Friday, December 06, 2013

So they weren't kidding about the ice...

This is mainly a post about my trees, because OMG, MY TREES!  They totally didn't get the memo about an ice storm this week, and it probably didn't help that it was 80 degrees on Wednesday.

Anyway, first pictures of the ice that is covering everything.  Mainly because it is pretty, but also because I've lived in DC, northern Maryland and Syracuse, New York and Dallas is the only place where I have had to deal with periodic ice storms.  North Texas gets a bad rap when it comes to dealing with a "winter storm", but I'd take buckets of snow over ice any day.  My driveway, patio and sidewalk are skating rings at the moment.  And you can't build a snowman or even a snow angel in ice.

Granted, all you have to do down here in Dallas is wait it out.  Nature generally decides that winter is a bad idea in this part of the country after a day or two, and is even considerate enough to clean up after herself if you wait a few hours.  I still have my snow shovel from my years up east, but haven't broke it out once since moving here.  Which is kind of fabulous.

(Plus, I secretly love that everything shuts down giving me wonderful down time with my family at home.  Since we only get a snow day maaaaybe once every three years, it isn't like you get sick of them.)

But I digress.  Back to the ice.  Pretty, right?:

Did you know ice is heavy?  Because it is.  And that white stuff on the ground are ice pellets.  It was relatively crunchy this morning but is now hard as a rock.  I know this because I actually went outside with the broom to sweep the pellets off the driveway, but I was too late.  Trevor and I are now iceskating to the trash can with every poopy diaper (of which there have been THREE before noon).

And now for the aftermath (i.e. #firstworldtreeproblems):

My poor pistache.  

Just to give you a better idea, this is what this tree used to look like (in, ahem, much warmer weather):

The other pistachio actually lost her leaves eons ago (okay, two-three weeks; see leafy pic below), and is doing fine:

I don't know why one pistache got the winter memo and not the other.  It is the ice on the leaves that is presenting the biggest problem.  Everything is encased in an ice cube.  The more leaves, the more ice and...well, more weight.

The chinquapin oak is, so far, doing better than the first pistache, but is still pretty saggy:

And, finally, this was my view out the study windows earlier this morning.  The mulberry branch doesn't normally hang that low (nor does the cedar, for that matter), but I was hopeful:

Until, well...this happened around 10 AM:

In case you are curious, this is what the patio area usually looks like on non winter ice days:

I guess, in hindsight, I should be grateful I had gently moved the low hanging mulberry branch away from the edge of the roof and gutters with a broom about thirty minutes before it fell.  Of course, maybe my moving it caused it's demise?  I dunno.  Siiiiiigh.

I've also done what I can for the pistache.  At my neighbor's advice (she used to be the naturalist for Dallas County), I tried to gently remove some of the frozen leaves in an effort to alleviate some of the weight of the ice.  Because high winds are forecast for the afternoon, and ice and wind aren't a good combo.  I also sawed off a large broken limb that was pulling part of the tree to the side.  If the trunk doesn't snap, it might have a chance.  It's a young tree.  They bounce, right?

Here's to hoping!  We planted the two maples, two pistaches, two crape myrtles and chinquapin when we moved in 4.5 years ago.  They are sort of like our tree babies.  

In the meantime, I'm going to focus on having a relaxing snow day inside with my boys and pups.  We are lucky enough to still have power, have Harry Potter on the TV and dinner going in the crock pot.  Once Banner goes down for his nap, I just might take one, too.

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