Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Tree Down

with 2 comments

Sometimes a simple walking of the dog through the woods feels more like a reconnaissance mission of surveying the ever-changing status of our property. Certainly, after a few days of strong winds there are changes to be expected, but I’ve been surprised more than once about how easy it is to miss what eventually seems to be obvious.

Did this tree make a sound when it toppled?

We didn’t hear a thing. I expect I may have walked past it one or two times in the days since the gale force gusts blasted us for hours on end last week, but yesterday as I joined Cyndie and Delilah for morning chores, I spotted it immediately as we approached.

It fell in a perfect direction to avoid getting hung up in any other trees and pointed away from the trail. With all the other downed wood from our days of tree trimming awaiting attention, it’s possible this old poplar will be left where it lays for nature to process.

If we were intent on cleaning up downed trees and branches throughout the full extent of our meager stretch of forested acres, it would be more than a full-time job for us.

In the last couple of years we have focused our attention on the patch of trees closest to the house by the barn and back pasture, picking up dead wood that has made its way to the ground.

This is the time of year, before green leaves obscure the view entirely, when the extent of branches brought down over winter is so easy to spot that it intimidates. There is so much to be picked up. It doesn’t give any impression of our having done so last year. That is, until one strolls through the forest at the west end of our land to see how much is on the ground where nothing has ever been picked up.

I wonder what a year-long time-lapse recording of the trees and ground in our woods would look like. Timed right, I bet it would appear to be raining limbs and branches.














Written by johnwhays

March 18, 2017 at 9:05 am

2 Responses

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  1. I completely agree. I am amazed that I am still finding some tree that were fallen by a wind storm last July. I must have walked past some of them 30 times or more and never saw them. Just goes to prove how unmindful or how inattentive I have been. Our big dog is about 3.5 years old at this point is just beginning to notice sounds and smells in the woods that to which a year ago he would not have paid any attention. So I guess we humans are not alone in not paying due heed to the world around us.

    Jim Parker (@drjparker)

    March 19, 2017 at 8:07 am

    • Hah! We have noticed Delilah totally miss things that we thought obvious. Despite her keen sense of smell, she still fails to notice some things we see, probably because we aren’t distracted by all the smells she is busy observing!
      Sometimes, we look out at the woods and have to ask ourselves whether a leaning tree has just tipped or was like that for a while. Never really are sure.


      March 19, 2017 at 9:53 am

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