Sunday, December 18, 2016

Winter Storm

December 1 evening sky
afternoon December 5
Tuesday, Dec 6, a dusting
Wednesday morning it began to rain, a gentle one, but with temperature at the freezing point, ice began to form and it continued throughout the day. 31 °F, water sidled its way around and to the ends of the already formed icicle, elongating and fed to exaggerated growth.

The following morning the rain had stopped, and we awoke to a beautiful winter wonderland, but yet untold was the continued damage of what was ahead. Our hope was that the worst was over.

Five days now without power, night time temperature in the mid 20's, the thick ice clings and branches are heavily burdened. Snapping and popping, but a loud hollow thud signaled large branches plummeting from the weight of the ice. Surprisingly heavily ice-laden ornamental grasses stand erect. Tree limbs splayed and touching the ground, severed tops of many, an oak broken in half from the weight of its foliage, while some trees were literally uprooted, and all of this with no wind. Reported: it was the worst storm in 46 years.

The highways had been impassable as Douglas Fir, oaks and soft maple trees lay stretched from one side to the other and with power lines mangled among them and dangling from utility poles. On the first morning we cleared the branches from our long driveway to the street and sawed and removed as much of the trees as possible in order that vehicles had access.

Much like crystal, the sun reflects and dances upon the surface of the ice that encapsulates the branches, grasses, and all plant life for that matter. Thankfully the last few days offered several hours of sunshine amidst the chilling 32 degrees and with that some melting of the ice.
Dec 13, the Super Moon
Dec 14

the Oak

tree service will have to remove this top some 30 ft high

this old maple got hit hard

Dec 15

Dec 16
Laburnums uprooted and will try to stake this one with guy wires
top of the Beech

favorite lilac uprooted
it took down the deer fence
another beautiful maple grown from a seedling
ice sculpture
Coral Bark disaster

fruit trees look fine
Yoshino cherry
neighbors greenhouse
"yes, it's a sad, sad situation"

ice aglow

I can't hold this up much longer

evening, Dec 17
Sadly, the photos do not represent the reality of what we have experienced. As I sat writing yesterday just before sunset, the sun peaked through the fog and it appeared as someone had flipped a switch and in one amazing moment had electrified the entire garden. With a single stroke the sun painted a magical and sparkling fairyland.

Once the ice is gone, cleanup will begin. One day at a time is our motto as branches and limbs will be cut into smaller pieces, stacked and hauled away. Trees are resilient and with proper care and pruning now (cleaning jagged ends and tops), most of them will respond by spring and over time be beautiful once again.