Cynthia St. Charles Store

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February Frost and Farewell to the Cedars


Yesterday the temperatures here in Billings, Montana climbed to about 58 degrees. Last night the temperature dropped to 16. This morning there was a lot of frost. I noticed these sparkling pine needles on my way out to the garbage bin this morning.

I found the texture of the frozen mud on the driveway quite captivating.

I realized I needed to get a picture of the cedar trees and juniper bushes around our house.
We were fortunate to escape the surging wildfires that swept through our neighborhood last summer. We've applied for a grant for "fuels reduction". From our consultations with the pros, we have learned that the cedar trees and junipers are real fire hazards. Apparently, they burn hot and fast and the flames will flare up very high putting everything within 100 feet at risk.

Tomorrow, the fuels reduction crew will arrive and many of the trees you see here will be cut down and then shredded. The tall pines will stay, although their lower branches will be trimmed. The smaller pines will need to be removed (not pictured)

Our landscape will be significantly altered, but our house will be safe if a fire ever does make it into our little box canyon. I've been planning some renovations to our place, including the landscaping, so this is a good thing in many ways. Still, the idea of removing so many trees is daunting. I know I will feel sad.