That storm of ours really was a doozy. We ended up finally getting our power back on Monday morning at 3:30...a full 90 hours after we first lost it. Some folks didn't get theirs back until yesterday, and for others, a rogue windstorm mid-week knocked it out again. We're grateful we have no damage to report to insurance, unlike some. Thurston County, along with the cities of Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater (to the north of us) were all declared disaster areas in the event federal funds will be needed for cleanup help. Some of our capital city's oldest trees were badly damaged, which is a shame. I've passed entire stands of alder trees where the tops broke out of each and every one, leaving what looks like hillsides of toothpicks. The folks we lease our pasture from reported they've lost about 1000 evergreens from their managed land, and it took them three days to clear a path for the power company to reach their lines.
The air quality hasn't been great, and all the burn piles everywhere aren't helping. I feel badly for those who have asthma or other breathing difficulties. It's not a good place to be right now. We ourselves will be burning, probably next weekend, once Paul collects all the broken and downed branches from our property and makes a proper burn pile. Some of the damage came to trees we intend to remove eventually anyway, so there's no love lost there. Other things, like Cousin It, the Japanese maple next to our driveway, suffered no damage at all, and I'm grateful for that.
The cattle, of course, fared fine through the entire ordeal, probably thinking we were crazy for panicking so much about their water supply. (Funny aside: wouldn't you know that the power finally returned less than 12 hours after we drove home with a 150 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank full of water from Paul's brother's house, 20 miles away? If I'd thought about Murphy's Law before we filled the tank, I probably could have predicted when the power would return!)
For now, with all the branches left where they fell, the cattle are enjoying themselves pushing things around and beating them up with their horns. There are several branches hanging in the big fir that will need to come out somehow...but there were branches higher up that were hanging when we bought the property in 2008 and are STILL there, even after all the ice and wind! Figures.
I'm not alone in hoping that was the worst winter weather we'll see this season. Today is cloudy and cold, perfect for doing a few clean up chores outside (like taking down our Christmas lights...don't judge!), with our normal rain predicted to return tonight. Sounds appealing to me!
The big fir, looking like someone took a big bite out of its side. Ignore the apple tree in the foreground (yes, that's an apple!)...we let the cattle beat it up and plan to rip it out. It's an annoyance during lawn mowing, anyway.