A Happy Ending



One of the things I love about our farm is the abundance of trees of various kinds and character. Among my favourites, this beautiful old maple I call “The Crooked Tree.” The shape of this tree alone seems against the odds, but let us continue …

On March 27, 2016 our area of central Ontario endured a 24-hour ice storm. Sadly, the big, old, crooked maple and its long-time partner across the lane (along with many others about the property) couldn’t take the stress of the one-inch ice accretion upon its limbs and broke down.


It broke my heart to see such a beautiful tree meet such an unhappy end.


It was so mangled that it seemed to cut it down was the obvious choice. And then we wondered about having a local sculptor come in to carve a rearing, defiant horse into it. You know, symbolic of rising above the situation.

In the end, and after much soul searching and upon finding sappy evidence that the tree, despite its terrible wound, was very much alive, we opted to give it another chance. We had an arborist make a diagonal cut across the tree from just above the shoot where the orange string is in the above image, hoping that perhaps this bit of assistance might help it to rise again.


And believe it or not, against all odds this crooked old tree has actually found a way to thrive.

It would have been so easy to right off this broken down and battered old maple. I’m glad we didn’t. Now I look at it as a testament to the resilience of both nature and the human spirit.

We are never so broken that we cannot rise again with the right support and love around us. We are how we choose to respond to the slings and arrows of life. We either endure in strength, or we allow ourselves to be defeated.


The scars become a testament to our character and provide an unexpected beauty all their own.

I love happy endings.

Thanks for visiting …



©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2017

Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds

Snow Can Be So Pretty



An eerie stillness permeates the air

And with the wind the trees doth creak and moan.

Their naked branches not so very bare;

As coat of ice doth shiver, shake and groan.

Ol’ Man of Winter hath his fury wrought

As Mother Nature weeps for what she’s lost.

The children of the Earth in tempest caught

Their innocence, as e’er, too high a cost.


The calm after the storm a vacant shock

As minds and hearts and souls themselves adjust

To what is lost of nature’s precious stock

And come to terms with this we children must.

For precious life to all of us is given,

But none of us are guaranteed to heaven.


I’ve started a new journal.

As I am inclined to do, I flipped through the pages of my last journal to see what I’d left behind and found this sonnet written during the great ice storm of Christmas week December 2013.

Written by candlelight, I imagine. I don’t remember. That week is such a blur. Surreal, I suppose.

I love trees and it distressed me to see them suffer under the volume of ice they bore. 

Now, two months later, the only ice left is under foot, and this is a hazard all its own.

Perhaps a month from now the view will be green instead of white. Judging by the mountains of snow and three inches of ice underneath it, spring could be a long way away … and messy.

Still, snow can be so pretty.


Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy 🙂


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell Creative Works

The Ice Storm

The ice storm has come and gone leaving in its wake a trail of destruction, particularly to the tree canopy, that covers a large swath of Southern Ontario.

There have been power outages in many areas. We were 36 hours without power in our small town 45 minutes north of Toronto. For a while there I thought for sure we’d be spending Christmas cold and in the dark. Thankfully, at 8:15 last evening, the lights flickered on. The temperature on the ground floor of our home at the time was 63F, kept to this more or less reasonable level by the gas fireplace in our family room.

Still, this is nothing compared to what some people are experiencing in the big city. Many areas will be without power until the weekend, and whole neighbourhoods of old trees have been lost.

Power loss is localized because of fallen tree branches taking out hydro wires. This is why it will take so long for some people to get back their power. The hydro workers are struggling to re-establish power lines, neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

My mother lives in one of the hardest hit areas at the north end of Toronto. She is determined to wait it out in her home even though she has no heat except for a small gas fireplace in her basement. This is where she has hunkered down. I have told her she is to come here if it gets too uncomfortable.

In the meantime, Mother Nature has punctuated her little hissy fit with Old Man Winter by sending in a blast of Arctic air. This has submerged the area in temps of -14C which means, of course, that the ice that weighs down our beautiful trees and other foliage is not going to melt any time soon. This puts even more stress on their already overly burdened branches. All we can do now is pray we don’t get any heavy winds, as that will bring another swath of problems, including more downed power lines.

Needless to say this little weather event has bitten into the holiday plans of an enormous number of people. We have postponed Christmas dinner until next Sunday when, with any luck, the worst of the stress of this experience will have passed and we and our dinner guests can properly enjoy a festive feast.

For many this won’t be possible. This storm has proven a cruel blow to those who were having family and friends come celebrate for the holidays.

We are counting our blessings in our home. Grateful that we have our power back and that so far our trees and shrubs have survived the icy onslaught. We’re also hopeful that they can hang in until the temperatures warm up and a melt can begin.

We are also grateful to the many hydro workers out there, local and from out of province, braving the frigid temperatures to repair the power system. I know it’s their job, but this wasn’t in their holiday plans either. 😉

Herewith a few images from around our garden.

Be well and take care of each other.

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013