Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘forest canopy

Trees Down

leave a comment »

It’s certainly not the first time that I have written about fallen trees on our land and it definitely won’t be the last. The most recent two incidents were both completely unexpected and surprisingly large. They both came down after the stormy weather that dowsed us with over seven inches of rain in a very short time. I finally got around to dealing with them on Friday and upon close inspection of the job at hand discovered just how big they really were.

It was hard to cut them into pieces small enough to lift because they were so hefty. In fact, the initial effort didn’t result in removing any of the wood and branches, we just rearranged it into more compact piles.

The tree that was closer to the house and thankfully fell away from the structure now lies in the woods of my neighbor’s land. When I first noticed it, there was no evidence from the surrounding trees that anything had happened. There is a wall of leafy growth on the edge of forests that form a sort of walled barrier to the cathedral within, where the canopy of shade protects a spacious natural auditorium.

When I stepped through that outer shell to see how big that tree was, I was even more impressed with our luck that it didn’t lean toward our house, instead.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

At least this tree didn’t mess up any of the others around it.

The big oak, on the other hand, was merciless to many of the smaller trees in its path. It is heartbreaking to discover how many of the surrounding tree limbs have been snapped or bent over severely by the pressure of the falling beast.

When a big tree falls, you often lose more than just that one tree.

We are at no shortage of lumber to be turned into woodchips for our landscaping needs.

I’m hoping we might enjoy a break for a long while now before the next big tree makes its way back down to earth.

It’s not my favorite event in the natural world.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

July 5, 2020 at 9:51 am

Forest View

leave a comment »

I’m no expert, but I’m willing to venture a guess that a tree that sprouts leaves in the spring, but can’t get them to grow any larger than the tip of a finger, is going through the slow process of dying.

I’ve been watching this tree out our bathroom window for several weeks. It is particularly noticeable because all the rest of the trees around it opened up gorgeous full-sized leaves on their branches.

That standout stalled at the earliest stage of sprouting leaves.

I’m now doubting its likelihood of catching up.

Looking out that window yesterday, it occurred to me how many months of the year that view opens deep into the wooded slope, looking across a carpet of brown fallen leaves covering the ground.

That spot is a favorite for rambunctious squirrels that put on Ninja Warrior obstacle course demonstrations, bringing Delilah to an uncontrollable outburst of window-screen destruction and flurries of loud barking in the front porch.

This time of year, that section of forest becomes an enchanting mystery. I love the darkness that develops under the canopy of shady leafed-out trees. When the sun is really bright, it makes that darkness even more intense.

Last year, in August, I posted about the Inviting Portals that beckon a visit into the benefits of breathing the forest air. I find those darkened openings irresistibly captivating.

I’m convinced that I receive equally beneficial psychological rewards simply from absorbing the glorious views of the walls of trees that tower along the edges of our forest and fields.

It’s never clear what the change from bare trees to leafy ones will bring. Branches along the trail that were overhead all winter will often surprise me with how much they droop under the added weight of leaves come spring.

After a brief, yet energized thunderstorm yesterday afternoon, some of the young trees around the house failed to hold their posture under the added weight of wetted leaves.

So, we’ve got trees with not enough leaves and trees with more leaves than they can support, but they are each an exception. The rest of the forest is as picturesque as ever now, providing views that invite and inspire.

Forest views that feed my soul tremendously.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

May 30, 2018 at 6:00 am

Tree Love

leave a comment »

It always seems to come back to the trees for me. Even though our horses are key to the whole operation, they don’t provide near the atmosphere here (literally) as do the trees.

Despite my love of trees, I find it unsatisfyingly easy to take them for granted. Today’s post is an effort to make up for that.

I discovered a long time ago that trees and I share a similar limit to high altitudes. Every time I get above the tree line in mountainous regions, I begin to feel ill. I guess, if they don’t have enough oxygen to thrive, I don’t either.

Wintervale has some nice grazing available on open fields, but as you can see in this image, our forest of trees tower right up to the back of the barn. Our log house is nestled, out of sight, behind the first few of those green monsters.

When the french doors to the deck are open, we are effectively forest bathing from within our living room, breathing in the aromatic phytoncides.

I love the shade our trees offer, the sounds they make in the wind, the changes they display through the seasons, and the wood they provide when they die.

I have never been responsible for as many acres of trees as we have now, and though the task is often daunting, I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity. Tending the forest isn’t as simple as mowing the fields, but I definitely prefer it.

The primary stepping off point for our adventure to seek out and eventually purchase this Wintervale paradise was our visit to Ian Rowcliffe in Portugal. It is wonderfully fitting that Ian and I first discovered each other in an online community discussion item on the subject of trees, about seven years earlier.

For some reason the other day, I cropped out the hammock in the image I posted on Sunday.

I think I like this one better. It tells more of the truth. Makes me feel like napping every time I look at it, though.

My life would be so much drearier without all the majestic maples, oak, poplar, pine, elm, ash, and butternut crowns forming a canopy over the back half of our precious plot. I absolutely love our trees.

*****

An addendum to yesterday’s post: In case you were curious, the intuition was fading, as it took me a couple tries to get to the bottom of the problem, but I eventually found the reason the pump wasn’t coming on was a tripped ground fault interrupt. Problem easily solved.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Written by johnwhays

August 15, 2017 at 6:00 am