Blowing and Snowing

I’m caving in. I tried to put off winter, but I find that now I have no choice but to allow it in. Like an unwelcome guest, it pushed its way into our town. It has blown over my resistance and snowed me under. I didn’t go out this year and  take pictures of the blizzard but will post a view of one from a couple of years ago. I assure you the photo depicts  exactly the same weather that we had a couple of days ago when our first snowfall of the winter blew in, uninvited.

Our neighbours' rig is still there, a bit late going south.

Our neighbours’ rig is still there, a bit late going south.

Our Christmas lights are up, but who would be foolish enough to be out in this weather to go look at them. I didn’t even want to go out to plug them in.

Who will plug in the lights, and why?

Who will plug in the lights, and why?

One good thing about living on the west coast is that our snow usually doesn’t last very long. Soon it’s an icy mess, and a day or two after that, we’re back to the rain. Meanwhile, we need to clean up the damage that the howling wind did to snow-laden branches. After the storm, we inspected the driveway and found that pieces of  the old pin cherry tree finally came down.

We had to clean up the mess our tree made in the neighbours’ yard, as well as deal with our own mess and fragile fence. The pin cherry was rotten and has been for years. These trees don’t last very long compared to the maple to the right of it, for example.

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As we cut and cleaned, a pileated woodpecker flew out of the woods, scolding us for taking away his dining room. We try to leave stumps of trees that fell long ago to attract and feed the flickers and pileated woodpeckers that live in the area, but the pin cherry had become a hazard. We only removed the parts that had already fallen but felt guilty taking even that much.

The tree was dead on its feet and ready to keel over any time. It was well advanced in decay as you can see from the three mushrooms that are growing in it. I’ve circled them so you can see where they are. You can click to make the pictures bigger.

Find the three mushrooms inside the black circles.

Find the three mushrooms inside the black circles.

Gives a whole new meaning to "mushroom picking."

Gives a whole new meaning to “mushroom picking.”

Much more mess to deal with later.

Much more mess to deal with later.

We had a good afternoon’s work to do clearing the driveway, and there is a lot more to do to clean up this tangle of dry limbs. Getting the tree dismantled is a little bit like the game of Pick Up Sticks, except it’s up in the air. You try to choose a branch to cut away without having all the rest of them crash down on you on the ladder.

We may have the natural solution to the problem coming up. Tonight it’s supposed to blow quite hard, so maybe we’ll be spared the job of cutting the rest of the branches down and tomorrow we can play Pick Up Sticks on the ground.

31 thoughts on “Blowing and Snowing

  1. I hope you are able to use the wood from the cherry tree in your woodstove next year! As far as the mushroom picking goes, you will have to start mushroom “climbing”. Get your harness and ropes ready! Once again, beautiful photos and entertaining reading. Stay away from the trees in the windstorm!

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  2. We put aside any pieces that are still usable for the fire, but a lot of it is really rotten. In one piece that had a huge hollow space, we found a hazelnut stashed, probably by a squirrel. He’s going to be surprised when he looks for it and finds that the whole kitchen is gone.
    And yes, for mushrooming, I should probably get into rock wall climbing or logger training to prepare for the new kind of picking. If those mushrooms had been chanterelles I would have found a way to get up there. Fortunately they were something else (probably inedible) and I was spared a broken leg.

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  3. Very vivid picture of a winter day. We see the beauty of the first snowfall and sometimes miss the work it can leave behind. We have yet to experience our first real snow fall.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  4. It’s nice to have a bit of snow for Christmas but the roads are treacherous, and there’s always a price to pay for a white Christmas.No denying that it’s pretty though and it fits with our idea of Christmas so well. Have a good one, Francine. Your posts have been so cheerful and Christmassy! Thanks for that.

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  5. Well, I’ll take all the snow that you don’t want… just send it down this way! We had several inches a few days ago but most of it has melted. I like your high-rise mushroom patch!

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  6. Would you believe, we drove home from Nanaimo during the worst of the storm – at night. Not fun. The visibility and road conditions made it a very long 2 hour drive. We should have stayed the night at our daughter’s but hubby said we had to get home. I still don’t know why the urgency. At least we didn’t have tree branches to clean up the next day.

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  7. Anneli, I know it’s a big pain and you sound thoroughly fed up with all that snow but oh my… I’d love some. I really would. I think I live in the wrong part of the world. All we get here is rain, rain and more rain. This year has been spectacularly bad for rain, and the forecast for Christmas is… rain. I would give (almost) anything to have a vista like yours, even for a few days. I have visions of roaring log fires and hot chocolate and marshmallows… A romanticism not tainted nor hindered by the realities of ever having to deal with serious snow, I know, but I can’t help it. Thank you for sharing the pictures, and you are amazing looking after the trees and wildlife in the way you do. Hats off (or would that be ‘on,’ if there’s more snowing in the offing?) XXX

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  8. Thanks, Nicky. I think I’ll leave my hat on today. It’s WILD out there with the wind and rain. Only a few clumps of snow left now. I agree the snow is pretty but I can’t help thinking how the little birds suffer when it’s cold and their food sources are all under the snow. A little bit of snow is nice for Christmas though.

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    • I think you’re right. These trees are commonly misnamed here. I’ll change the spelling in my blog now that you’ve brought this up. I used to wonder about it myself, but it seemed that everyone called them pinch cherry trees. Wikipedia says they’re pin cherries. Thanks for visiting and being so observant!

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      • Yes, I know what you mean. When I find out I’ll let you know (and vice versa).
        Also, in this case the words flow together easily. Interesting that either name could work – pinch the pits out, or small as the head of a pin.

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  9. Hey again, Anneli! I love visiting your blog. You write posts that always put a smile on my face, and I adore the photos you share. You are one of my go-to blogs, and I visit without fail when you post even if I don’t always comment.

    I think you’re deserving of a little star! Come and collect it from my blog today: http://wp.me/p1HzVM-NZ

    Now you know that we’re on the same page regarding chain mails and blog chains and all that, and you don’t have to accept this award ~ especially given the busy time of year. But if you choose to accept it, it’s not actually a lot of work at all, and it is rather a lot of glittery fun. Congrats, and happy (snowy!) Xmas from me to you. 🙂

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  10. Again such nice pictures and good reading. Your cherry tree reminds me of our willow tree in front of my kitchen window. It has mushrooms growing on it as well and it leans a bit more every year. I scrape the mushrooms off, hoping the tree will get back to help. But before it will kill me while mowing underneath, we should take it down. The problem is, it’s a huge tree. And also I love this tree and so do the birds.
    Snow only looks good on pictures to me. In reality it just means more work out there in wind and weather.

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