Monday, October 31, 2011
That strange Halloween music you hear is...chainsaws.
Everyone (except you Californians!) has had one bad storm after another lately, but surely the people just starting on recovery from the floods just could not believe the biggest October snow in 100 years was on its way. Early Saturday morning we heard the rain and thought, with relief, that the temperatures would stay up and we'd just get more water we surely do not need. Then, suddenly, a thick cloud of cottonballs appeared in the air, another unwanted gift from a sorely ticked-off Mother Nature.
The leaves had barely started turning and were still thick on the trees, and the snow was wet and heavy -- a deadly one-two knockout blow that took out, either partially or fully, almost every deciduous tree on our increasingly bare hill. And today that wet blanket is mostly gone but the damage will remain for the next twenty years.
Three-quarters of a big well-formed maple on a steep hillside is on the ground. The only two ways in or out were blocked by over a dozen collapsed Bradford pear trees which have been chewed up by by one wind- or rainstorm for several years now. Our electricity was out for twelve hours, which was not bad compared to the 20,000 in the county to the south who are still juiceless. Most of the trees will surely just be cut down as what remains does not look like much any more. I doubt if anything will be replanted, since they were put in by the long-gone developer, and the Landscape Committee of the Homeowners "Association" likes to cut and chop but only plants small things which soon die out. Silver maples and Bradford pears are commonly used in suburban landscapes, and are about the worst choices there are.
Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel was here, adding to the national scrutiny of our misfortunes (weather) and dumbassedness (city bankruptcy). One poor man was killed while napping in his recliner when a large tree crunched into his house. And they're keeping an eye on a farm silo, which is leaning into Route 11 and looks like it has a very short future indeed.
It's always something.