Friday, March 18, 2011

12 steps

Today is a beautiful March day with the temperatures teasing me with a steamy 71 degrees.

The view from our home will shortly look like this, with an explosion of purple, lavender, pink and white blooms.

Until then, the yard is a bit beat up and pretty drab from the winter with dozens of twigs and small branches from the large sycamore trees that frame our home.

Yesterday, when I returned from my walk, I noticed one of our tall pines (ponderosa or sugar pine maybe) in our back yard had uprooted itself and was leaning dangerously near our power lines only propped up by a neighboring white pine.

One thing I have discovered in life.  Report a gas leak or power lines down, you get immediate action.  A call yesterday to our power company brought them out within a few hours and assured me we were not in any immediate danger (which I already knew) and that they would send someone out the next day to cut the tree down.

Today, some strong looking young men arrived and assured me they would bring no harm to our power, surrounding trees and house. 

*Holy Camoly!*

It was a bit nerve racking to watch them go to work bringing down an 80 foot tree.  At some point, though, you just have to trust the process.

So I did.  Here's what I learned about cutting down a tree.

Step 1.  Tie a rope around another tree and hope it falls in that direction.

Step 2.  Check to make sure the rope is nicely placed.

Step 3.  Discuss with your partner "Do you think that will do?"

Step 4.  Make a "v" cut on the side in the direction you want the tree to fall.

Step 5.  Take a call from your wife while your partner decides a second rope should be strung around another tree to make sure it doesn't hit the homeowner's house.

Step 6.  Try to explain to your wife why you really can't talk right now.

Step 7.  Now with a second line securing the tree, head back to the first tree to ratchet down the rope to bring the tree down, hopefully missing all obstacles in its path.

Step 8.  If tree is threatening to fall toward house, return to tree to make another *v* cut to help it fall in the intended path.

Step 9.  Hold breath and say three Hail Marys.  (Mr. Ed, the horse next door, decides not to watch.)

Step 10.  Tree Down!  Remember to exhale and say *hot damn!*

Step 11.  Admire your handy work.

Step 12.  Cut up and remove all debris.

 The end.

All that remains now is the lonely stump where once this beautiful pine tree stood.  It makes me a bit sad.

I will miss it.

Maybe a colorful red maple from the nursery could use a new home.

PS. Sorry for the pics and their poor focus. First they were taken from inside the house with my little Canon PS since I did not want to risk life and limb with falling trees and secondly, ... I'm still learning to use my NEW Nikon 7000.  So excited!

Thanks for stopping by on this Friday,  
missing the mom gene