Uncovering the Damage

It is Spring. We are a few days away from April.

This is what my backyard looks like:

snow in yard


There will be no cool-weather crops for me. No lettuce, kale and spinach planted in the raised beds. Possibly no peas. I still can’t open the gate to the vegetable garden.

vegetable garden


It’s official. Not only has this been the snowiest winter on record (the measurements have been kept since the mid-1800s) but we’ve also had the most snow pack. There were no thaws between the storms. The snow kept piling up.

Recently, though, the temps have risen and rain has fallen. The snow is receding. This allows me to assess the damage.

The vintage children’s Adirondack chair is broken beyond repair.



The 1970s laboratory sink that is outside of the Big Barn filled with snow, and then ice, and cracked into pieces.



The hawk netting above the Little Barn’s pen has sagged and ripped and will need repair and possibly replacement. The fence around that run has buckled.

coop fence


This fence will need to be rebuilt. That can’t happen until the ground is totally free of snow. Unfortunately, this is the fence that keeps stray dogs off the property, and our own dogs (as well as free-ranging chickens and goats) in.

downed fence


All of these things can be replaced and repaired. What I’m grateful for is that all of my animals have come through the winter. The hens have been doing social feather-picking, but that’s not causing any real harm. Even Opal, who was poorly for awhile, is back to her robust self.



Now, if only the sun would shine. But this is Monday. It’s snowing, of course.


  1. Oh my goodness! I live I the Pacific NW and feel bad now complaining about our rain
    Hopefully this will be your last snowy Monday
    Glad your girls are l doing well

  2. There is one upside, Terry. The peace and quiet. I heard mowers and leaf blowers all weekend (Georgia). Altho I’m sure there are lots of folks who would gladly trade places, if only for a short time.

    • Alas, there is the sound of snow blowers – but they’re not half as bad as the leaf blowers and lawn mowers. That is an upside :)

  3. We added 3 inches of the white stuff in our area on Saturday. My girls are fine also…and in for a very muddy Spring. As for damage. I was neglectful of a lot of flower pots on my deck in the Fall and they never found their way into the shed. Every day I find another broken one. I think the worst of my clean up will be all the sunflower/peanut shells from the all you could eat buffet in my backyard throughout Winter. Our birds and squirrels are fat and happy! :) But what a mess!

    • I think that the garden centers better stock up on pots. There’s a lot of people finding pottery shards under the snow.

  4. I can’t believe how much snow you have had over this winter. We can have one day of snow here in the UK and everything grinds to a halt. It must feel like a very long winter for you, but as April approaches, Spring should be on the way. You will have to catch up with all the vegetable growing and I imagine you will really enjoy it having waited so long. I bet you can’t wait to see some soil!! Hope Spring and the sunny weather hurries up for you.

  5. I can only echo the last comment being also in the U.K. It’s a shame there is so much damage to repair but that last photo of Opal is lovely. Her comb is looking amazing.

  6. Steve will have a lot of work ahead of him repairing the damage, but at least there are no broken arms or legs, your grippers on your boots served you well. I think you got Alaska’s snow this winter they have had to move the Iditarod Sled Dog Race 225 miles further North because there’s a lack of snow !!
    Opal looks so well again, long may she continue.
    We have got heavy rain again but with winds off 45mph and gusts of 60-70mph overnight and tomorrow, my girls are not going to be happy, keeping fingers crossed everything stays intact. Keep safe, sunshine tomorrow :)

  7. wow. what a lot of damage. so sorry about all the work that you have to do now on top of that nasty winter. at least its spring.

  8. Terry
    Each individual items by itself is not bad but when you add it all up, well I’m sure you know the cost.

    Is this something that insurance will cover? After all it is an act of nature such as a tornado.

      • It’s considered an “extension” of the dwelling. Which is a subpart of most homeowners policies, usually 10% of the insured value of the residence.

        My fence was crushed by falling trees, limbs etc in the tornado that hit me a few years ago and the insurance company replaced it (half acre) plus the chicken run fencing.

