Encouraged by the sunshine and blue skies, I pulled on a jacket and left the house to take an afternoon walk around the yard. Melting patches of ice in the driveway made each step a gamble. Not wanting to fall, I stepped off into the soggy snow covering the grass. Snowbanks pushed into tall mounds by a plow along my drive were surrounded by puddles of water.
Suspiciously, I scolded Mother Nature, “It looks like spring, but I know better. You can’t fool me. I wasn’t born yesterday. We will still get a lot of cold weather and snow in Wisconsin before winter is over.”
Enjoying the fresh air, I walked from my driveway to the nearby bridge. Although the weather was warm this week, it looked as though we were still a long way from having the river ice break up. Just in the short distance that I could see downstream before the river curved out of sight, were at least a dozen large branches broken off trees along the water. Shaking my head, I wondered if all those branches would cause a log jam in the river during the spring melt.
An ice storm during the winter had coated every highline wire, twig and branch with heavy sheaths of ice. The weight broke several branches from the pine trees in my yard. Until today I had only seen the damage from the living room windows. Since the afternoon was so pleasant, today I would take a closer look at the carnage.
Several broken branches had landed on top of one another along the tree line. The jumble of large, sturdy logs reminded me of a giant game of pick-up-sticks. I wondered if I could cut them up with my small battery-powered chainsaw. I doubtfully eyed the forked branches that would surely hook onto each other and make them doubly hard to saw. A tug on one of the branches showed that the branches were still frozen to the ground.