Ice Storm

Last week’s ice storm devastated our trees, although the cedars along the driveway that screened us from the road seem to have gotten the brunt of it. The only thing on the plus side of the ledger is that they fell parallel to the electric wires. One faithful old giant 40+ feet tall was pulled out by its roots and, as it tumbled down, took a dozen of its companions with it.

In another spot, cedars that afforded us a pleasing view of the golf course lake while masking the view of the asphalt parking lot were damaged as well. One split vertically from top to bottom.

Deciduous species lost limbs the size of whole trees. Some had their tops broken off. All of this took place at heights of 50 – 70 feet, where we can do little except wait for them to eventually fall to the ground --- hopefully not while we are walking beneath.

I have snapshots of myself at age four or five standing beside some of these trees, so they are more than just plants that serve a utilitarian purpose in the landscape. They have been my lifelong companions; silent but dependable sentinels who kept watch over me through both good times and bad. And now, broken and battered from the battle, they lie dead at my feet. There is nothing I can do for them.

Like any loss, this has been a difficult and depressing passage. Yes, after we clean up the battlefield come spring, I will bravely transplant the cedar volunteers that have sprung up in my front flowerbed and have Dan build individual cages to protect them from the deer.

But this time is different from every other. Now more than halfway through my own lifespan, it is questionable whether I will live to see them grow to their full maturity.

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