Posts Tagged ‘tree gymnastics’

Mother Nature Reminder

September 17, 2008

The Wilds of Ohio is known for the occasional tornado, which is unsurpassed in delivering dramatic damage, but over a small area (“Auntie Em!! Auntie Em!!”) .

But this weekend, we were visited by what was left of the fury that was Hurricane Ike and I learned that hurricanes… even leftover weakling versions of hurricanes… can create quite the mess over wide areas. Here’s a neat animation showing what hurricane intensity levels can do… (and winds in The Wilds were below category 1, yet still getting damage… )

The neighborhood looks like a war zone for trees. I have 5 trees in close proximity to the house and, luckily, didn’t have a one of them smack a hole in it. That’s not to say stuff didn’t fall. The winds, topping out around 70 mph, caused much damage, leaving me with at least 3 branches over six inches thick that were on the ground… hell, I say ‘branches’, though they could’ve been tall trees in their own right if planted in the ground.

The most fun were a couple branches that didn’t break off, but sort of split and were hanging by shards of cellulose. Wanting to make sure they didn’t fall and (a) kill someone, (b) mash a hole in the house, (c) nope, still no ‘c’, or (d) take out other branches creating a wooden avalanche, I decided the branches needed to come down. Unfortunately, with so much tree destruction around, getting the professional tree trimming businesses to come out is currently impossible. So, up a ladder I go.

Didja ever see those lumberjack contests on ESPN where they time cutting through three foot thick logs? And winning times are in mere seconds? Well, that was JUST like me… except it was an eight inch branch… and my ‘winning time’ was about 15 minutes with me sweating and sucking air at the end.

The worst part was trying to cut the branch at an odd angle with a small bow saw* without falling and cracking my skull. After a few minutes of futile semi-sawing, I found a position that gave me a good angle to cut. It was about 5 minutes in when I noticed that, though I was NOT cutting the branch I was sitting on (a la Wiley Coyote), I was sitting on a branch that was dead as a doornail. Duh! Ya see? This is why I got a college degree… I’m not cut out for doing labor that could kill me for lack of common sense.

Some very kind neighbors came by and helped drag the branches out to the curb. There now sits a stack of branches out there that could easily be several small trees… or one big one. And, thankfully, the city is stepping up to disposing the tree carcasses… my tax dollars finally at work!

I feel quite lucky… some in the area are still without electricity, two days later. Some in the area have lots of damage to houses and, obviously, trees. Some were injured and, tragically, some even killed by falling debris. And this was a half strength remnants of a hurricane that hit the Wilds of Ohio… those folks on the coast caught the brunt of it.

Don’t fuck with Mother Nature… she’s a mean bitch who knows when to remind us we’re just guests on this planet…


*No, I don’t have a power chainsaw… never had much use for one and, quite frankly, I shouldn’t be trusted wielding something that can slice off a hand in less than a second… unless i’m wearing a hockey mask…