Readers of my newspaper and my social media friends know that Tuesday, July 11, 2023, a severe thunderstorm struck the town where I live, Byng, Oklahoma.
I don’t know if the storm was straight-line winds or a tornado, but it made a lot of noise, and did a fair amount of tree damage.
Fortunately, only a small number of structures suffered any damage. The house where I live, for instance, lost just one siding panel, which I nailed back up with no trouble at all.
Power lines across the street were taken to the ground by falling trees, and the power was off for 13 hours as a result.
The trees – mine and most of my neighbors’ – got pretty roughed up. Two maple trees along my 100-yard driveway, for example, dropped large branches onto my driveway, such that while I was trying to figure out how to clear them out of the way so I could use the driveway, my next-door neighbor Mike showed up with his tractor, attached a chain to the branches, and pulled them into the pasture, out of the way.
Those weren’t the only trees of mine that shed limbs or need further pruning, but it allowed me to get the cars out of the driveway without any off-road excursions.
The last couple of day, I’ve use my six-inch, battery-operated chain saw to dice up some of the branches into manageable sections, allowing me to drag them to the brush pile.
Marry this for a minute with the fact that our guest at Ada Sunrise Rotary Friday was Briana Coureur, who talked to us about paths to health and fitness. I told her that this activity, dragging branches across a pasture on a summer evening, was a legitimate workout, and she agreed.
I still have a way to go. My most-damaged tree is the giant black walnut on the north side of the house. One entire main branch blew down, though only mostly, since it is still hanging on by a sliver of bark. Other parts of this 125-year-old tree are damaged too. My plan is to clear out all I can by hand, then re-assess.