Sunday, May 26, 2013

If a tree falls

"If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear?"

So sings Bruce Cockburn.

I don't live near a forest, although we've a stand of trees in the back yard, and i heard one crack as it blew down in a storm. This was about a year ago.

We've been getting loads and loads of rain for much of the week, accompanied by high winds for much of the time. After a while, you become accustomed to the grey and shuffle along, wondering if you'll see the sun any time soon.

Well, i'm here to say that we're supposed to have the rain ending today—the weather forecasters said "clearing up in the afternoon"—and it's 4:30 or a bit past now with some gentle, spitting rain. With the long weekend this weekend, i was hoping for some time in the boat. We launched Monday, just after the rain let up, but it's been raining since Tuesday.

And, so Thursday evening, i went to bed around 11 after kissing the kitties good-night and seeing a large, black, long-haired cat outside. I wouldn't have noticed it, but JoJo kept staring intently in the darkness, so i switched on the light and saw it, too. I haven't seen that one before, so not sure where s/he lives. Other than the black cat, everything else was like normal.

I retired to bed, just like usual, and slept soundly until Phoebe meowed that she was ready for breakfast. Even with the grey gloom, it lightens up much earlier these days, and some days Phoebe wants breakfast before my alarm goes off. So, i complied, looked out at the grey, sodden mess, the lilacs are in full bloom, the grass is going to be quite long by the time it'll stop raining so i can mow, and i set about for a busy workday Friday. I decided to run errands over lunch and glanced momentarily at the large maple that had been dying last year, with one small branch still leafing out. I noted that this year, it seems to have given up the ghost completely, as the branch did not leaf out. But, in my cursory glance its way, i was shocked when i saw that the large branch that had hosted the small leafed out branch from last year, had fallen off the tree. "Branch" seems a bit of a misnomer, as it's huge, nearly four feet (1.2 m) in diameter. When it fell, it split the upper rail of the fence, and caused the bottom rail to become unhooked. The upper reaches fell against the weirdly shaped fir tree we have that's gnarly and twisted, no doubt from years of heavy snowfall. It didn't touch power lines, the house, or any other tree. Nobody was hurt, and i doubt if anyone saw it fall. I slept through the entire event.

I had thought to take the chainsaw class last month to see if i could take the tree down myself. My instructors said no as the tree is huge (8 feet/ nearly 2.5 m around), and i wondered if there were some way i could take down just that large branch, as it seemed to be hanging a bit ominously. Mother Nature apparently thought the same, and now that the branch is safely on the ground, i can commence to cutting it up.

A crow often used the top part of the tree to sit in the morning and survey. I've not seen him/her since the tree branch fell. I did take a photo or two and shall upload them when i get a minute.

So now, when i hear Bruce sing that song, i can reply, "If a tree falls, i'll be sleeping soundly and not hear a thing."


  1. Ah poor crow..........
    Where did he go.....

    1. Not sure, John. Another tall tree next to this one has a few dead branches near the top that can could provide a decent perch, i think. The reason i didn't take the tree down last year was because i saw a pair of woodpeckers and thought they might make a nest there. They didn't, although they visited often and drilled the trunk. Huge, gaping holes.

      I often waved to the crow and called out, "Hello, Crow," when i saw him. I think he was one of those on carcase control, too, and i was always grateful for that.

    2. I saw the crow this morning. He is using the other tree as his new lookout.

  2. Lots of woodland surrounding here, and the sound of falling trees or branches is quite common. A few years back an apple tree decided to fall just as I was passing by; it missed me by inches!

    1. Wow, Cro, that would have spooked me!