By Frank J. Buchman
“The barnyard looks like an icy jungle.”
Several made that evaluation driving past the ranch during recent winter weather, weeks before the season officially began.
The many barnyard trees, admittedly ‘weak’ elms, although Dad always had another unrepeatable adjective description for those trees, were covered by thick layers of ice.
A couple passersby contended all the glistening icicles of every dimension imaginable forcing the heavy iceberg limbs into deep sagging were “such a beautiful sight.” But, we’ve been there before, and know all the long after negative aspects.
Every branch was excessively strained by the weight severely drooping, some touching the ground. Hundred perhaps thousands of heavy laden ice covered limbs were completely broken away from the trees, such that sound of crashing down became routine for three days.
Fallen timber aftermath was literally strewn everywhere so one could hardly walk anywhere let alone drive in or out of the driveway, garage or barns.
Fortunately, freezing moisture subsided, the sun came out, and an autumn thaw, to evaluate clutter, damage and seemingly unending cleanup ahead.
It’s a mess, most simply described, but a barnyard with downed limbs isn’t really anything new to this ranch. Evidently, it’s an inviting location, because even the slightest windstorm leaves broken tree branches.
There was a big pile of brush south of the home in what is now the arena when we moved here more than 44 years ago. One of our first jobs during settlement was burning that fallen tree debris as rabbits scampered.
Uncountable like occurrences in decades since. As bad as this was, there have been worse. A couple of years, windy, icy winter took power down with trees.
Electricity was off only a few hours at our home this occasion, while some neighbors were without several days.
Sympathy was with them as we reflected the time with no lights, heat, water, no temporary generator available to even buy for two weeks. We survived fine, appreciative of what pioneers endured.
Reminds us of Psalm 148:7: “Praise God from earth; snow and ice obeying his orders.” But, Zechariah 11:2: “The magnificent tree has come down.” Still, Psalm 19:6: “That’s how God works, then melting ice, warming hearts to faith.” Fortunately, Ezekiel 47:7: “The trees were still growing.” So, Psalm 96:12: “Praise Him for the trees displaying His greatness.”