Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Weather and the Results


Toward the beginning of June there was a long series of severe thunderstorms and just an unending amount of rain. The biggest casualty was Lake Delton up in the Dells. I personally was caught coming down on I-90/94 as the Baraboo River came up on the road near Portage, and after waiting for an hour and a half I slowly drove through the high water, the passenger-side wheels of the Civic several inches in the river. Fortunately for my family most of the flooding and damage was in other parts of the state. There were quite a few trees that came down at my parents' property, however. Throughout Spring and into Summer it seemed as if ever weekend brought down another tree, and always across the path requiring my father and I to clear it. For several consecutive weekends I was down there hauling logs out of the woods and over to the woodpile for future splitting. Here are a few pictures that I took of the last blow-downs, back on June 7th. The picture above is of a tree just off the trail that already had another limb caught up in it. We'd never been able to pull it out before, and now the situation is even more complicated.

There was one bright spot to the day involving a small maple sapling that has a special place in my heart. It's commonly referred to as the "Survivor Maple" by my family. Originally it sprouted up in a clogged gutter above the garage about 12 years ago. My mother removed it and I planted it in the yard near the woods. It grew quickly for a year or two, but then one spring I noticed that it had been broken off at about 6 inches, likely by an animal coming out of the brush. However, it sprouted out again and soon was about 18 inches tall. At this point my father accidentally mowed over the tree while backing up. I was a freshman in college that year and happened to be back that weekend, and I took the shattered pieces of the tree and planted them, and happily the tree came back. My father indicated that he didn't like the location, so after it had gotten back up to 18 inches we moved it to another location on the property, and it's thrived at this location. Then during the storms this month, a large limb came off a nearby locust tree and fell directly on top of the Survivor Maple. True to its name, this tree made it through just fine. As you can see, the branches somehow fell all around the tree without so much as taking off a leaf.

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