Saturday, November 12, 2011

Clearing Away a Halloween Storm

We're at my parents this weekend, making a small dent in clean-up after the great Halloween Storm of 2011. Their farm and Amherst, Massachusetts in general, took a beating. Branches snapped off trees all around the house, along the road, in the backyard, along the field edges in the back forty.

With a chain saw, loppers, and a tractor we cut, trimmed, and hauled many loads of brush to a now huge brush pile at the edge of the woods. Tall pines lost limbs generating lots of material but the soft wood of pine cut like butter compared to the hard wood of hardwoods, such as sugar maple and red oak. The butternuts and catalpa also lost a few major limbs.

 Photos of storm damage by Kyle Vincent

We cleared most of the fallen wood around the house after about 8 hours of work over two days. Our hands, arms, and shoulders are sore. My Dad takes it all in stride, happy to be driving his tractor and clearing brush at age 89.

Kodi was not so interested in all this work so we took him for our favorite walk up to Rattlesnake Knob. The trail passes through a beautiful oak - beech forest. We were concerned that the trees might have suffered in the storm. Most came through unscathed and looked as beautiful as ever.

The trees on the mountain mostly escaped damage from the storm. Perhaps these trees had already dropped most of their leaves or the temperature was slightly colder. The snow was probably heavier in the valley below.

We made some progress clearing fallen debris, but my Dad has many more days of work. If he can be outside on his tractor he doesn't mind the work.


  1. Hi Ellen,

    In my opinion, working outdoors at any age is delightful! And to still be doing it at age 89 is something that I can merely describe as something that is way beyond delightful. Words such as inspirational and awesome seem inadequate.


  2. Hi John - Yes, my Dad prefers to be outside, loves to be working outside. A good role model I'd say.