Mud Lake in Winter

Mud Lake in Winter

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Storms and Tree Loss


It has been a bit more than a week of storms with significant tree loss.  Others had it much worse than us, as we had no damage to the buildings.  We figure we lost 15 poplars, birches, and Jack Pines.  Two of our tallest trees blew right over leaving sizable root balls.  One nice pine was just tilted, but looked so loose that it had to go down.  We do have two pines that we just tamped the soil back down to prevent water from going under them in hopes they will survive.  We know, long term, that trees can hold themselves straight like this as we have some tilted trees in spots.

And I thought of the two crossed palm trees in Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World years ago.  Trees need not be straight.  That is how the woods is.

All this has been made worse by the heavy rains we have had of late.  Two storms right after each other totaled five inches.  The sand can handle it, but the hold on the roots goes down.   Strange weather for drought, but I suppose that is gone now.  As I always said in North Dakota, “Drought is your friend.”  Of course basement water in the clay soil was the focus of my thoughts.

The root ball trees puzzled Daisy the Dog.  She stared at them trying to figure out how her world changed.  Hated the thunder, too.

It has been a number of clean up days so far.  The house area and woods along it are in good shape.  The root ball closings may take some time.  The more distant woods is on a wait and see basis.  Some of the litter has been taken away, but the main trunks may have to wait a while, maybe next season.

On the good side, the new Stihl chainsaw works nice.  I knew I wore the old one out, so getting the new one was  matter of time.  And in the start of this crisis for many, they had one ready to go at Ace.  It is just a bit small for the bottom of the root ball trees, but a neighbor said he can take those apart.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Heavy Rain Ends, We Hope


The heavy 5 inches of rain and the winds that followed, seemed to have come to an end.  Only light misty rain today.  Damage to the forest continues to be assessed.  The tree loss count in in the 5-7 range.  Sadly they are mostly living trees hit by wind or wind and sift sandy soil.  The two large dead trees we spot are still standing tall.

Given the size of this group we may just remove the more burnable branches and leavers and let the trunks become forest soil eventually.  They were meant to end that way.

I must check on the chainsaw and get it ready to help.  On its last legs but should be ready for some effort.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Days of Rain and Wind


One assumes the drought is over and gone for now.  The sky has been, shall we say, plentiful for the last few days.  With the sandy soil the water drains with super haste, but the plants have all been refreshed to the max.

The tree s are certainly restocked in water, but the winds have taken some nice ones.  All living trees, which is a puzzle.  Why not take the two dead ones down to the ground so I can more easily recycle them?  No.  Nice living trees losing the whole or top parts.  Saw a study in which a guy found that it took 92 mph to take a tree down, no matter the type.  While still not sure on this study’s applicability to all trees and situation, we must have had more wind than we thought.  The lightening in one was so continuous you could look outside and evaluate if the trees were falling.

Them squirrels seem to take a break, too.  They seem to hide out more and visit the sunflower feeders meant for them.  One would expect them to not hide out in the search for nosh because rain is more natural to them, just damper than normal.  But they do seem to hit the food supply in the yard less these few days.  They do stock up so maybe it is all just stored away in some tree hole.

This afternoon’s storms missed mostly to the south, but I see another line way to the west.