into the woods on a snowy morning 

It was pretty last night…For a while. For a while, the garden was coated in a silent blanket of fresh snow. It was the small biting kind of snow.

Then it turned to sleet, freezing rain, and rain. And the winds blew and blew last night. To be honest that keeps me up since the ice storm of February, 2014 which was a crazy powerful nor’easter. We sustained a lot of damage from that storm at that time. And it was a little scary when the giant beech tree slammed our house and my garden. Ever since then, when one of these storms surfaces, I don’t sleep much.

And sure enough sometime around 5 AM came the sound that once you’ve heard it you never forget it: crack, crack, whoosh, whoosh, THUMP. The house actually shook a little bit. I went around from window to window to see if I could see anything in the still dark sky, but could see nothing.

After another couple of hours of fitful sleep, I got up, got dressed, put on my garden boots and went outside. I wear Muck boots, so they’re also pretty great in the snow.

I walked sometimes gingerly around my garden and woods. There were some areas that were quite soggy from the rain, other areas were a little slippery and slick with icy conditions, and other areas were just frozen and you had the crunch crunch crunch of the ground and winter.

Then I saw the tree. Thankfully it’s a tree that does not belong to me and was a good piece away from our property. Here is a look at the tree in another little video:

One of my neighbors through the opposite end of the woods from me but pretty darn close to where the tree fell sent me a photo. Wowza the tree was kind of huge. We have some giant trees in the woods here.

I didn’t get close enough to see what the tree that came down was. Cherry maybe. It seems like it spewed branches and wreaked some havoc on trees in the woods on its way down too. This tree did not hit anyone’s house which is great. But this is why people need to do tree work. If a tree is going to come down it’s going to come down but if you have a relationship with a professional arborist who trimmed your trees every year you have preventative maintenance and care and you know what trees are in trouble and maybe have to come down and so on. Good tree work isn’t fool proof but preventative and routine maintenance does help.

Also while I was in the woods this morning I checked on my little trees that I planted, plus the little volunteers I have found along the way that I am babying. These are the evergreen variety— the little holly trees, and the pine trees, and the baby fir trees.

The little mini evergreen forest I am currently growing seems to be doing pretty well so far. I’m hoping they can adapt and do a lot of growing before the big hardwoods leaf out. That’s what I have noticed in general with a lot of plants in my shade and woodland beds: they seem to adapt.

The woods in winter are kind of fun. I don’t roam much in the summer between poison ivy and ticks.  My arborist keeps things trimmed (Treemendous Tree Care) and Umar Mycka’s poison ivy removal and invasive removal services help me out so I can tend to the rest of my garden.

There are lots of old trees in various states of decay in my woods. They mostly pre-date us moving here, but not all. We pulled down a bunch of super dead trees when we first purchased the property. Mostly a lot of dead cherry trees, a few oak that didn’t make it. The downed trees provides shelter for animals and food for bugs and more. It’s a life cycle. I clean out invasives, but other than that we try to let the woods be woods.

Every spring we have more little native wildflowers returning to the woods since we started removing invasives and trimming the trees. One of the first every spring is bloodroot.

Meanwhile the wind howls around the house on another cold winter’s night. But I have a new gardening related book to read. Uprooted by Page Dickey.

Sign me dreaming of spring….


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