We have been having severe afternoon storms. On Saturday, I experienced one of those bright flashes and a simultaneous crack of thunder, as chunks of bark pelted the front door. I opened the door to check the Ponderosa pine. It had been struck by lightning. I could smell burning wood and fresh pine.
This was the largest tree in this part of our yard.
Hunks of bark littered the area around the tree.
Some of the pieces were thrown almost 100 feet.
Mr. Dreamy and I began speculating about how old the tree was.
Trees in this part of Colorado just don't grow all that fast.
We went online and checked Google Earth where you can see
historical imagery if it is available.
Here is a recent satellite view of our home.
The tree that was hit is circled.
So, let's take a look back through the ages
to see if we can get an idea of the tree's age.
Here is the house in 2010.
The house has a blue tarp on the roof.
(I still find blue tarp 'strings' when I work in the yard!)
No one lived there anymore.
The owner gave up the property around 2008.
Shortly after this the bank began preparations to sell the property.
They had the roof repaired, and not long after, we purchased the home.
Yes, the tree is there.
Here is the property in 2007.
A new owner had purchased the house.
He made a lot of improvements inside and out.
Do you see all of the 'dots' in the yard between the
house and the white building (the barn)?
Those were 25 large trees he had recently planted.
Sadly, the new owner's wife passed away.
He sold the house sometime before this photo was taken
(All of the trees subsequently died.)
Yes, the Ponderosa is there.
This photo shows the house in 1999.
The 'barn' (the white square)
consists of 2 stalls only.
At some point after this picture was taken,
the barn was expanded to include a garage on the left side,
and white pipe fencing was added to enclose a paddock.
The tree is there.
We have heard conflicting reports about our property before our home was constructed in 1994. We have heard that the original farm house was near where the barn is currently located. We have also heard that our current home was built on the same plot of land as of the original house.
This view from 1956 confirms that the original house was closer
to where our barn is currently located.
The row of trees provides a good landmark.
In the more recent photos, those trees are just west
and slightly in front of the barn.
Not too coincidently, I am always picking up nails and glass
in the area where the original house stood!
I added a copy of this shot, with labels, below.
The tree shows in this shot, too!
And the first available aerial photo from 1937...
If you look straight down from the little house on the left of the drive….
There's our tree!
How sad. A tree that was over 75 years old was struck by a random bolt of lightning, and in all likelihood won't live on. Nature is a cruel mistress, indeed!
As I received several comments about not knowing Google could do this, I thought it might be helpful to provide information so you can search areas back through time.
First you must download Google Earth. (Different from Google the search engine). It is free.
Once you have it downloaded and open it, there is a box in the upper left corner where you can enter a location, address, city, whatever. You will 'fly' to that location.
On the upper toolbar there is an icon that looks like a clock surrounded by a green arrow pointing around the clock face going counter clockwise. If you hover over the icon it will say, "Show historical imagery…." Clicking on it will open a slider that shows the beginning and ending date of images from the area you are viewing. The white vertical lines on the slider bar are the points where images are available. Here is a screen shot from my search:
As you may recall, our house needed a lot of work when we first bought it (2010) to make it livable. Once we moved in, most of the project work came to a halt. Well, heck, up to that point we had commuted to the house from our previous residence, working about 9 hours each day, it was time to take a break and enjoy the fruits of our labor, don't ya think?!
This spring Mr. Dreamy and I talked to window replacement companies. We were given quotes for replacing our windows. Yikes! But, our windows desperately needing replacing. Several had fogged panels. Many couldn't be opened without a struggle, and almost all of the windows allowed the cold north wind (or wind from the east, west or south, for that matter) to blow into the house with such joyful abandon that the moving curtains were a testament to its entry. I posted a video of a candle in the wind on a previous post.
Six weeks ago we placed our order. This week the installers arrived. For three days they sawed, and hammered, and pulled apart, and put together. And now… we have lovely new windows!
Al begins to remove a window
This one's gone...
Hey, you're letting the flies in...
And now, the daunting task of caulking and filling, and priming and sanding, and painting and cleaning, and rehanging window blinds…. oh, but it will be nice (she keeps reminding herself) when that cold wind begins to blow!
Oh, and in case you are wondering, we chose to use Renewal by Andersen. Although there are a number of vinyl replacement windows on the market. We didn't care for the way they were installed, inside the existing frame, which cut down on the glass area of the window itself. We are really pleased with the new windows. If you are considering replacement and want more information from me, leave me a comment.
This year our entire tulip bed was mowed down. We only had two or three bulbs (out of more than 100 bulbs) that managed to blossom, as they were smart enough to hide amongst the iris. You can see the row of iris on the left in this photo from a previous year. (Oh, and yeah, you can see the ugly wire I strung around the tulips to keep the pesky deer away… I neglected to put the "fence" up before we left for the winter this past year.)
We planted the tulip bed in the fall of 2011 and it provided two years of enjoyment. However, the showy tulips tend not to be true perennials. They don't do well year after year. So, I decided to buy more. But… how does one choose?
My catalog from Colorblends has 150 pages of incredible, knock-your-socks-off, breathtaking floral beauty. It was a daunting task, but I finally narrowed it down to one blend with 100 bulbs. I wish I could plant more, and have masses of tulips like I saw at Keukenhof Gardens, but as much as I think the deer are cute, I don't particularly care to feed them!
I will have my work cut out for me come November, when I thin the iris, dig up the old bulbs and replant the new. But, it will be worth it in the spring - I hope!
When I was a little girl I dreamed that I would marry a wonderful man, raise Golden Retriever puppies and have my own stable. I must have done something right because I am living my dream! I married an incredible guy and we've been married for over 4 decades (it doesn't make me sound as old that way)! We raised 2 litters of adorable Golden Retriever puppies. Now, I am retired (that wasn't part of my original dream....but as a child I just didn't realize how 'dreamy' it would be!) and I live on almost 10 acres of land. I enjoyed having a team of Haflingers in the back yard but have recently traded in 2 horse power for 340 horsepower. We purchased a motorhome and spend a fair bit of our lives traveling the country. Life is good!