Trees Felled in Storm

Sun, 10 Jun 2007, 17:01

A couple of days ago, a storm hit Toronto. It didn't last long, but the winds were intense. I was inside at the time, preparing dinner around 5PM, when I noticed the heavy wind, and I decided I'd better bring in the blue boxes, which were starting to blow around in the driveway. When I brought the blue boxes to the side of the house, I had a glimpse of something unusual in the back yard. One of our neighbor's trees had fallen down.

photo of fallen tree

This was a tall white ash, about 25m tall. We were all darn lucky. If the tree had fallen in any other direction, it could have fallen onto one of several houses, including ours. But the bulk of top branches ended up in the back yard of our back yard neighbor. It also brought down one of their trees. But the only substantial damage was to one fence and part of a deck.

But what was most serious about the accident was that the tree was resting on the power lines running over the back property line. At first, the power lines were able to support the weight of the tree. But as we watched the tree, a couple of the cables snapped and we were then without power.

The Toronto Hydro workers arrived about 10:15PM to restore power to about 20 houses. This was to be a big job. By about midnight, they had cut up the tree enough to free it from the cables. They then did further trimming of branches in the vicinity of the cables before restringing the power lines. They did all this heavy and dangerous work using only flashlights for illumination. By 5AM, they were done.

photo of fallen tree

Saturday morning, we could get a good view of the fallen tree, now in pieces. In the back yard of our neighbors, the root ball was pulled out of the ground, with one section of trunk sitting on a smashed fence. Our back yard ended up with a couple more sections of trunk. Workers were at work early getting rid of a large quantity of branches in our back yard neighbor's back yard.

One more thing we will have to get used to now: With the loss of one of the trees, we will now have more sunlight coming through our bedroom window early in the morning!

Finally, we'd like to offer our thanks to the Toronto Hydro crew who restored our power. It's a tough and dangerous job, but it's work that has to be done, often under less than ideal conditions. Thanks, guys!

Hans

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the city
 

Dolmen-Sylvanau Update - June 2007

Category: Trains
Wed, 06 Jun 2007, 10:41

I haven't provided many updates on my layout progress lately. Part of that is due to laziness and being too busy with other things. Part of that is because my old camera broke down and couldn't be repaired. But a couple of months ago, I bought a new camera, and so that latter excuse is no longer valid. As for the former excuse, I quit my job and plan to take the Summer off work. (I'll look for a new job in the Fall.)

First, I've decided on a name for the larger town on my layout, "Dolmen". I had planned on adding a hill in a new section of the layout. Often, such a hill in Germany would be topped by a cross representing the dominant religion of the region. But in a spate of whimsy, I decided to put a statue of Buddha on top of the hill. When I couldn't find a suitable small Buddha, even at the Pacific Mall, I changed gears and instead decided to add a neolithic pagan stone monument, which were actually not uncommon in Northern Germany. This offered the inspiration for the new name.

Now, some photos showing my current progress. The first photo shows a factory area served by a siding. For the area to the left of the factory, I added some small industrial buildings. The left-most building was a kit-bashed effort. The kit included a flat roof, but I wanted a sloped roof instead. The other building was built entirely from scratch.

photo of industrial area

The second photo shows the area currently under development. At first, I wanted my layout to represent a predominantly flat area. But later, I decided I wanted some hills with exposed rock faces. On a prominent rocky crag, I put a church. This was a gift from my parents who thought I needed more churches on my layout. They obviously weren't aware of the two existing churches on the layout!

photo of area under development

I'm still in the process of adding molded rock faces, but when that's done, I'll let the plaster cure for a few days before applying paint. In the meantime, I can paint and ballast the track running behind this hill. In the foreground, there will be a few more hills with a road running over the stone bridge and a pond.

Anyways, since I have free time now, I'll try to update this blog a bit more often than before.

Cheers!

Hans

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iron