till they touched the ground. Did it yesterday, did it this morning. They’re back with their tips on the ground again.

Big douglas fir in adjoining undeveloped lot came down and took a pine with it; forty feet or so of them (about half of the tree) dropped across our fence and into our pond. (That’s the first picture in this post.)

The fir landed on our curly willow. No idea if it will survive the shock. It also took out an alder, but don’t care about that. It was one that had split, in any case.

And, of course, it crushed the wire fencing, we’ll have to see if that’s salvageable when the trees are cleared.

Another alder from a clump down, this one fell into the slough.

And finally, the big cedar in the area across the slough came down—with the heavy end in the slough. What a mess THAT will be to clean up.

leaning cedar
Question: how long do you think it can stay up while leaning that far over and loaded with snow?
Answer: not very long. WHAT a mess.
Answer: not very long. WHAT a mess.


Walked outside to find that the top of a pine nearish the house had snapped off.

Ditto one of the main stems of the weeping willow, which deposited itself into the pond. (Our pond seems to be a magnet for falling trees and branches.)

tree debris
The top of the pine is in the foreground; the top of the willow is in the pond.

An arbutus has lost its top—no big deal compared to our neighbour, who had an arbutus fall dead centre between the house she’s building and the shed. It knocked a wee bit of cob off one corner of the house at the bottom and did some not-serious damage to the shed roof. She’s evidently hung with horseshoes, as they say.

fallen tree
The douglas fir that fell on the other side of the slough.

Looked across the slough again, and now that some of the snow is disappearing it looks to me like two or three trees may have come down in the swamp back there in addition to the fir. But can’t know for sure until I fight my way back there, and that won’t happen till all this snow is GONE.

And overall…

The damage to trees and such is nothing compared to the fact that we are safe and well. And really… it was awfully pretty a lot of the time.

Rising sun on snow covered treetops

6 thoughts on “Snow events

    1. I think they will be running for quite a long time.

      There was one running up the street already, I think that was probably dealing with the hunk of arbutus that fell on a car.

    1. It probably won’t be so bad at your place, quite possibly nothing has happened—remember how much wetter our ground is than yours. It’s supersaturated right now.

    1. Thanks! We’re very happy about that. (But—five! you mustn’t forget the kitties, even if they’re invisible!)
      Doglet was NOT happy that we didn’t let him go out to play in the snow for hours without supervision, btw… but with things falling from the skies that didn’t seem at all wise.

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