Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Aftermath of the Storm

Some of you may have heard about the crazy weather we've had in the PNW this past week. The week started with on-and-off snow, which changed over on Thursday to an ice storm, which brought down trees and power lines all over the region. For a while over 250,000 customers (individual and business) in Washington state were without electricity and/or heat. That included us. Our power came back on Friday night at about 10:30, after being off for about 40 hours.

The back garden early in the week (pretty, huh?)

Fortunately we had a gas stove, which we could light with a match to cook and to warm up the kitchen area (it's an open plan house more or less, so kitchen area means a fairly large space). Some of that warmth made it up to the second floor of the house, but unfortunately, not into the bedroom. But I had a nice fluffy duvet and a husband to snuggle with in there at night.

And for entertainment I had my Kindle during the daylight hours, which was fully powered up with a couple of books that I hadn't read before.

During the ice storm, ornamental grasses and perennials in the front garden became encased in ice.

A hanging basket in the front, which until the storm had kinda sorta been hanging onto life


English laurel bent over by the heavy weight of the ice


All day Friday, as things thawed, we could hear all around the snap, crackle, plop of huge chunks of ice, snow, limbs and small branches falling off trees. A lot of them landed in my back yard, littering the  stream.

Douglas fir branches -- they smell like Christmas, but what a mess!

The stream, running again now that the power's back on, but clogged with twigs and branches



Another corner of the garden where branches fell in abundance

And in the front, I lost a tree between us and the neighbors. Do you know that cutting off the leader trunk of a tree is called topping it? And in England, committing suicide is called "topping oneself?" Well, this tree topped itself.

Top half on the right -- bottom half, the rest of the trunk, on the left.



This is the same tree that I lost a couple of limbs from earlier this year. So although technically the bottom half of the tree is still alive, it's truly not long for this world. I figure I now have a good excuse to replace it.

Well, if you don't hear from me in a while, it's because I'm on clean-up duty. I prefer a somewhat tidy garden.

In the meantime -- Hurry up, Spring!

10 comments:

  1. Clean up on aisle seven.

    The bad news--you lost a tree. The good news--you get to plant a new and improved one!

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  2. I have been through many of the PNW ice storms...always very messy. Up here in Anacortes, the thaw went pretty well. - Woke up this morning to the forecast calling for high winds with gusts to 60 mph and maybe 70!! That's all we need. Stay safe!

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  3. I wondered about you, since you had been quiet during the storm. What a mess! Living under a pair of tall Fir trees I know how much they drop in a normal storm, but that is an amazing amount to stuff to clean up. Did the Laurel stand back up again once it thawed? Did you loose other plants besides the poor tree?

    Thanks for the reminder to keep my electronics powered up at all times. A working cell phone and iPad could make a power outage much more bearable! Although we'd be hungry since our stove is electric. I wonder if we could roast marshmallows and hot dogs on the gas fireplace?

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  4. Alison,
    What a mess, have sen it before. Recovery will be swift, the garden might been altered a bit. I'd be delighted to get more sun light into the garden. Hope you warm up and stay away from ice.

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  5. Poor tree. The Douglas firs around here seem to be the ones that lost the most branches. Glad you've got your power back and hope the rest of your garden is okay.

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  6. It looks like your area was hit worse than our place. My plants looked horrible, but they are OK now. We didn't lose the power, and there are no big branches broken. I am not sure about the whole neighborhood, although since I stayed home all these days and didn't drive anywhere. Boys lost three days of school(and they are happy!). In 2006, we lost power and used bird bath water for toilets and gas stove for making tea and coffee. I hope it won't happen again.
    Stay warm!

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  7. Alison, you really got slammed! It's been quite a few years since I've lived through a ice storm. Messy business. Sad about your tree :( Hope the clean up goes good and you're back to the tidy garden soon. Cheers, Jenni

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  8. Yikes...you really did get hit, didn't you! Eek! Did you lose anything other than the snapped tree? I Hope not...and hope the mess is not too hard to clean up. Here in PDX, it was pretty much a non-event (for the most part). The garden looks quite messy and beat-up now, but it won't effect it once spring hits. Chin up...spring is just around the corner!

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  9. Glad to see you survived nature's theatrics, but the days after it's like a garden hangover, so much to clean up, so much to deal with...or just wait until spring. That's what I'm doing.

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  10. Oh, no! I am so sorry you guys were out of power for so long. We heard all about your crazy weather...not typical for the Western side of the state!!! Hope that is the end of it...

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