A few interesting things today

While doing my rounds, I noticed something about the storm damage to one of our elms that I hadn’t before. I simply didn’t stop to look, since it’s still to wet and snowy to start cleaning the damage up, until today while doing my morning rounds.

This branch here isn’t just broken.

It’s broken off completely. The only reason it’s not on the ground is because it fell on another little branch that’s holding it up!

The girls and I had to make a trip into the city today, and while driving around, we saw so many damaged trees. Some were large ones that basically split apart at their turns, as heavy branches on different sides broke off in different directions.

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More storm damage

This morning, while doing my rounds, I was able to go further into the spruce grove, after checking the trail cam. Near the trail cam, I found a small poplar that was broken, and a few more broken branches. I also found that the asparagus have been completely denuded of their berries!

Which reminds me; I had been showing photos of the yard to my mother and she saw one of the red berries on the asparagus and asked me where it was taken. I told her were, and wondered about how they got there. My mother says they’ve always been there! Which would mean there have been little spears of asparagus growing here for some 60 years!

Wow.

Anyhow;

In the spruce grove, I had made note of several dead trees that I wanted to keep an eye on, and one of those came down during the storm.

I don’t know why this picture ended up so out of focus. 😦

Unlike the other trees that have come down, this one does not have signs of ant damage in the trunk, so it took quite a lot for the wind to knock this one down!

It landed right on another tree, which you can see bending under its weight. That little tree (which I think is a living maple, but it has no leaves right now) is the only reason it is not on the ground!

The other bent tree to the right isn’t actually under the fallen tree; it just looks like it from this angle.

The two dead trees in the foreground are right near the one that feel, and there is another dead tree a bit further back, behind it. I am hoping we’ll be able to cut those down before they fall, like this one did.

Here, you can see where the top of the tree is right in the top branches of another spruce.

Which is also dead.

By the time we finally clear out all the dead trees, the spruce grove is going to be a lot more open than it is now!

While making my way out, I had to stop and get pictures of this unusual tree.

It’s another dead spruce, but I’m fascinated by how this one spruce has been so stripped of its outer bark. Almost as if it had been sand blasted for something. It’s the only tree that is like this, though.

My goal for this year had been to start clearing into the spruce grove, so that will be my goal for next summer. The first thing will be to get at and clear away the dead trees that are already on the ground. Then figure out how to get down the ones that are fallen, but hung up on living trees. Only then can we start looking at cutting down the dead trees that are still upright.

That last part can wait another year or two, though (except the ones we’ll be hiring someone to take down for us, because they are closer to buildings). I need to start clearing the outer yard, too! At the same time, we have to keep on top of the areas already cleared, so they don’t get taken over again.

Little by little, it’ll get done!

The Re-Farmer

The Aftermath

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and after the blizzard that hit us, we have so much to be thankful for! Parts of the province are described as looking like they were hit by a tornado, and I just learned that my sister was without power for 2 days. Thankfully, they have a wood stove and fireplace for cooking and heat, as well as a generator.

When I drove my daughter to work on the Thursday, things were still looking good. By the time we reached town, it was starting to snow, but it was on the way home that I drove into the beginnings of the storm, locally.

When it was safe to do so, I pulled over to get a picture.

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Giving it a break right now.

I was finally able to upload my images and was working on a post about the storm and current conditions.

Then the power went out.

It has been off and on several times since. There are outages all over the south and central areas of the province, so we are doing much better than others.

The shut down killed my blog post, though. Not even the auto-save to draft remaining. After several times cutting out, I’ve just left the computer off and am just making this quick post on my phone, while I still can!

We are well and safe, though, and that’s what matters.

Also…

I am SO GLAD we got those trees cleared away from the power lines and roof. I don’t think I will ever stop being so relieved by that. Especially in conditions like we just had!!

The Re-Farmer

Pretty… and deadly?

Okay, so I’ve managed to upload enough pictures to complete a few posts – if not in the way I originally planned! There are power outages in the area due to the storm so I figured, if I’m going to do it, do it now!

A few days back, I was able to get some really interesting photos around the yard. Especially images of various mushrooms that have been growing.

I must say, it feels strange to be posting this on a day when the ground is now covered in heavy snow!

This patch caught my eye because of the way it frames the drip line of the spruce tree nearby.

This patch is an odd one. It’s the only area where there are SO MANY all in one area. At first, I thought maybe the wood chips we used as mulch may have contributed, but the other areas using the same mulch do not have this.

