6:15 am. I am in my office with Simon beside me on his bed, finishing last night’s dreamtime. HM is out of town. CB is somewhere out back, tidying up after the ducks have “decorated” the back porch. Emm is storing the herbs she harvested and dried yesterday. The ducklings and their two moms are out for a stroll in the parking lot, the others bathing or catching the first bit of morning’s breakfast. The chickens are still abed.
This physical roll call of Bluestone Farm is important because at 6:15 am there was a great crashing sound, preceded by several sharp pops, which was our first clue that one of the grandmother maples had let go of a great arm. This extremely wet summer, following on years of collecting wet summers in the crotch where that huge limb joined her trunk, was just an ounce more weight than she could bear.
In less than three seconds the big log dropped to the ground in the main path trod daily by sisters, ducks, Little Cluck, our companions and interns and friends, school children, the dog and who knows what or who else. It’s a farm thoroughfare, and only minutes later would have been occupied by at least one of us, and probably more.
Falling tree movies always seem to be shown in slow motion, giving the impression that multi-ton limbs float gracefully down from on high. Anyone in the path would have plenty of time to step out of the way, one would think.
But in real time those killer logs crash down like boulders over a sheer cliff. Anyone in the way has about enough time to hear the ominous crack or two before they find themselves exploring new digs in the hereafter.
This particular disaster-in-the-making missed everything dear to us. Except the compost bin, which was damaged so badly we had to look carefully to find the place where it used to live. That, and a few apple tree branches.
No children, no sisters, no ducks, chickens, dogs, companions, interns. No chapel or convent. Not the septic tank control panel, which lives just feet from that tree. Not Duckville or Cluckingham Palace.
Amazing. But also a fair warning. We have ignored the proper care and feeding of our woodlands too long, and whoever it is that collects such debts just rang our doorbell.
OK. Got it. The arborist is on the way. And thanks for the “safe” warning. We owe you one.