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 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.
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.
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.
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.