The day before yesterday, we were rudely awakened fifteen minutes before the alarm went off to a big crash outside. The wind was howling when we went to bed the night before and I knew right away what had happened.
Do you remember this tree?
It was dead as a doornail after last year's drought and had been slowly shedding it's bark and smaller limbs. You can see how close it is to the chain link fence and stalls on the right. What you can't see in this pictures is our house about twelve feet to the left of the tree. Every time I walked by it, I would try to knock a few more limbs off and offer a little prayer that it would miss the house and the fence when it finally came down. That was the sound that awakened us fifteen minutes before the alarm on Tuesday ...the sound of an answered prayer.
It missed the house AND the chain link fence. If we had cut it down ourselves, we could not have laid it so perfectly in that narrow space. It will be a lot of work to get it all cleaned up, but at least it's down and no longer a threat to the other structures.
We lost several trees in last year's drought, included these tall pines along the driveway.
That picture was taken at the end of last summer. They look like dead soldiers, all lined up along the driveway. A few months later, we paid a contractor to take the tops off to make them more manageable. They were all sixty to seventy feet tall and would have either blocked the driveway or taken down the power line on the opposite of the driveway if we tried to fell them without topping them first.
This is what they look like now, decapitated sentries.
This picture doesn't show you the seemingly endless piles of brush created by the decapitating. We're still working on cleaning those up and then we'll cut what's left of the trees down to the ground. They were pretty when they were alive and healthy. But I would rather have them gone entirely than still standing in their present state.
Such is the country life. There are always going to be fences to be built or repaired, animals that need feeding or doctoring, gardens that need to be planted or harvested. Rain or shine, there are always chores to be done. It's a labor-intensive life and it's not for everyone. Sometimes my city-dwelling co-workers see pictures or hear me talk about things we're doing out here. Then they tell me how much they wish they could live out in the country, have horses, raise a garden, enjoy a simpler life. They might even really believe it when they say it. But I just smile because I know better. They would enjoy it like they would enjoy a vacation. They'd have fun for a while and then be ready to go back to the city. They would be missing their Starbuck's and their movie theaters.