Apr 18, 2005

In a time of bears on trikes

I refused to cycle.

It's got nothing to do with anything really, it's completely irrelephant, I was just trying on the sound of it. I nearly got killed yesterday by a falling branch. S'truth. I was working on a little knick-knack shelf project that I spent most of yesterday on, and was using Krylon up at a drastic rate. After the wife stopped by and told me that my eyes looked a little bloodshot and crazy I figured that it might be best to get out of the shop (yes I DID have a fan going, thank you) and maybe breathe some fresh air while I painted, so I sat in the doorway with the pieces being painted supported on a little jack stand that offered to help.

So there I sat for a good half hour or so, painting to my heart's content, listening to the radio in the background, and I finally got to that point that I hate most--when there's still work to be done but no way to do it. Everything was drying, but incomplete, and I couldn't move forward without leaving sticky tracks in fresh paint, so I brought my gear back inside and left it all sit, to wander into the house to see how supper was progressing.

I ended up at the computer emptying the camera, had been inside for all of ten minutes when the wife bustled up to me and told me that a tree limb had fallen in the rose garden. A big one. So I dragged my tired old bones outside to find a thirty foot long branch with a broken terminus a good 5" thick had fallen longways through the newly installed garden, touching almost nothing. One end of one thin twig had pressed down on one cane of the Don Juan, the only bush out there strong enough to take a direct impact from, say, a falling tree branch and survive. The thing that most got me was this--had I still been sitting in the doorway I would have had a whole head-full, not to mention a body-full, of pecan tree limb.

My pecan tree is trying to kill me.

Thankfully trees are notoriously bad shots, and having at your disposal an arsenal of dead or dying branches which cannot be detached entirely at will makes things a lot more problematic for most trees. For instance, this Stuart Pecan. No telling how long that branch was dead, being held in place by sheer force of sappy will. The tree bides it's time, knowing that I enter and leave the shop at least five times a day, more on weekends, but it knows that I am only in range for a very brief time. It's opportunity arrives--I'm not only at the shop door, I'm SITTING within range of it's primary aimed weapon. The time is right, the range is right, it lets go of it's ancient and malevolent will power, allowing this dead branch to fall from the trunk.

Which it does. After about forty-five minutes of letting tiny fibers finally release and crack and separate one from the other. Slowly, painfully slowly, it waits to see the final result, feeling the branch get further and further separated from the trunk, waiting for gravity to take over and send it hurtling down toward me.

Which it did. Unfortunately, it did so fifteen minutes after I had left my seat, locked the shop up for the night, and gone inside. Foolish tree--maliciousness is for humans.

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