The Ents Are Sad

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.

About Lorette

My name is Lorette. I learned to knit in 1999, and took up spinning in 2009. I'm a physician specializing in internal medicine, and live in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy my blog!


The Ents Are Sad — 23 Comments

  1. How awful for your tree but thank goodness everyone was okay! We had a terrible storm here in October and we lost a lot of trees – two of them were near the house and barely missed making major damage. The only “be glad” out of it is we got lots of firewood.

  2. I’m so glad you are safe. I’m watching all the trees around my house closely. We are surrounded by everygreens…that are all hanging really, really low at the moment. Even if they don’t snap I’m hoping that the stress on the limbs doesn’t keep them sagging permanently. Every once in a while I hear a CRACK but if it’s on our property it’s not where I can see it.

  3. So sad (though, lucky for John!). Our winter storm just before Halloween was like this for our trees–18″ of snow on top of trees that hadn’t even dropped their autumn leaves yet. So many branches fell, so many trees fell. There were sections of downtown that were closed off for days. It’s heartbreaking. I love trees too much to watch them suffer this way!

  4. That’s terrible. It isn’t really effective to think about how much worse it could be, I have found. I sometimes think about barefoot women in a shack with a passel of little children and a brutal husband, and tell myself how lucky I am, but it is not a comfort. A tree can be like a good friend, and one misses it when it is gone.

  5. Oh no! I am so sorry about those beautiful trees, but what a relief that it didn’t happen when John and the dogs were there. And that you still have a kitchen.
    I hope you get your driveway cleaned out asap and that you’ll find just the right trees to plant where the old ones were.

  6. That’s just awful – I’m so sorry! And my theory on why I feel bad even when I know how much worse it might be is that part of me is totally freaked out about that possibility. Imagination isn’t always a good thing!

  7. I am sorry about your tree. I am glad that no one was hurt and the damage wasn’t worse. But it’s still sad to lose a lovely tree. 🙁

  8. Like the Ents, I am singing a sad song. But at the same time I’m rejoicing with the angels that John and the doggies…and the house…are all safe and sound. While life is irreplaceable and home is a sanctuary, a beautiful tree is a gift from God. Hope you can plant new trees in the Spring. They won’t be the same for you but maybe in future years another couple will love the shade of their old tree.

  9. So glad to hear that you’re all ok, but so sorry to hear about the trees & damage done. You’re absolutely right that this could have been so much worse. Now, may the power stay on!

  10. That is no fun. Every time we lose a tree or a large limb, it feels weird to me. The whole house looks different, the shade patterns are different, all is just different.

    So thankful that the damage to the house wasn’t worse. Hope y’all warm up soon.

  11. Difficult to look past the loss, I know. But the snow does look quite lovely. Glad your house didn’t take a hit.

  12. I feel your pain! Several years ago we had to have a lot of trees on our property taken down because they were becoming dangerous. I actually went away for the weekend because it was so distressing. However, I am thanking God that no one was hurt. It could have had such a different ending.

  13. Oh, I understand how you feel (and I’, very glad nobody was injured)- my trees and their subsequent privacy are near and dear to me as well. Thank God your beautiful kitchen was spared!

  14. Yikes!! I’m glad you’re both ok, and that the house escaped mostly unscathed. It’s always sad to lose a big tree like that…

  15. I’m so sorry about the trees. Glad it turned out as well as it did though. Here’s hoping the snow and ice melt soon!

  16. It is too bad about the trees. I’ve lived through a fair number of ice and heavy snow storms, and there are still some bare spots where beautiful trees used to flourish. I take some hope in nurturing two small fir trees, offspring of two of the beautiful trees that one graced my lot. One is now about 10 years old, and it is coming into its own.

    I’m glad to hear that you’re relatively unscathed. The footage of your storm that was aired on our local news showed how treacherous it was.

  17. so glad that John & the doggies are OK but how sad about the tree. I have worried about walking under big old trees since someone in a neighboring town was killed by having a large limb fall on her the day after a big storm. But losing a big, old, shade tree like that is like losing a friend.

  18. Very very hard. We get so attached to our trees. Our October 29th snowstorm did similar things to us. Decimated some of our favorite plantings. But you are right, it could have been worse. I keep telling myself the only constant is change.

  19. i still love the whirligig/helicopter/fun seed pods of those trees! walking through the neighborhood i still like to grab a few of those and toss them up in the air just to watch them helicopter down…i’ll be singing the sad tree song with the ents as well!