In October of 2013, Wyoming and some of the surrounding states were hit by an early snowstorm that broke many branches from the trees, because the leaves had not had a chance to fall off of them. Casper looked like a war zone for weeks and weeks. It was such a devastating loss for the town, and it saddened many people. Trees that had been here for a long time, were virtually destroyed. It remains to be seen how well these trees will come back in the spring, and of course, some are gone completely and families will have to plant new ones in their place. Cars and roofs were damaged from falling branches too, and had to be repaired.
As I was looking through my old family pictures, I came across a couple of pictures of a Minnesota Ice Storm that caused much of the same damage, but to trees that had no leaves. It is hard for me to imagine a storm that can bend and break leafless trees, but I suppose that if it is so cold that ice forms faster than the water can run off of the branch, it is possible. Indeed, it was more than possible in Minnesota that winter about 1935, it happened, and my dad and his brother, Bill and sister, Ruth can attest to that. I think my Uncle Bill felt the loss more deeply than the younger kids, because he was older, and he loved being out in the wooded areas near their home.
These days, you can go to the local greenhouse or landscaping store, and buy trees to replace the ones that were destroyed, but back then it wasn’t so easy. You might be able to transplant a small tree from somewhere else on the property…if those survived, but in this storm, that was unlikely too. The thing I find quite strange is that it doesn’t appear that there was much snow really, but rather that on the ground, it soaked in, but on the trees, it just froze…likely because the air was colder than the ground. It’s sad anytime that trees are destroyed by the weather. It doesn’t matter if it’s fire, tornadoes, hurricanes, insects, ice, or snow, the destruction is the same, and the loss of the beautiful trees we love leaves us sad, but I guess that is the way nature works sometimes…on its own timetable.