Checking on damage after a major windstorm this past weekend, I found a mature spruce tree that had sheared off about four feet from the ground, leaned into its poplar neighbour, and was caught hanging, tight, branches against branches, waiting to fall. A big enough tree to have arm-thick branches, old enough to have thick hanging tufts of deadman’s beard lichen hanging from those branches.
Mistakes were made. A number of mistakes.
It was noontime, I hadn’t eaten anything, just a cup of coffee on the way out the door. It was cold, and it was windy, and obviously, I wanted to be done. If I left the spruce, it would continue to lean into the poplar, and last weekend’s winds clearly showed how poplars can shed their crowns. Not only that, but there would be a hanging, creaking deadhead waiting to fall across the driveway — on the electric meter-reader, on anyone else. I could come back in a week, and hope things would be fine.
The wind blew, the spruce rocked back forth — one of the two trees creaking like a hinge with every rocking swing.
But it gets worse.
I had a chainsaw.
I was alone.