Friday, November 30, 2012

How Ironic

So... (pregnant pause)... after suffering through an October and November with tree guys and equipment butchering a clear line through a good portion of the front of property, the first sustained storm to come along wipes out a tree which in turn, snaps a pole.

The fallen tree can be seen behind the pole by about 20 feet.

 Power loss was a little under 12 hours and the surge when finally coming on fried our electronic oven controls. You simply can't come into a wooded area and clear cut like that and not expect consequences.

 Weaker trees that have grown up in the middle of a tree cluster don't usually put down as nice a root system. Take away the outer trees ( that offer both support in a strong wind and deeper root systems) and you are left with the weaker ones. Take away the brush and the scrub and you are left with bare unsecured earth; in our case, a very small layer of rich matter on top of a very slippery and dense clay composition. Add about 5 inches of rain and 50 mph wind gusts and well, watch the trees fall.

 It missed taking out the corner of our upper paddock by about 15 feet but the electric lines where resting over the the electric fence. That's how close it was. The crack was something. Horses were wigged out but thankfully no where near the top portion of their enclosure. They were eating down by the gate.

Then the rest of the story. They brought in 4 big trucks and a new pole. Need I tell you what 4 BIG trucks do to a dirt and shale road that is saturated by rain?  Looks like next spring we'll be doing some heavy duty repairs to that too. At the top of my trail head it looks like monster trucks were mud wrestling. It's bad, it's just god awful bad on top of the horrible straight through view.

So pretty much I spent my day fuming indoors. While the boiler doesn't work in a power failure, our little Morse Squirrel wood stove comes to the rescue for heat and comfort.

 It rained pitchforks all day and I did feel bad for the crew that had to work in that. They didn't do the cutting, they're simply hard working linemen doing a pretty nasty bit of work yesterday.

Getting the tree cleared, the snapped pole out and everything onto the new pole in the wind and rain we had yesterday was heroic.

The stalls flooded, and I mean flooded. Even a good french drain isn't going to help when you've got 5 inches of rain plus or minus coming down in a 6-8 hour period. The horses were wet and obviously couldn't stand in all that water. Blankets and feeding outdoors was the only option. They are hardy, fat and use to extreme weather. Thank heaven it is not terribly cold. Over night temps are hovering at 40F.

So enough griping! We were warm, we had food, we had 9 little furry foot warmers (don't forget the cat!), horses and donkeys were safe if not terribly happy and it was only 12 hours. The power company may spring for a portion of a new oven, but even if they don't, it will get fixed or replaced. At least it wasn't any of the sewing machines, computers or..TV! ;)

Parting shot: The dogs (Smoochie, Robin & Miss Bea), have picked the danish chair to love. Such good taste! :)


  1. Oh my, what a mess to deal with!! The thing I hate most about power outages is no water from the well.

    Your poor horses, donkeys, and oven!!

    Let me guess, the area they clear cut runs parallel to the direction of prevailing winds...just to make your very own wind tunnel?

    Hope the rest of the winter is less violent.

  2. If they offer to start a vine that will prevent erosion,do NOT allow it!!! You would think that they know better than to clear cut! I'm so glad you had your wood stove....a cheery little island for all!

  3. Thank goodness you are all okay, mad but okay. The dumb heads, why is it the dumb heads make so many bad decisions without considering what could happen in the long run? Love the new chair and its occupants.

  4. Oh dear.....I guess this was a foregone conclusion to that clear cutting. We had the pitchforks & shovel rain here but our winds weren't as bad.

  5. I am SO sorry for you and yours...glad everyone is safe. What a mess to live with! I hope you can find some resolution with both the power co and Trees, Inc. Off to the vet today-I'll call you.

  6. Oh, I'm sorry. That would make a person upset, especially the damage to the road, not to mention losing another tree.

  7. You know, I never understood why people who go and cut down trees in such a manner don't understand what is clearly plain to you and me. I tried to explain that concept to neighbors once, They clear cut their trees anyway then lost the ones they kept to the first big storm.
    I saw on the forecast that southern Oregon has been hit pretty good with this storm. Glad no one was hurt. I know you are well prepared for such things although very annoying when caused by human.

  8. Well, until the next tree falls I'm over the grumpies.
    Valerie, there really are no prevailing winds up here, things get funny in the mountains, but no doubt, it will be a wind corridor!

    LA, are we talking kudzu? I doubt it would grow this high, but OR is pretty on the ball about non native species. Heck they make out of state trail riders bring certified weed free hay into OR.if they want to ride any of the BLM/state land

    Martha, YES! Thankfully, our power lines are not near our house so out local trees are all safe from them. ;)I have to beat them off with a stick to sit in that chair!

    Cindie, what I don't understand is why they don't start burying these lines. It has got to be cheaper in the long run to have crews either up fixing lines or the endless Trees Inc contract.

    Mary, me too, but a broken stove seems a great excuse not to cook a lot. ;)Hugs to Bandit AND Nick Little.

    Judy, Gene is on the war path about the road. It will all work out, it always does.

    R.L. Amazing isn't it? And frustrating as hell too! We've been hit pretty hard. There was a small respite yesterday, some brief blue skies and no wind. But overnight the gully washers have started again. I'm hoping to see some awesome wave studies from you! :)

  9. Oh, for cripes sake. Everything about this situation is a stinker. Expensive, scary and difficult for you all and the horses quarters. We have a bunch of clear cut lots here, one right around the corner and the abutters have a thin line of now weakened, TALL trees looming over their lot. I am glad you are all cozy...and resourceful. But darn!

  10. Good grief. I've never seen a power pole snap like that. Scary! I'm so glad it wasn't worse.