The world exploded while we were away on vacation

Lee and I just returned from almost three weeks on the east coast. We had a few blog entries which auto-posted while we were gone, but it was harder to keep up with comments. Sorry if it seemed like we were out of the loop. We really were! In Maine, we met up with fellow bloggers Dan and Ali from Henbogle who are totally cool.

Right after we left on vacation, a freak storm hit Oregon and buried everyone in snow. I couldn’t believe it. We left and missed the snowstorm of the decade! (We were getting a sunburn in D.C. at the time.) Anyway, I guess things were a real mess here, nearly everyone was out of power due to fallen trees, and emergency snow routes were in effect. I didn’t even know we had snow routes!?! Our neighbor, whom we love to pieces, was taking care of our chickens and cats. He called to say we had limbs down all over.

The day after we got back, we went outside to survey the damage. I was shocked to discover that a number of our wild Hazel nut trees were completely flattened. I didn’t think anything could take out a Hazel nut tree other than chainsaws and dynamite.

It looks like we are going to have a firewood project coming up. The weight of the snow broke up their root stocks into pieces. We don’t mind that these particular trees were killed because they are really just big weeds. (Filbert trees need proper trimming to produce well. Most of ours were planted by squirrels with no arborist training.)

We started collecting broken tree limbs and building an enormous burn pile with them. All I have to say is only crazy people start hauling limbs the day after they get back from vacation. It felt like I was moving though mud and finally I gave up. We will finish cleaning up later this week after the jet lag has worn off.

We had a huge pile of limbs in our front yard which we did clean up before I decided lounging in bed sounded like a better idea. The tree in our front yard makes really groovy looking cones that you don’t see very often because the limbs are so high. When they do fall they look like grenades and feel heavy like rocks. This isn’t a tree you want to park your car under. I decided to get crafty (lack of sleep can make you do funny things) and had a Martha Stewart moment. Instead of a pine cone vase arrangement inside my house I made a pine cone arrangement in a stump. HA! Take that Martha!!

We mowed before we left but the grass is out of control. Hopefully the weather stays nice so I can start some mowing later this week. Mowing grass when it is up to your armpits is never a fun project.

Some of the fruit trees are blooming already. YEAH!

The Camellia is putting on a show.

So is the Magnolia. I’m surprised the huge snow storm didn’t freeze all the flower buds and wreck the blooming.

The flowering Quince is also out in bloom.

We were shocked to see how much our garlic sprouted up while we were gone. I guess now that we are back home we need to get serious about gardening.

It’s good to be back home. In the evenings during our trip we would watch HGTV shows (we don’t have cable at home) which really made us want to go home and start drywalling and painting. Now we just need the good weather we experienced while away to stay here for us. We have so much to do this summer.

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12 Responses to The world exploded while we were away on vacation

  1. Rae says:

    Welcome back! I wish that storm had taken out some of our wild hazelnuts. Unfortunately, it just downed some root rotted alders, and smashed a number of young dougs and hemlocks. Fun fun!

    • lee says:

      I think it’s a singularly Oregon problem to regard hazelnut trees and blackberries as obnoxious weeds. I’m sorry to hear you lost useful trees. We only lost some branches on the remaining trees, even the rotted out apple trees in the old orchard.

      And to be accurate, these hazelnuts are not really killed either. If we don’t go out there with a chainsaw within the next month, I’m confident the collapsed trunks will be anchoring down with roots and sending up shoots everywhere they made ground contact.

  2. bruce king says:

    Hate to see you mow that grass. How about a couple of lambs to mow it for you, and in the fall, when the grass stops growing, you get some tasty lamb to eat?

    You’d have to fence, which for sheep isn’t that hard, and put out a trough, but sheep will keep your lawn manicured and a grass-fed lamb is a real treat.

    • lee says:

      Yes, more fencing is definitely on the agenda for this year. We still plan on some sheep as edible lawn mowers, but it will probably be another year before we are ready to commit to them.

  3. Benita says:

    Wow! That’s a lot of damage, but if you really didn’t want those trees anyway, perhaps God did you a favor.

    Your flowering trees look lovely! I live the quince tree – sweet color!

    Welcome home and it sounds like you had a good trip.

    • lee says:

      Yeah, it will be a little easier to cut these up for firewood with the base split open. On the whole, though, there were far too many power outages, homes damaged, and car accidents to see it as a net positive for anybody … local arborists excepted.

      I like the quince tree as well. I don’t remember those in the Midwest. We have a somewhat related species, the fruiting quince, in our new orchard, but it has yet to set any fruit.

  4. Ali says:

    We had fun meeting you guys, too! Glad the damage for you was not too serious, especially the gorgeous Magnolia!

    It is warm and sunny here, the wind has died back sine you went home, but man is it dry! Things are greening up but we need rain for maximum spring greenup.
    Good luck with the garden. I finally have a few days off so we’ll be doing some gardening here.

    • robin says:

      The Magnolia tree lost a few branches but nothing serious. I am glad nothing bad happened to our place while we were gone. I can’t believe you got the nice warm weather after we left. Boy, was it nippy there! Somehow it seems like we never left as regular life goes back to normal fast. lol

  5. ..those little trees are better than trees falling and crushing something! Looks like the garden is coming along nicely..our garden should be growing that July! hehe

    • robin says:

      Yeah that is true. We have a dead tree right by our house that died last year. We have to get it removed this summer before it smashes me in a windstorm. (That is my greatest fear.)

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