  9. We live not far from you, just outside of Worcester. We have fence damage also, the roof on the run is damaged but we were planning on an upgrade this spring anyway. My raised beds in the veggie garden are still buried. Forgot to bring in a clay decorative bunny outside by the kitchen herb garden that didn’t make it. Our kids bought me a hobby greenhouse last summer so I do have lettuce, bok choy, spinach, kale, kale and more kale started. I bought pansies too, couldn’t resist having something flowering! Daffodils, hyacinths and other bulbs won’t be seen for awhile. Like you I am happy the chickens, pond fish and other pets are doing well.
    Spring has to come sooner or later ,right? Right? Please say right!
    Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  10. Maybe, once the snow melts, you can put up some shade cloth in your garden so that you can plant your kale and lettuce. My kale is starting to go to seed since it has been so warm and dry in CA. My fruit trees are leafing out but barely flowering so I don’t know how much fruit will set. I’ll be planting tomatoes this weekend which is about a month or so earlier than usual. Strange weather.

  11. Rainy Days and Mondays always get me Down……..should be …..Snowy and Mondays always and still are getting you Down!!!
    Hope better Mondays are on the horizon!

  12. Terry, I’m sorry to see that beautiful sink broken! But did you mean “1870’s”?

    I have to confess, I’m nuts about terra-cotta pots, and if one breaks, I use super glue to put it back together…sometimes they actually look a lot more interesting with a bunch of cracks.

    Yeah, like Christine said, here is S.California it is hot and dry, and it is so hard to believe that people are still struggling with snow and ice. At least there is no shortage of water! :^/

  13. So sorry you have so much damage. Our snow is finally gone and mud has replaced it. I complain and then look at your yard and shudder. Poor you!

    Mother Nature is scrambling now and my crocus have popped up. The blooms are smaller than usual, but they’re here! And the daffs are coming up. I hope your snow disappears quickly enough that you don’t completely miss the spring show.

    I got a treat this morning when I got here. A number of the ladies were all sitting directly in front of the camera sleeping or grooming. I love the detail in the feathers!

  14. For me, the official first day of spring is when I hear the tree frogs (spring peepers) singing in the meadow across the road. It’s not here yet. Snow flurries yesterday morning and this afternoon. Still, we must soon turn the corner…
    Maybe the girls could lay a few colored eggs to get in the spirit! Happy Passover.

    • Thanks for the Passover wishes. This year I have had to purchase horseradish root. Mine remains frozen under a foot of snow.

  15. You got slammed this year for sure. All I did was watch the weather report and think…”She is going to get it again!”. I am not sure what is worse….We seem to have skipped spring and jumped to summer. I even found myself looking for corn at the produce stand. The guy looks at me like I am nuts. I totally forgot it is only March!

    • You get slammed by heat. Not as visually dramatic, but I think more difficult to cope with. (For those of you who don’t know, Donna is in inland southern California. She has very, very nice horses.)

  16. Terry, was wondering with the fence down can bigger predators get at goats or are they in a high fenced enclosure when you are not around. Was not sure if the boys could protect themselves against a large dog or similar ?? Nice to see the sunshine :)

    • The fence never kept out wild predators – it was put in to keep off-leash dogs off of the property. We’ll get it back up as soon as we can! In the meanwhile, the goats and hens are safely in their pens.

  17. oh teri thanks for the bit about the circus. i love the big apple – from a video set i ordered. i have one granddaughter who wants to grow up to be a tight-rope-walker – to the horror of her parents and her grandmothers delight. so one saturday we drove over to a place in madison wis.) that i guess teaches kids to od tricks and perform all sorts of neat and interesting things. one was a rope up to the ceiling that kids were learning to climb they had a couple of big wheels kids could get inside of and run and turn etc. and nat. got to try her hand at tight-rope walking. i think grandma was more excited than she was.

  18. Sorry to see about the damage. I had no idea that much snow could do that. At least warmer and pleasant weather is coming your way. We are going to be in the mid 80s this week for highs in Louisiana. There is always something different about weather in each state. We all have things to do deal with.