Once upon a time, there was a lovely clump of maples at the side of the road. Out walking the dogs, I was sometimes a little edgy about the way it creaked in the wind, so I walked quickly under it. But I liked the way it looked.
A few months ago, a strong wind brought down the entwined trunks on the left. We shared them with a neighbor for firewood.
Last week, wind screamed and roared all day. When I went out to my mailbox, it sounded as though an 18-wheeler was racing to run me down. I watched a tree come down in the woods, and when I reluctantly set out for work, I got about a quarter-mile down the road before I had to turn back because of another huge tree jackknifed across the road, and the power line spread out on the ground like a 100-foot snake.
The remainder of the maple clump came down—not on the shed, as we had feared, but directly into the crotch of a tall ash tree. The force of the hit split the ash vertically in half. When my son happened upon it the next day, the ash was still standing, the maple caught in it. He cut a wedge into the base of the ash and brought it down. A simple description of a dangerous job.
Here's a picture of the split:
The next photo is supposed to give you an idea of the immense height of the ash. I'm not sure it succeeds.
Here's the remains of the maple:
Assuming I had the strength and knowledge to accomplish it, I would have considered felling the ash to be a full month's work. But Joe got busy immediately, slicing up the maple for firewood.
Again, I would have quit right there, drifting off to make a pot of soup, write a book, or take to my bed with a stack of DVDs. But my son was back a day later, using a monster maul to split all the wood by hand. And now I have a lovely pile of firewood!