We are at the tail end of a big snow storm here in the Pacific Northwest. It started on Monday, and we woke Tuesday to a light layer of icy snow on the ground. Snow here is pretty crippling in general, mostly because the weather hovers around freezing, so we get a layer of ice along with the snow. It hit in earnest on Tuesday night, and we had about 6 inches on the ground yesterday morning. It’s all quite pretty, and John took some cool photos yesterday to prove it. I don’t have the heart to post them today though.
Last night we were doing the end of the day routine before we went to bed. John took the dogs out back and came in. A few minutes later we heard a loud crack and a crash. A huge old maple off one of our back decks had come down from the weight of the snow and ice, landing within a few inches of the kitchen windows and decks. It took out at least one smaller tree that we had planted on the other side of the yard a few years ago, we can’t really get to it to see for sure but it is leaning and looks like all the branches are stripped. There are broken branches over all three decks, but the only house structural damage is a bent railing on the upstairs deck off our bedroom. A few inches to the left and I would not be sitting in my kitchen this morning. A few minutes earlier, and this could have been a tragedy, since it came down right where John had been standing while the dogs did their thing.
Here are a few photos.
Sorry those are so dark and gloomy, it’s pretty difficult to get decent photos here today.
I’m pretty bummed out by this, though it could have been much worse. One of the big branches landed right up against our kitchen windows, I’m really surprised that the windows didn’t shatter. The fence that separates our yard from our neighbors’ house got pushed over a bit, but there was no damage to their house. We also lost a big limb from another large maple in front of the house, hopefully the rest of that tree won’t go as well. The forecast is for about the same temperature today, with freezing rain, so hopefully this will be the only tree damage we get. Right now we can’t get out of our driveway due to downed limbs. We have the tree guy coming hopefully tomorrow, I’m supposed to work tomorrow, so I hope we’ll be able to get out by then.
In light of other tragedies, this seems minor, and I’m not unaware of how lucky we are that this wasn’t a disaster. But still. There have been many, many days in the eleven summers we’ve lived here that we sat out on one of the decks under the shade of that big old maple. We have commented many times how much we loved the canopy of the tree. Especially from our upstairs deck, it felt like we were living in a treehouse. We’ve complained every fall about the little whirligig seed pods that end up everywhere, including the rain gutters. I really will miss that tree. I’m already trying to get used to our new view, and I suppose we will plant new trees to replace the two that are gone. It won’t be the same.
I’m sure that the Ents sang a sad tree song last night.
Damn. Damn, damn, damn.