Two Years Later

Andy took the following pictures of our land going up in flames on June 26, 2011:
 
fire 1
 
fire 3
 
fire 2
 
Notice that there were a lot more trees then, and the trees were bigger than the ones we have now:
 

 

 

 

 
It’s pathetic when the grass and weeds are bigger than the trees, but we’ll have to see what happens. You can see why Andy was so excited about his present last week. He also started two redwood trees in the house, and he’s planted one of them. So far it looks happy:
 
6-16-13-Redwood-Tree
 
Again, we’ll just have to see what happens. How has your life changed in the past two years?

Thanks to Mike, Evan, Cathy, tammy, bikehikebabe, Rummuser and Dixie for commenting on last week’s post.

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21 Responses to Two Years Later

  1. Mike says:

    We’ve not had anything quite so traumatic happen in the last couple of years. In fact, everything is pretty stable here.

    It’s always sad when people lose property in wildfires. We have trees too close to our home that I have intended to remove for a long time to give us more of a fire break. Last summer’s drought was scary — we lost our biggest and oldest dogwood tree. Fortunately, people seemed to have learned from 1980 and other dry years. As dry as 2012 was, the number of fires in our area was actually pretty small.

  2. Evan says:

    Structure pretty much the same. Same things more intense, some less.

  3. Rummuser says:

    From the beginning of September of last year, my life has taken a turn for the better with a lot of activity, travel, reading, movies, eating out, friends and so on. If you knock that ten months off from July of 2011, I went through a very trying period which peaked from April of last year when I had to create a hospital room at home for my father. In retrospect, I think that the difficult period was to get rid of some negative karmas so that I can experience the positive effects now.

  4. bikehikebabe says:

    “Notice that there were a lot more trees then, and the trees were bigger than the ones we have now:” Yes, that’s a funny joke. :D

    But you will have such fun watching the growth progress.

  5. Cathy in NZ says:

    yes, sad to think that your trees have gone and that the grass/weeds are taller than anything that is beginning to take shape as an actual tree. Besides of course, the taller present recently.

    many people here in NZ when they have bare land, or want it to look finished, buy a tree already in growth, maybe more than 5′ high and then have it put in a gigantic hole with the space required around it.

    whilst other people put their small trees/shrubs too close together or too close to a structure and end up with spindly or not user friendly spaces…

    When I first came here, the section went all the way to the roadside and poor wee tree struggled to grow near the driveway. It was forever being run into. Then there was to be a house built so my faithful flatmate, dug it up and planted it around the back – it took off. It’s probably 20′ high now and loving life :-)

  6. Jean says:

    Mike,
    It’s hard to cut down trees for a fire break. Our first house had a 25-ft open area all around it, and for some fires that might have been enough.

    Evan,
    I’m glad there are no major crises.

    Rummuser,
    Yes, it sounds as if you’re having a great time. Good for you!

    bikehikebabe,
    Thanks for seeing the humor in it. :D

    I haven’t mentioned Andy’s fruit trees yet. They are bigger than the evergreens, and a few of them are doing well.

    Cathy,
    I love trees, and I’m so glad your flatmate rescued that abused one. It must be heartwarming to look at it.

    We could buy some bigger evergreens, but Andy is more interested in fruit trees. The little evergreens are ones Beate and Tim gave Andy last year when they had too many. A friend down here says she has some trees that need transplanting, but Andy says he has enough to care for already. Again, his heart is with the fruit trees. I’ll talk about them in a future post.

  7. Cathy in NZ says:

    Sound like Andy is rebuilding a whole green belt – with all kinds of useful trees for both the environment and the humans…

  8. Mike says:

    Actually, removing trees for a fire break is a secondary purpose. We are more likely to have damage from trees or branches felled by high winds or ice storms. In 2008, we lost 7 pine trees after a couple of very windy days. The ground was saturated by earlier snow and rain. The trees rocking back and forth in the winds apparently loosened the soil at the base and, once one started to go, they all toppled at the same time like dominoes.

    In 2009, an ice storm took down branches and whole trees in a wide swath from the Ozarks over into Kentucky and Tennessee. It missed us, but only by about ten miles.

  9. tammyj says:

    it doesn’t seem like it’s already been two years!!!
    time gets away from me more and more.
    my dear friend from my old neighborhood told me the lady who bought my wee blink bonnie is letting my trees die. she’s not watering them at all. and young trees in this heat can’t make it otherwise. their root system just hasn’t gone deep enough. so sad. i shall not be driving over there then. it would hurt too much.
    i’m so glad i made the move to my little wren house here.
    apartment living is a good thing for me! i should have done it sooner! no worries mate!
    i always enjoy everybody’s comments so much. like a little community of far flung neighbors are we!

  10. Jean says:

    Cathy,
    All the trees need to be watered, so he’s limited by that. As I mentioned, his fruit trees are his top priority. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

    Mike,
    Trees blow down here too, but probably not as bad as where you are. After a windy day Andy often has to remove trees that have fallen across the road. In general we don’t have ice storms, but a late heavy snow after the trees start to come out can break a lot of branches. It’s sad to see.

    tammy,
    Oh! I agree, I wouldn’t go by your old place either. To deliberately let them die…. I’m so glad you love your little apartment. Mine isn’t as fancy as yours, but I love it, especially my study. And after almost 40 years there are a lot of wonderful memories.

    I appreciate the sharing through comments too. That’s the joy of blogging for me.

  11. bikehikebabe says:

    Mike, thanks for the info about high winds loosening roots which bring down trees. I see downed tall ponderosas that were uprooted from wind, but didn’t have enough deep roots to hold them in the soil, because of the little rain we get.

  12. Evan says:

    In the last couple of days in Sydney we’ve had a couple of trees fall over. Due to the ground being waterlogged – it has been very rainy for days on end. Also one train embankment slid off. All quite small and no one hurt so far as I know. But it sure has been wet!

  13. Jean says:

    Evan,
    Wow! That is wet. I assume it’s unusual?

  14. Evan says:

    Yes, quite unusual (so far – as the weather gets more intense it will have interesting implications for instrastructure – especially coastal – and most Australians live in the coast areas).

    Councils are still approving canal estates!

  15. Jean says:

    Evan,
    Here the federal government has provided flood insurance for people living on the coast. It has encouraged people to rebuild on the same place multiple times rather than to move to somewhere safer. Our tax dollars at work! There do seem to be signs that some people are coming to their senses.

  16. Evan says:

    Wow. That’s a remarkable initiative by the government. I imagine the premiums are set to increase.

  17. Jean says:

    Evan,
    Yes, the rates were artificially low, and a lot of people may no longer be able to afford to live in flood-prone areas: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/nyregion/cost-of-coastal-living-to-climb-under-new-flood-rules.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. That’s sad, but it’s also sad and crazy that the American taxpayer is on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars because of the program: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/opinion/end-federal-flood-insurance.html?_r=0

  18. Evan says:

    Yes, quite crazy

  19. Beate says:

    The real forest that Andy is growing went unmentioned: there are hundreds of little trees on our land that Andy lovingly watered all winter. His isn’t just growing a few trees on his land but a whole forest nearby -what a wonderful neighbor!

  20. Cathy in NZ says:

    Beate:

    They say there is always one in every pack, who go the extra distance and it looks like Andy fits that name, Mister Waterer :-)

  21. Jean says:

    Beate,
    As you know he’s happy to do it. And you’re great neighbors, too!

    Cathy,
    He also does a lot of roadwork. He’s definitely a gem.

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