Saturday, March 16, 2013

Caution: slow moving spring

The day after we cut those branches down we had some good melt and a bit of rain. The backyard filled up with water.

Those of you who have been around since 2009 know that we dug out our backyard almost as soon as we'd signed the paperwork and took possession of the house. Back in the day, before we did this little fix, all that melting water would have poured straight into the basement. Yes, we bought our house even though there was frozen sheeting water on every wall and a skating rink on the floor! Anyway, now all the water pools in the yard, making it slightly difficult to get to the chickens. But we manage.

During most of the week last week we had really cold temperatures and the lake froze. Not quite enough to walk on, though by the end it was almost there. I finally went out yesterday and started breaking up the ice. It had started thawing from the bottom up. There was some melted water and a bit of ice, an air gap of about 3/4 inch and then this huge slab of ice about 2 inches thick covering the yard. I had to hop up and down on it a bit to get it to break. That was fun!

Another thing that happens when the melt begins - the slabs of snow/ice on our metal roof starts sliding off.

It makes for quite an awning from the inside! I've never seen it curl off like this before. It didn't do any damage to our gutter when it finally broke off after several days.

The worst part about this is the topmost roof. It's nearly flat so the snow/ice doesn't slide off as quickly. The slab will slide out slowly, bit by bit, till as much as 6 or 10 inches is hanging off. Because it's sticking out straight (and not at an angle like the lower roof) the snow doesn't curl, it breaks off suddenly with a sound like a bomb going off. Well, at least that's what it sounds like at 3:00 in the morning! It's kind of fun and exciting during the day - I just wish it was stick to falling off during the day and not during the night. But it's mostly gone now.

A week or two ago we had a friend over who knows about pruning fruit trees. This is something we know nothing about and haven't really looked into much. Now that our old cherry tree is mostly dead, we'd like to work on the two new ones (and the apple tree) and make sure they fare better and are healthier than the old one. Sarah gave us some great tips on how to prune so I'm excited to keep that up.

As we clipped away she told us some of the branches, if stuck in water, would leaf out. So into a glass of water they went. They are leafing out v e r y slowly. Sort of like our approaching spring. It is coming v e r y, v e r y slowly. We're supposed to dip down to single digit lows again this next week. Brr! Come on spring! You can do it! Win the battle against winter!

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