Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘fallen branches

Home Fields

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As we rolled up the driveway on Saturday after Cyndie picked me up upon my return to the Cities, I asked her to stop at the barn. I wanted to let the horses know I had returned home. The unpacking of wet things could wait a few more minutes.

Swings greeted me first from her spot against the fence rail under the overhang. She breathed in the scent of my hands and lifted her head to let me scratch her neck. It feels pretty special to have developed a relationship with these horses after all that they have been through. I moved from Swings to Light and then to Mia. The chestnuts had each waited patiently on the other side of the overhang space. They breathed in my scent and accepted a few scratches

Finally, I looked to Mix who had yet to approach. She stepped up to the gate when I looked toward her. The herd welcomed me home.

Home to our fields. Cyndie took the above picture while I was away. The horse is standing in the back pasture. Beyond the fence is the hay field and it looks very different today. Yesterday the field got cut by a neighbor who will be taking it as round bales for his cows. It looks pretty good freshly cut. I’ll have to take some pictures.

Cyndie was in that spot to capture the grazing horse because she was taking pictures of the limb that had broken off one of the old maple trees near the back pasture.

It’s nice to be home but it means I have to get to work using the chainsaw first thing. After I finish mowing, that is.

Something tells me I’m not on vacation anymore.

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Written by johnwhays

June 27, 2022 at 6:00 am

Sun Spot

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While walking through the woods late yesterday, Cyndie and Delilah came upon one specific spot that was lit up by a ray of sunshine breaking through the otherwise thick and hazy overcast.

Is that cool, or what?

Our trees have been shedding more branches lately than humans shed hair.

It’s as if there was a time-delayed reaction to the thunderstorm last week. I had to pick up a lot of tree branch shrapnel before mowing on Monday. Two days later, we have been finding additional branches on the ground almost every time we go out.

Some of them are much larger than the usual little ones frequently shed.

There is one other phenomenon occurring across our trails lately. Spiderwebs! And not just the usual single invisible strand that we normally encounter when walking Delilah. These have been full-on webs. One even made a sound when Cyndie walked into it. Must have been strung tight like a guitar string.

The thing is, we have been encountering these after having already walked the same path earlier in the day. These spiders are industrious.

We tend to react with the typical flinching and flailing to free our bodies of the remnants and possible attached arachnids.

I suffered one entanglement last week that occurred when I had both hands full of tools, as well as Delilah’s leash. I felt the single strand impact right below my nose, across my mustache.

What the heck. I decided to forge ahead so I wouldn’t have to set down everything I was carrying and pretended I was ignoring the strand while thinking about it the entire way back to the house.

Oh, and also, stepping over all the branches littering the trail.

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Written by johnwhays

September 2, 2021 at 6:00 am

Tree Down

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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.

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Written by johnwhays

March 18, 2017 at 9:05 am