August 2017

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The narrative is here. The power was flickering really badly and Photobucket literally took hours and multiple tries to get all of the pictures uploaded, so I wanted to at least get the original post up.

The Japanese red maple that sits right outside our patio door. The branches are not supposed to point at the ground like that! I can walk easily under it most of the time.

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Phil enjoyed licking the ice quite a bit! The Goldens have been banished from the backyard until the ice and branches stop falling. They are like two little children that love to play in the snow; they're both laying on the floor now, looking morose because ... all that snow!! Poor babies.

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And Alex occupying the ecological niche of a Golden Retriever: making big sticks into smaller sticks. We had to stop him from trying to pull icy branches off the low-hanging maples. You weren't helping, Alex.

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You can see little branches and twigs scattered about. But this is not the real damage.

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In the background ...

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Ouch. One of the white pines that borders our property lost multiple big branches. Luckily, the fence does not appear to be damaged. (A part of the fence that runs alongside the chicken shed was knocked down by a falling branch, but since the Goldens can't get over there anyway, this is not a big deal and can wait till spring to be fixed.)

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Alex is probably the only person happy about this, as it means more sticks and branches for him to carry around and tear into smaller sticks.

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Life in the midst of death. A tiny rose sprig had grown up and was completely encased in ice. This is one that shows well just how much ice fell last night. (A half-inch [1.25 cm] in Manchester.)

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But the parent plant wasn't so lucky, and we lost one of our rose trees.

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Icicles on the fence.

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And looking beyond to the ice-covered grapevines and the front yard.

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The backyard.

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The Japanese red maple encased in ice. It was above freezing when I took these, and I could see the water trickling underneath of the ice to drip out at the tip of the twig.

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Icicles on the picnic table.

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The Ravens flag frozen stiff seems appropriate after the season we just had.

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The lamppost on the front path.

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The similarly be-iced bird feeder with the fallen arborvitae behind it.

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Ice encasing the small evergreen tree in the front yard.

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A bit of broken-off evergreen, still trapped in ice.

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Our fallen arborvitae. :(

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The arborvitae (a.k.a., the northern white cedar) is a native plant but does horribly in heavy snow and ice because it is basically one large upright branch with planes of flat foliage that act almost like shelves, collecting snow and ice. There is a second arborvitae behind it; you can see how the weight of the snow and ice has pulled it almost to the ground.

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It fell right across the driveway, where we usually park our car. (Thankfully, knowing the tendencies of arborvitae in snow and ice, Bobby moved the car forward last night, so it was spared.)

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The woodsman who has spent a large part of the day cutting up the fallen arborvitae with a handsaw since he forgot to charge the batteries on the dicksaw* (chainsaw) last night. In the background, you can see how the ice is pulling the branches of the white pines that form the southern border of our property toward the ground.

* We call our chainsaw the "dicksaw" because, one spring, Bobby was using it to cut down a dead tree in the yard. Neighbor Bob came over and laughed at how small it was (it is just a little battery-powered thing) and said, "What are you going to use that for, to cut off your dick??" He went back, laughing, to his yard to get his [big, gas-powered] chainsaw to cut up some fallen branches. For several minutes, we could hear him trying to start it and cursing at it. Then, back over to our yard, contrite: "When you're done with your chainsaw, can I borrow it?" Why, Bob, do you need to cut off your dick?? :^P)

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We de-iced the car, which was a rather satisfying experience, since the ice came off in sheets that sounded like breaking glass when hurled to the ground. (Which we might have done in the name of our fallen trees!)

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This one was kind of cool: You can see part of the Yaris logo imprinted in the ice.

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The side yard, with the busted-up fence in the background.

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White pine, a very common local tree. (We have about 12 on our property.)

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The front yard.

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The rosemary plant in the front herb garden. I'll be interested to see if this plant survives the winter. Rosemary is not supposed to overwinter in our area, but we've had success now for two winters. We put our latest rosemary plant in the ground in an act of defiance and desperation after losing every single potted rosemary that we tried to overwinter indoors for several years in a row. However, this winter has been extreme, temperature-wise, so I would not be surprised if this rosemary doesn't see the end of a third winter. It has been a wonderful plant.

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And the fated Halloween tree. This was the last photo I took today. As I was preparing to go inside, Bobby asked me, "Did you get that tree?" and I hadn't, but I snapped it quickly. Fifteen minutes later, I went out front to warn him that the back trees were still losing a lot of branches and ice and to be careful as he worked on removing the fallen arborvitae ... and the words were no sooner out of my mouth before a large branch from the Halloween tree came off. It was creaking and groaning more later, so it might lose yet more branches. We'll see. Hopefully, it is not too damaged and will survive.

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We also found out why our power came on so quickly. There is a retirement community down the street from us. When we moved here, it was a bean field. Anyone who knows me knows I was not happy with replacing a bean field with a bunch of stupid-looking identical houses for old people. But apparently, areas with a high senior population are served first by Baltimore Gas and Electric. This is not the case for areas that can only boast bean fields.

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