Unfortunately, the haskap bush (female) in the first photo, which had been doing so well all summer, suddenly seems to have died. You can barely even see it in the photo, among the stems of the flowers. I find myself wondering if the mushrooms might have contributed to its demise. The other haskap (male) seems to be okay, though it does not have as many mushrooms growing beside it.

Next spring, I’ll have to pick up at least one female haskap transplant. Or more. With this one dying, it means there’s no chance of having berries next year. 😦

While going around the yard, I spotted the tiniest of splashes of colour on an old tree stump I uncovered while clearing the old wood pile. The next day was our one hot day, and that seems to have damaged them, so I’m glad to have gotten a few photos. I’ve never seen anything like them before!

I had company while I was walking around the yard, taking pictures. I had to laugh when, once again, as I tried to get photos of this particular mushroom, I had a cat jump up and interrupt. LOL

I’ve been going a bit of research, and it seems that these tree mushrooms that are growing on the maples may be oyster mushrooms. Which means they are edible!

We won’t be taking any chances, though, but it was interesting to read about.

These ones I found, pushing their way through the leaves, looked really interesting!

I found these interesting, too. With all the rain, there has been a notable increase of growth on the trees themselves.

The lichen, I’m used to seeing. Finding new moss establishing itself among the lichen was cool. Little baby mosses! πŸ™‚

Then I noticed one of the trees I was taking pictures of, has a big crack in it! Something to watch out for when we have high winds, such as today.

While doing my research on what sorts of fungi were growing on our trees, I made a discovery.

The photo on the left is on the stump of an apple tree my sister had pruned back before we moved out here. The tree had some growth that first summer, but it did not survive the winter. Recently, we spotted the fascinating fungal grown on it. The purple makes it really stand out.

It turns out to be something called Chondrostereum purpureum.

And it’s a disease. Silver leaf disease, so be exact.

How to get rid of it

Many plants will recover naturally from an attack of silver leaf, so it’s best to wait some time after you’ve noticed the silvering before you take action. If branches start to die back as a result of the disease they should be pruned back beyond the spread of the brown colouration, to the next adjoining stem.

Where the entire plant is infected, or silvering starts to appear on suckers growing from the roots/rootstock, then it is infected throughout and should be removed (roots and all) and destroyed (burned). This should be done before September to prevent the spores developing and spreading to other plants. Don’t leave the wood lying around as this may become a source of infection for other plants.

Is it good for anything?!

No.

Wow. Okay.

Actually, I did find that there is a use for it. It’s used to deliberately infect problem trees to get rid of them.

So I went back and looked at the other trees, and found some growing on the remains of a crabapple tree that had already been cut to ground level.

We weren’t able to go anything about it before the storm hit. Hopefully, it won’t infect the other trees. At least we now know about it, and what to do – or not do – to deal with it.

Once this storm is passed, we’re supposed to actually warm up a bit; the snow on the ground will likely not last. Here’s hoping! We still have quite a lot to do outside before winter hits!

The Re-Farmer

Speed test

I have been trying for days to upload images, with very little success. We have had no real problems going online. It is just uploading that is an issue.

This might be why. πŸ˜’

At one point, during the doors test, the upload speed dropped to 0.01mbps.

Also, it took a couple of tries to upload this from my phone, too.

The storm continues and is expected to, through the night. While shoveling this morning, I checked the satellite dishes, and they seem clear. The wind is from the north, so they are sheltered.

Time to stay cozy and warm inside!

The Re-Farmer

Making Waves

I’m still having difficulties uploading images, so I’ll have quite a bit of catch-up to do later. So far, I’ve been able to upload a few photos here and there, but not enough to do even one complete post with them! The rest of the family is having slow uploads on their machines, too, so it seems like it’s our internet, even though downloads seem to be unaffected.

For now.

The predicted snow and stormy weather has arrived. When I drove my daughter to work, we had some freezing rain, but just barely enough to feel it. We started to drive into snow the closer we got to town.

After dropping her off, I stopped by the lake to see the conditions. It took a while, but I was at least able to upload this video.

I was being pelted with freezing rain as I took this, so I didn’t stay out long. By the time I went from getting this video to getting to a gas station, just a few blocks away, the freezing rain had become blowing snow. On the drive home, I was heading right into the oncoming storm! Visibility was down to about 150 meters, if that.

