The last couple months of winter and the first of spring are tree trimming months in the orchards. Even while the trees were coated in ice, they were being pruned. Apples need the sun to ripen, so the trees must be trimmed in order that most of the fruit bearing branches grow on the outside. Many trees end up shaped something like an umbrella and are wonderful for hiding under or turning into a house if you are a child.
For weeks we have heard the buzz of chainsaws. Sometimes they are far off and distant and sometime close. The activity level seems equivalent to summer or fall.
Yesterday morning we woke to a billowing pillar of smoke. The workers were gathering branches and burning old stumps and brush. I have often seen distant fires, but this one was quite close. Lucky for us the wind was not blowing toward the house. By last evening there was just a wisp of smoke rising from the ashes.
(That's my garden in the lower corner of the bottom picture.)