This past weekend we stopped by the neighbors down the street to help them finish up moving the logs from a tree in the front yard that had fallen. It is so dry from the drought that as you drive around, you can see where the tops of trees have simply snapped under the weight of themselves. In the case of the neighbors tree, it just looks like the base of the trunk had rotted out.
But the trees on lots that are not being built on, and therefore mostly left untrimmed are sprinkled with these trees that just snap. Like Sunday night when we were just finishing up some yard work, we heard a little critter rustling around in the brush. Eva saw the little ring tail cat that was sneaking around. Gracie saw it too.
(This little guy likes to pose for the camera)
We were working on the south side of the yard when Gracie took off running all the way to the other side on the north. I'm not talking about some great distance, by the way; the lot is only an acre and a half. But it did take us some time to walk over and see what the ruckus was all about. As the little animal raced off into the brush and up a tree and then into more untamed growth, Gracie sat patiently at the fence with her tail wagging, hopeful that her little friend would come over to our side of the fence and play with her.
And when we got there, we realized that the tiny little critter was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, because the tree it raced up snapped and the top of it fell onto our fence.
Having a chain saw out here is not some extra toy, it is a necessity. Thankfully I had just used it earlier with my continuing project to thin our brush pile (from 10 months ago), and we were able to make quick work of the tree on our fence. I suspect I'm going to need to do some fence tightening.
Speaking of my brush pile... This burn ban has been going on the entire time we have lived here. I have often thought of taking a match and letting the entire thing go up in flames just to be done with it, but I don't like the thought of the hefty fine that comes with getting caught. More importantly, the wind is extremely unpredictable and I have no interest whatsoever in being the guy that burns down the neighborhood. That pile is about a third the size it was when we started in January, because I can either chip or burn a little at a time.
And when there is no wind to speak of, I can stand around the barrel and pretend I'm enjoying a campfire in the woods, or I'm a homeless guy staying warm. As you can see, I'm easily amused.
One of these days this pile will be gone, and another tree will fall or it will be time to trim the trees again. All part of living out here, I suppose.