The Winter Tree

It’s been a long 6 months since I took this picture of our Tree.

An unusually clear day in our Summer of Smoke

The heat, and the smoke, and my ‘chitis, lingered long into Autumn.

But the leaves did eventually start to turn

Winter’s first chill put a halo of frost around the fallen leaves.

Brrrr, that’s brisk

Then, this being the Fraser Valley, it rained, and rained, and rained.

After the summer we had I wasn’t about to complain

We put up some Christmas decorations …

If you look close you can see real fairies with their wee lanterns lighting up the glitter. 🙂

… and had ourselves a merry little (white) Christmas.

My little cellphone even managed to capture the white stuff as it fell

Coco the Community Cat came to visit and admire the view.

Of course I’m not going to look into that strange thing you’re shoving in my face. It could steal my soul … and then you’d be sorry!

Two days later the snow turned to ice. 5 cm (2″) on the first day!

I probably shouldn’t’ve budded this early

Trees bowed and broke under the weight. Power lines were knocked out. We knew it was coming, there’d been enough warnings from the weather bureau. Our 72 hour emergency plan stood us in good stead, but we were stretched to the limit at the end. Now we have a 144 hour (6 day) emergency supply of fuels, (gasoline, kerosene, propane) and storage and purification capacity for 120 liters (31 gallons) of water.

The staccato sounds of falling trees snapped through the crystal air without cease.

Bending under the weight

What was beautiful and soft turned into dangerous and beautiful.

The sun came out and we sent out to see what we could see

A neighbour’s maple trees became a curtain of ice

Ice everywhere, over everything

A wire fence became an instant icicle factory

Down by the lake Grandmother Willow had succumbed to the weight on her ancient branches

The hedge across the way became a frozen waterfall

We sat in our little house, snug and warm, and read, and passed the time disconnected from the rest of the world, but at peace with it as well.

The next morning we pulled up the blinds on our study window and saw what had become of our Winter Tree

Two major branches, gone. Frozen to the ground, waiting for the thaw

Coco came to commiserate

As did a deer, who must’ve come across the lake after it froze

In spite of all the damage across our island and indeed the entire region, we held no animosity, perhaps a little sorrow, but in the face of such a beautiful blue sky, it didn’t last.

Winter on Widder Island

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31 comments on “The Winter Tree

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Very sad for the trees and the wildlife, who must have been hard hit by the weather this last year. Incredibly beautiful though… but then I’m looking at it from an England where ‘freezing’ is no more than a technicality in comparison.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Those are some amazing photos, though I do feel bad for your poor tree. 😦 Hopefully it won’t take too long for it to recoup the last two branches. But man… that ice!! 😱

    Liked by 2 people

    • Widdershins says:

      Yep, impressive ice! Our road is still frozen solid in places even though we’ve had three days of rain. I think the tree will be fine, and we’re going to keep an eye on it as the seasons progress.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘Amazing’ is the word for those Lorax-approved tree and winter shots.
    And that’s coming from someone down here in Australia where it’s so witheringly hot the roads are melting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Widdershins says:

      I did laugh to myself at the absurdity of half the world sweltering and the other half freezing. I think I’ll come back as an indigenous O’Neill Cylinder dweller next incarnation.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ice storms are beautiful – and deadly. Glad you got pictures of yours. More glad you’re okay to take them and write about it.

    Let us hope this is just one of the several-years swings taken by temperatures – the alternative is something I can’t bear to contemplate while the climate-change denier sits in the White House and does nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Widdershins says:

      These ‘extreme’ weather events are going to be the norm, and we will find ways of adapting. We have to, it’s either that or extinction.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I saw an ice storm my first year as a grad student in Wisconsin – and never again in five years. I hope the extreme events don’t keep getting worse, or the end of the world as we know it is a lot closer than we think. ‘Hockey stick’ exponential change may be irreversible.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Amazing photos. I love the Christmas lights.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Widdershins says:

      A couple of years ago Mrs Widds got a gift card to a swanky department store, so we decided to splurge of some swanky Christmas lights. 🙂 They’re still up, 🙂 we can’t bring ourselves to put them away … if we wait long enough we won’t have to get them out again this Christmas! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m in awe with the nature of your world. Ice–nature’s pruners. That photo of the ice encased budding limb is amazing. I wonder if it’ll still bloom.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. jenanita01 says:

    Stunning photographs, the ‘waterfall hedge’ and ones of the broken willow and your tree had me in tears… Despite our best efforts, Nature will always have the last devastating word.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s a tree for all seasons if ever I saw one!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The tree is a splendid vehicle for illustrating the vagaries of the elements

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful pictures! Hope the tree survives. A recent windstorm here took out what was left of our yellow plum. At least the cherry survived!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Diana Beebe says:

    Your pictures are gorgeous! The ice is as beautiful as it is destructive. I hope the tree recovers well this spring. Stay warm!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh… I love the ice and how everything turns to crystal, but it’s so hard on the trees. I hope your winter tree survives to bloom in the spring. Beautiful photos. Stay warm!

    Like

  13. Beautiful pics! A nice way to maintain your connection to the world around you. The ice storm does give one a moment to pause and be aware … especially if you’re prepared and secure.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. From tropical Singapore, I can only stare at your pictures in awe. Stay warm! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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