The Aftermath: the river birch is toast

The power is back on (though it went out every day since Monday!), the house is warm, Christmas was glorious, and Maine continues to be beautiful in even the most wicked weather.  MAJOR KUDOS to the electric crews, not just from CMP (Central Maine Power) but from neighboring states; they gave up their Christmases at home to restore our power!

The river birch is a goner.  Sigh.  When we cut it down in spring (well, when Max cuts it down) I'm going to see if I can harvest some of the bark to keep and use for mixed media.   So beautiful.....

The river birch is a goner. Sigh. When we cut it down in spring (well, when Max cuts it down) I’m going to see if I can harvest some of the bark to keep and use for mixed media. So beautiful…..

News stations are saying this is the worst ice storm to hit Maine since ’98.  Outages covered from the midcoast to central Maine, with 87,000 without power–that’s about 7 percent of the state population!  Our electricity went out Monday at about 2 pm and stayed out until about 6:30 pm Tuesday (Christmas eve).  It stayed on several hours during which we all quickly took showers, washed dishes etc. (need elec. to run the water pump).  As soon as we went to bed, though, it went out again.  At 9 a.m. Christmas morning, though, the power came back on a full day before they expected!

The lowest portion of our drive way this morning while on dog-walkies.  Notice the trees bent into upside down "U" shapes on the left.

The lowest portion of our drive way this morning while on dog-walkies. Notice the trees bent into upside down “U” shapes on the left.  Those are not “weeping” trees; they are totally bent over trees.   Chances are good, though, that once the ice (under last night’s snow) comes off, they will straighten back up (more or less).

Additional freezing rain led to significantly more damage on our property.  The gloriously lacy and beautiful river birch (above) bit the dust, splitting completely down to about 6 feet.   The big, robust maple also had significant damage, and at least a dozen trees on the edges of the woods surrounding us have broken-off tops.

The maple at the top of the driveway took a bit hit, too.  The leader (main trunk, at the top) broke off about 20 feet down and fell uphill.  More branches are bent, and many broken.

The maple at the top of the driveway took a bit hit, too. The leader (main trunk, at the top) broke off about 20 feet down and fell uphill. More branches are bent, and many broken.

Paul and Eli pulled downed branches and Eli even climbed up a little ways into the tree to saw down some small, easily-reached branches so they wouldn’t break more branches and also to get them out of the place where Alex needs to plow the snow-heap!

A day or two ago (they are running together already!) Paul and Eli (the latter in jammy pants, flannel shirt, new heavy boots and Elmer Fudd hat) moved broken branches so Alex's plow won't have trouble.

A day or two ago (they are running together already!) Paul and Eli (the latter in jammy pants, flannel shirt, new heavy boots and Elmer Fudd hat) moved broken branches so Alex’s plow won’t have trouble.  We’ll deal with cutting up and tossing the branches (kindling?) in spring!

Morning walkies, as usual, offered great photo ops:

Tree bent over!  Temps are supposed to go above freezing  (a little) this weekend, so maybe some of the ice will melt.

Tree bent over! Temps are supposed to go above freezing (a little) this weekend, so maybe some of the ice will melt.

Looking towards Appleton Ridge over the neighbor’s house:

From the top of the drive.  On the far left are two trees next to an arbor that allows passage from the downhill meadow to the large meadow.  We think the top of the second (rear) tree broke off, but snow is too icy to try to get over there right now.

From the top of the drive. On the far left are two trees next to an arbor that allows passage from the downhill meadow to the large meadow. We think the top of the second (rear) tree broke off, but snow is too icy to try to get over there right now.

Remember those chopped off willows I shared a short while ago...another photo, thinking Thermofax screen!

Remember those chopped off willows I shared a short while ago…another photo, thinking Thermofax screen!

Looking up the driveway.  The maple is right at the top of the drive, the birch just to the right (between the drive and hour)

Looking up the driveway. The maple is right at the top of the drive, the birch just to the right (between the drive and hour).  Good news:  house doesn’t need painting.  Bad news:  house is hulkering brown.  When it DOES need painting it will be gray with white trim like the garage!

And the river birch (SOB), looking uphill with the house behind it.

And the river birch (SOB), looking uphill with the house behind it. Got a good close up photo of the tangled branches that may also become a thermofax screen.

After shoveling the walk and sweeping the deck, found Pigwidgeon footprints on the deck...love this!

After shoveling the walk and sweeping the deck, found Pigwidgeon footprints on the deck…love this!

And then the sun came out:  can you say GLORIOUS MAINE?

From the living room porch, with deck roof and icicles overhead, shadow of house in the foreground.

From the living room porch, with deck roof and icicles overhead, shadow of house in the foreground.

Next post:  Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then

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