As I write this, the winds seem to be doing down – at least for a little while. It’s supposed to continue snowing through tomorrow, then be rain and snow on Saturday. By Sunday, it should clear up. Which is good, because we are having Thanksgiving dinner that day with my old brother; we’ll get to finally meet their first grandson! I certainly hope the highways are good, because they’re driving in from out of province. 😦 Looking at the weather radar, this storm system is coming almost straight up from the US, so they should be clear for most of their drive. Unfortunately, the most severe part of the system looks like it’ll pass over the city. My brother’s place may get some of that, too. While they may not get the worst of it, they’re definitely going to get hit harder than we are. My nephew and his family will have to drive through that to get to my brother’s.

After this, things will start to warm up a bit and I expect that, locally at least, the snow will not stay. Which is good, because we still have some winterizing to do out there!

The Re-Farmer

Stalled

Things have been pretty hectic, the past couple of days. First, with our trip to the city hospital for the angiogram, which went very well (and my husband is recovering very well, too, though he’s still not supposed to lift anything heavier than 5 pounds for a while longer), then we took advantage of what seems like will be our last day of warm weather for the rest of the year, and got stuff done outside.

Which means I have lots of photos to up load and several posts to write.

I have not, however, been able to upload photos. For some reason, my uploads are failing, and I’ve been trying repeatedly, for hours. One two different accounts and two different browsers.

I can’t eve blame it on our internet connection, which seems to be fine. It may be a WordPress issue. I can’t tell.

Meanwhile, the severe weather predicted has been increasing in severeness, and the timeline has been shortening. We went from predictions of snow tomorrow (Thursday), to snow starting tonight and blizzard conditions for Friday and Saturday, to getting weather alerts right now saying to expect up to 25cm (almost 10 inches) of snow tonight. However, when I look at the local forecasts, it says to expect 3cm tonight and up to 4cm tomorrow, with a mix of rain and snow.

One thing is for sure, we’ve got the winds!! As I’ve looked out my office window throughout the day, I’ve been watching the maples getting stripped of their leaves.

Whatever snow we do get, if any, it’s still early enough that we could expect it go be gone soon. I certainly hope so, because I still need to get some straw to cover our septic tank before it freezes. Technically, for the type of tank we have, it isn’t necessary, but I’m not about to take any chances! At least we got it emptied yesterday, so we’re set for another 6 months.

So if posts are a bit light over the next while, it’s because I still can’t upload my photos, or the weather has kicked out our internet! I’ll just have a lot of posts to make up for it, when I’m able. πŸ™‚

Wherever you are, I hope you’ve got better conditions than we do right now! πŸ™‚

The Re-Farmer

All is well

It feels like it should be much later than it is, but it’s only just past 10am as I write this. My husband and I started our day early, so we could leave by 4am for his angiogram.

All went well. He is currently in recovery and monitoring, on a real hospital bed and everything! We got the lowdown on aftercare, and a nurse is coming by regularly to check his wound and his vitals.

We are looking at a mid afternoon discharge. The one thing that is a bit of a wringer is that he can’t use the arm at all for 48 hours. That means he can’t use his walker. He always has a cane handy, though (it just happens to be my cane at the moment! πŸ˜„), so he can use that.

Getting in and out of the van will be … interesting.

The doctor was able to let is know right away that they found no blockages. Which is good news. We just still don’t have an answer as to why his heart got so weak. Our guess is, it’s all the medications he is on, and for so many years.

He has to see his doctor for a follow up in 2 weeks, but we will have to find a new doctor ASAP, since the doctor, with another doctor, is leaving the province at the end of November, and the clinic has no idea when, or even if, they will get new doctors. We might be going to another town, 40 minutes from home, to get a new doctor. We shall see.

One step at a time.

The Re-Farmer

Bonus Photo of the day: a chunk of my childhood

While cleaning up yesterday, under where the last chimney block had been sitting, having picked up the broken glass and other garbage I could see, I walked over the area and stepped on something buried in the dirt.

I figured it was either a rock or a brick, so I pulled it out.

As soon as I saw the distinctive colour through the dirt, I knew exactly what it was, and childhood memories came flooding back.

I brought it in and gave it a good scrubbing, but after probably 3 or more decades in the dirt, it will need more. The main part of the stone is a surprisingly bright greenish blue colour, and the layer on one end is a bright, creamy white.

This was one of those things that was found around the farm; probably in a field somewhere. I don’t know what type of rock it is, but it is completely different from any other rock typically found in the area. I remember, as a child, holding it and admiring the colours, textures and the abrupt contrast between the white and green portions. It absolutely fascinated me!

I was quite into rocks when I was a kid.

I still am! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer