Our entire back yard becomes a (relatively) cool getaway from the sun in summer, thanks mostly to two century-old native pecan trees, towering 75 feet or so above the ground.
The trouble with said 100-year-old pecans is that they’re prone to shed the occasional branch. Like the 8-inch-diameter branch I found seven days ago where it crash-landed, luckily, just between my east neighbor’s wood fence and our aging metal swingset, which no longer serves as a swingset, but more of a plant holder really, but I digress. Upon a trip to the farm six days ago, I brought back our chainsaw, which I used to cut the smaller branches from the large branch trunks. Then I cut the large branch trunks into pieces that will fit nicely into the meat smoker. These I stacked and hauled off in what used to be a classic toy red wagon, but which is now the color of rust and absent all wheel rubber, as a result of the garage fire of two months ago.
I still must haul off the leaves and smaller branches removed from the bigger branch, but that is no big deal, really. The bigger deal occurred Saturday night, when my wife and I awoke to the sort of cracking and swooshing sound I associate with Hurricane Ike, which felled the tops of all the trees hereabouts. I got up and went out back to see which of my trees had toppled, but saw nothing. Out front, same thing.
The next morning I wandered further into the back yard, looked to the right and noticed a big swath of former shade now was bright, sunny sky. An enormous “branch” with a diameter of probably 3 feet had cracked off from the trunk of one of those century pecans. The tops of the branch, which actually is by itself larger than most of my entire trees, lie spread across much of my western neighbor’s yard. The end of the huge branch remained attached to the trunk.
It remains there even now, despite the best efforts of my neighbor and myself as we wielded our chainsaws and cut and dragged off all of the large tree limbs growing from that huge trunk. The ends of two of what I will call sub-trunks had, through the force of the fall, submerged themselves deep into the ground in my neighbor’s yard, creating what almost looks to be a gargantuan letter A, with the peak about 20 feet in the air. You can walk under this A safe in the knowledge that two men with chainsaws and some determination were unable to cause the A to hit the ground. Yet unless that A is caused by some means to hit the ground, it shall remain a potential man trap that could crush anyone unfortunate enough to spend much time underneath it.
We tried chainsaws, hand saws, a wood splitter, hammering at the supports with a large log, pulling the supports away with a small tractor and then with a large SUV. Nothing would budge that gargantuan letter A.
But as luck would have it, my eastern and western neighbors had already decided to join forces and hire a bulldozer and operator on Friday for separate earthmoving projects they have concocted. So I expect the bulldozer driver may be persuaded to pit his machine against the aforementioned letter A. Shortly after that confrontation occurs – assuming it does – I shall report back in this space the results.