Saturday, April 11, 2009

Forest for the Trees and other Diversions

This is Connor, our terrier, checking the 'p-mail' at the bottom of the drive. He's there in the shade...
This post will cover three recent improvements here at our place. I wasn't weaving much during all this activity! There was a lot going on on the home front for a lengthy time. I thought I would roll all three events into one post, so to spare you a series of non- weaving entries. The picture above is part of the driveway to our house. Below Connor is the turn off to the neighbour's place and beyond that a bridge over the stream and the orchard area. As you can see, even in the height of summer, it's well shaded by the big trees. In winter, it's way darker and actually quite oppressive. The trees prevent the sun light from hitting the house. Some days we can be sitting in cold shade and can see sunlight through the lower part of the property. So close! So far!

So we had a tree faller come and and take down some trees in the lower meadow areas that were either dead, or dying. Their time had come sadly. Later the stumps were removed as well so we aren't trying to mow around them all the time. Those areas will be reseeded with grass this spring.

Trees up the driveway had to come down to allow more light in. This started okay but by the time they got to the top of the drive, I found I was quite upset! A quick call to hubby and they stopped at the last two trees near the carport. So we still have those trees framing the top of the drive. The fallers did the clean up and and reduced the stump sizes to ground level. We plan to plant some low growing spreading ground cover and in time it will look better.

I couldn't get too close to take the pictures as they were using cable and pulleys to bring them down and it was dangerous work.

A couple of days after all the tree stuff was done, the neighbour's trees fell towards the house! A group of three came down while I was watching. Yes, trees falling do make a big noise! They were definitely heading for the house when the tree below took the brunt of the falling trees and laid them down neatly on the other side of the hedge. It took down a fence near our wood shed and this is all you could see.

Doesn't look like much huh? But trust me, there are three 80 foot tall trees on the other side, laying on the bank of a steep ravine. Tests later found they had something called 'cone rot'. This is where a fungal infection has invaded the root systems and destabilizes them over time. Based on the test results our neighbour brought down more trees in the area and so some big trees that hovered over our heads and house are gone. Sad decision, but necessary give the high winds we can get here from time to time. We were with out power eight or nine times this past winter from trees and branches falling over power lines. There is still lots of trees between the two properties and with spring, leaves will fill in the rest of the gaps. Heck of a way to meet your neighbours but they are really nice folks and now new friends.

So what's next? The driveway... it was leveled and cleared and new road base rock laid down. Spiffy huh?
This work extends down to the lower part of the driveway and a small section will be done later once the machines have removed the tree stumps and level a new small parking area we are creating.
Next? new windows! We replaced 15 windows in the house to new energy efficient vinyl framed models. Most are casements, but some are sliders where there is a deck or walk way. We still have to replace 3 patio doors but those will be done after the new decks are built later this spring or summer. Yup, more work to come! I won't bore you with before and after shots of 15 windows but I chose just a couple. My studio window first. The weather was clear, dry and reasonably warm for a run of about 8 days, followed by snow! Snow that was falling as the last trim went up. So that was close timing!
So here's the studio window before... all prepped and ready to go.

Here the new window is in.... that's John by the way, taping the edges. My hubby, Bruce (with the railway cap) helped lift windows into place.

And here it is after they were done, complete with new exterior trim and new colour.

So how close was the timing? Well here's John's work station for cutting trims:

Then the next morning....
Happily, this was our last snow fall for the winter and it melted pretty quick.

So how chaotic was it? Well you saw pictures of me twisting fringes for the two recent shawls... and what you didn't see was this....

Primer, paints, brushes window cleaners and and room in total upheaval!
This is living room window and the couch is gone as well as all the trims which I had to paint.

Here's my bed pushed over to make access to the window. Clean huh?? That's because there is NO window there. :)
Here the guys are lifting it into place. They do it from the inside so no nasty ladder work with a heavy weight.

So I'll close this post by showing you the inside of my new studio window... real nice! I *love* it.
No more cold drafts or hot sun burning my poor loom!
Okay back to weaving next post. Promise.


Life Looms Large said...

Love the expression "p-mail"!! I'll have to amuse Jim by saying that next time Bailey checks out what's going on that same way!!

Those are big trees to have falling unexpectedly!! We had a few little trees (maybe 6 inches in diameter and 30 feet high) snap near their crowns in the ice storm in December, and that was kind of loud and scary. So big trees like that would have definitely made my heart race!

Having more light at the house definitely makes winter more bearable! Have you noticed a big difference since you had the tree work done?

I'm amazed that you got anything weaving related done during the window upheaval. And that you sound so game about the upcoming repairs!

You live in a beautiful spot. All of those trees are so gorgeous....I live surrounded by trees too. I love looking out at them, even though every few years we have to remove a few due to damage or lightning. (We still have a lot left).

No need for your blog to be all weaving all the time!! (At least that's the motto I blog by!)


Dorothy said...

The new window looks super.

You still seem to have a few lovely trees around, I'm sure extra sunlight is some compensation for the change of view. Would it be feasible to plant smaller trees, like ornamental maples, sorbus, or small growing cherry trees?

Theresa said...

Susan, QUITE the bit of work going on there! You'll like having the open spaces, it will allow you to see the beauty of the forest through the proverbial trees.
Don't dogs have that message system down! ;-)

jackie said...

Falling trees are a frightening thing. It is good that you took them down before they fell down. And new windows? Sigh. Lovely.

bspinner said...

I imagine you don't have much time to weave with all the work going on at your house. House and surround area is beautiful. Sorry you had to lose so many trees. New windows are wonderful, keep out the cold and let in more light. Great pictures.

Lynnette said...

I can't believe how different the driveway looks! It's so flat! If memory serves me, it was quite a bit bumpier when I was there... The windows and trim look great and sure make a big difference.