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Photography: Windloss - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Photography: Windloss
A wild storm blew up today while we were out running errands.  It hailed, somewhere between pea and marble size.  It rained buckets.  The wind roared.  The storm was in no mood  to calm down, regardless of how I asked.  About all I got out of Sister Wind and Sister Rain was a stream of invective about BP and the oil in the rain, followed by something or other in a Native American language that's either one I don't know any words of or it went past way too fast for me to catch anything.  Driving through Charleston, we saw a small tree that had been snapped off near the ground, with no fire-sign on it: that's windwall damage.  There were also a lot of branches and leaves torn loose, etc.

When we got home, we discovered that one of our trees had blown down.  This was one of the big old trees that formed part of the canopy in the forest section of the yard.  We are very very grateful that it fell toward the south, spilling into the south lot, rather than straight west into the house.  So the house shields did their job.  But still, alas for the tree!  We are gradually losing our big old trees and they take time to replace.  I can't even afford  to get a replacement sapling right now, and no telling if I'll be able to next spring either, assuming we can get the fallen tree chopped up and stacked elsewhere.  I'm wondering if the sky is expressing an opinion that this area should be prairie!dammit!  and not yard-forest.  That's a sad thought, because I really want to have a food/habitat forest, and it's hard when the weather rips up my canopy.

This is the view looking west alongside the house.  You can see the shattered end of the trunk.


A long view down the south meadow shows the whole fallen tree.  The tree is much bigger than it looks in this shot.  It used to be part of the line dividing the forest section (in front of the house, next to the street) from the south lot.


This picture shows the fallen tree closer, giving a better idea of its size.


These are more closeups of the broken end.




Here is a view of the broken end from the street side, looking more or less southeast.


Shooting east and just a little south, this is the racking great hole left in my forest canopy and shade cover. Argh.



From inside the forest yard, shooting south and a little east, here is a silhouette view of the gap and the broken trunk.


Meanwhile the sky to the northwest is dark and sullen again, flaring with lightning and thunder. 


I'm already tired from trying to convince the earlier storm not to, say, rip Illinois out by the roots.  There are  some two-leggeds here who do not actually suck and are trying to care for the land ... but we're kind of hard to notice in the increasingly toxic sea of humanity.  *sigh*  Positive thoughts welcome.

Tags: , , , ,
Current Mood: sad sad

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Comments
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: July 20th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a fairly impressive tree, and I'm sorry it came down -- but so relieved that it didn't hit the house.
From: minor_architect Date: July 20th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Ack! Now you have a hole in your tree-line. :(

(But you're not trying to replace your house, which is a good thing. Or driving someone to the hospital!)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

>>But you're not trying to replace your house, which is a good thing. <<

We did come home once to a tree limb through the roof. Hence the gratitude that this tree missed the house. You know the little "woodland garden" in front of my kitchen window, where I hang the hopper feeder? There used to be a huge old tree there, which fell mostly parallel to the house but still punched a limb through the roof. Much unpleasantness. Later the stump became the center of a small thicket of other saplings and a sizable honeysuckle bush.
From: minor_architect Date: July 20th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Unpleasantness, indeed. (And your poor roof!) My parents know the feeling, too. A medium-sized tree blew over right onto their house a few years ago. One of the few times their insurance came in handy. :-P
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Well...

Our "Insurance" paid for the storm damage, then demanded that we pay for a lot of other expensive stuff and tried to cancel our policy. My experiences with "Insurance" have been more negative than positive, which is why I often write it the same way I write when talking about mob "Insurance." It's what you buy to keep someone from destroying your life, not because it might actually be useful.
msminlr From: msminlr Date: July 20th, 2010 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
And you've got a BUNCH of potential firewood.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

Both firewood and mulch, all of which I can use -- once we've gotten it reduced to appropriate size. I may cut a wand or something from the top branches too.
judifilksign From: judifilksign Date: July 20th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad your house is safe, and that you are, too.
eseme From: eseme Date: July 20th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I am so glad your house is all right!

I hope you can plant a sapling next spring.

*thoughts of growth*
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2010 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Well...

I'm thinking about how to fill the hole. I have a sycamore seedling which is a possibility, but digging a good rainwell for it in that bed of roots could be very difficult. Sweetgum is another option, if I can find one and afford it.

Part of this will depend on whether we decide to leave the snag stump or remove it. I'm tempted to remove it, if feasible/safe/affordable. But I also know that snags can be useful to wildlife. We don't have a high snag other than that one, although we have a few trees with dead branches left for the woodpeckers. Removing the stump and the core of the old roots would make it easier to plant a new sapling there, and would look tidier. But that might also damage the roots of other nearby trees, which I wish to avoid doing; and it's likely to cost more. So I'm flexible about the snag. I need to take a closer look at it, or at least, look in better light.
ravan From: ravan Date: July 20th, 2010 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
*sigh* I'm glad your house and you were not damaged.

Now for the woo...

The land quakes under the blind and desperate,
The sea churns and vomits bile and blood,
The sky screams rage and fire in the night.
For those who care to look and see,
It opens vistas upon what may come

While the land will stand your forest windbreak, it needs you to see what comes from that direction, whether figuratively or literally I'm not sure. Maybe ask the land to send you two saplings, to frame the view. Also, watch out for out of season twisters.

We live in interesting times.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2010 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

Thank you for your insights.

>> For those who care to look and see,
It opens vistas upon what may come <<

*sigh* I can't not see. When the land is distressed, it bothers me.

>>While the land will stand your forest windbreak, it needs you to see what comes from that direction, whether figuratively or literally I'm not sure.<<

I would guess figuratively more than literally, and will keep my eyes open in general. The south lot is actually pretty open, except for the privacy hedge in progress.

>>Also, watch out for out of season twisters.<<

Always. It's still storm season here, though -- we get them with summer thunderstorms sometimes. You bet I was watching this afternoon when the wind started thrashing the corn.

>>We live in interesting times.<<

Too true. 0_o
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: July 20th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry for tree, glad for house, and more so for safe friends.
sleigh From: sleigh Date: July 20th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
My! Glad that fell the way it did -- your house would not have liked the impact!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

We are very grateful for that part also.
clarionj From: clarionj Date: July 20th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry for your tree loss. That IS a huge tree, and it's always sad to see something like that taken down. We lost a couple trees due to storms as well this year, and like you, we have a forested area by the house, which we're trying to keep. We plant tiny tiny hemlocks and spruces, and years later, they're still barely above a foot, whereas those fallen had towered skyward.

Maybe with the tree fallen, sunlight will pour in to aid new tree growth? Give your tree a nice pat for me to say thanks for the life. (I tend to pat trees and say thank you to them for some reason :) Wishing you well!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>> We plant tiny tiny hemlocks and spruces, and years later, they're still barely above a foot, whereas those fallen had towered skyward. <<

Yeah, a lot of evergreens are slow growing.

>> Maybe with the tree fallen, sunlight will pour in to aid new tree growth?<<

That's certainly true. I have some saplings in that part of the forest: linden, I think, and a redbud that has finally started to bloom in spring. Two or three young persimmons are farther away but might get some extra light.

>> Give your tree a nice pat for me to say thanks for the life. (I tend to pat trees and say thank you to them for some reason :) <<

Will do. I've done that myself, and will doubtless do more.
endlessrarities From: endlessrarities Date: July 20th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm so sorry about that.

It's always sad to lose an old giant like that.
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