Clean start for a new year
These branch piles were remainders of the major ice storm we had last winter. Most people who live along a highway got rid of their storm debris last spring. They piled it at the edge of the road, and workers, hired by the county, loaded the piles onto trucks and hauled them away.
We don't live along the highway, so we would have had to load and haul our branches in order to pile them for pickup -- an impossible task for us. We thought it was a major achievement when our Mennonite neighbors helped us get the broken limbs gathered and piled, just in our yard!
The pile of limbs in the photo was the biggest of half a dozen piles. Some willow branches and chunks of willow trunk that were in contact with the ground sent down roots and grew new branches up through the pile last summer. Dennis had to chop off the roots to throw the branches on the fire. It was quite a mess.
The only reason that I'm sorry to have the piles of branches gone is that a lot of little wild creatures were probably finding shelter in them. We do still have a big brush pile on the corner of our small property, over the hill where we've pitched branches for years. I imagine that it's pretty crowded this cold night. Dennis is not going to burn it.
While Dennis was burning branches, I took down most of the Christmas decorations. One small Christmas tree will stay in place until sometime in late January, but I packed up the big tree, the Christmas village, and a lot of other doo-dads and knickknacks. I feel a little sad that Christmas is nearly over, but I'm glad to have the bulk of the un-decorating done.
Now the Christmas boxes need to be taken to the shed. I also need to decide what to do with the decorations that I'm not keeping. Should I store them away for the spring garage sale, or should I make a clean sweep and donate them to Goodwill now?