Today is Halloween. It’s actually “All Hallows’ Eve,” the day before “All Saints’ Day” or “All Hollows’ Day” when Catholics honor the saints. The traditions surrounding “All Hallows’ Eve” or “Halloween” come from old Celtic religions which believed that the dead come out on this day before returning to eternity. There is a good link to give you more history on this but this post is not really about all this.
Mother Nature played a trick on those of us who live in the northeast section of the country. Here in eastern Pennsylvania, we received 7 inches of very heavy, wet snow this past weekend. That doesn’t happen here in October. All the records were broken for early snow and total amount. Before those of you who live in warm climates go, “ah, that must be so pretty” let me tell you that thought lasted for a nanosecond. I almost cried when I saw the snow on my tropical water-lily. Guess that’s the end of that for the season.
The area where I live has had a mild fall. Our leaves have not yet peaked with the full beautiful colors of fall. That means all the leaves (or almost all) are still on the trees. The leaves collect heavy snow and branches break under the weight. It can be devastating.
It snowed Saturday. Sunday I ventured out. I was all teary and heartbroken to see some larger branches broken on a few of our trees. Our beautiful clump maple which was just about in full red color lost a major limb. Some weaker shrubs were squashed. The winter holly which was beautiful with berries for the first time in eight years…smashed!
The beloved husband and I spent most of Sunday afternoon (which was 40 degrees, sunny and pleasant) cleaning snow off of things, cutting off broken branches and generally cleaning up the mess. Some of the shrubs responded well. I swear the boxwoods were so grateful to have the heavy stuff removed that they smacked me in the face after I cleaned off the snow. Others were still bent over and I only hope they will straighten out as they reach for the sun again .
True to my nature, after a couple of hours of work, I felt I deserved a mocha latte so I ventured out for the first time after the storm. What I saw was disheartening – huge limbs down, beautiful trees broken apart like pieces of Legos lying on the ground. Maples and Bradford pear trees took the biggest hit but there were all kinds of trees that were down. This picture doesn’t capture the destruction caused by the storm.
Tree trimming trucks were out and about and the power, cable and telephone company personnel were at work. Police and fire trucks were out as power was off in some areas; lines were down; trees blocked some roads and there were a few fender benders. There was a lot of activity going on all over. There will be more to come as landscapers are engaged to fix things and arborists look at the safety of damaged trees. It struck me that it’s part of the cycle of life and death providing opportunity and creating change. (Anyone who plants a Bradford pear tree these days should have their head examined!)
Somehow, that just doesn’t comfort me as I look at the damage to my beautiful maple tree.
Happy Halloween from Mother Nature!