04 February 2012

Be careful what you wish for!

The first days of February have come in with a blast. A blast of icy Siberian air. Balmy was the word I was using to describe this winter up until last week. I love the snow, and it was in innocence that I wrote a post on Facebook, "I wish I could get snowed in," to which another friend wrote, "no, you don't" and I blithely responded "yes.I.do."

The beauty of the snow belies the gravity of the weather report, likening this storm to the devastating freeze of 1985. That was the year that temperatures stayed below freezing for an extended period, resulting in the loss of 80% of Tuscany's olive trees. The crisis actually brought about a lot of changes in the way we now produce olive oil, especially in the identification of the origin of the olives (some large producers were trying to get away with buying foreign olives and calling the oil Tuscan; some Tuscan olive oil had a percentage of other kinds of oil it).

I am worried about my olive trees.

The weight of the first wet snow is breaking
limbs. The freeze the night after turned the weight to ice and even the wind didn't shake it down. Now, more beautiful fluffy flakes adding volume to the already 50+ centimeters.

As for the family, we are well-supplied: firewood, flour to make pici, canned tomatoes from last summer's harvest, a good-sized piece of pecorino, an egg a day from the chicken (who has been sleeping in the bathroom these subzero nights), plenty of coffee, and the internet. Oh, and wine. The animals love the snow, even the horses, and there is no denying the absolute loveliness of it.

If it weren't for the tremors of the teenquakes, it would be pretty darned peaceful here. But, I'd like for this severe weather to end soon. Before the trees are harmed

Sorry, everyone, for wishing for this. I also wished for a million euros right afte
r, but based on my snow wish, now I'm worried that will come with all kinds of taxes and other burdens...


  1. Sun today! Shedding a whole new light on things...speranza!

  2. Colorado also got dumped on and the students got a 4 day weekend in Denver. They were happy... Yet very warm temps for us mixed in with very little snow this winter here in Wisconsin meant trucks had to bring in snow for yesterday's Olympic ski jumps up the road from us. Go figure. It has been a very odd winter. I wonder if the ground hog's shadow really means anything anymore about winter... Do you think he knows about global warming?

  3. Does it snow every year in Tuscany and this is just a bigger snowfall than usual? If not, is the freeze of 1985 the last time it snowed there?

  4. It happens less than in the past, but we usually get a couple of nice scenic snows that melt within a few days.
    Besides the weight breaking the branches, the problem (of 1985 and 1956) is the below freezing temps that endure for days or weeks...the olive trees can't take it. We've been around -5°C and lower at night this week, and the forecast is for more cold weather. Hopefully they will be wrong and this will break soon. The sun came out for half the day today and a lot of the heavy load on the trees fell down.

  5. You certainly got what you wished for this time. We are also worried about our olive trees but more from the prolonged cold which they are just not used to. We have had snow but being near the lake not as much as you! Have you heard more snow is forecast for this weekend!