In the middle of the night I heard someone out in the street smashing china plates. I swear that's what it sounded like. Followed by some sharp bangs that sounded like gunshots. A domestic altercation? Had one of the neighbours finally snapped? The holiday pressure and one too many visits with his in-laws and he was taking it out on the Royal Doulton?
No, it was a thaw. The coating of ice that has encased the trees for the past week was finally sliding off, shattering down through the branches to the ground, bringing the ice below it with it. It was a glorious, frightening sound that went on all night, but this morning the trees are bare and water is dripping from the eaves. The storm has lost its grip, and we are free.
Everywhere lies evidence of the storm's destruction. Trees split in half, great limbs lying on the snow, some broken branches snagged and dangling high up in the air, ready to fall when the wind blows (which makes walking the dogs a bit scary). Bits of twigs are scattered everywhere.
Our yard seems to have been spared the worst of it. A couple of larger tree limbs will have to be sawn off in the spring, but on the whole, we got off lucky. Now comes the Big Tidy-Up, when neighbours who possess chain saws will become suddenly popular. On the news it said city crews have been going around trying to clean up the broken trees, but they have found that, in general, the citizens have already cleaned things up themselves. Canadians are a hardy lot, and I am discovering that friends I'd never suspected of it own chain saws and wood chippers. I should stock up better. I own an axe and a hatchet, a pick-axe, four sets of secateurs, a limb lopper, and three heavy-duty electric hedge trimmers the size of claymores, but I think a saw and a generator would be good to add to the arsenal. I'm sure this won't be the last storm.