Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Tree

The rain let up this morning & then was followed by wind that just continued to pick up throughout the day. They mentioned 45 mph gusts on the noon news. I was out in the barnyard for the third time today when I realized that Amy, one of the Anatolian shepherds, was in a part of the pasture where a huge dead pine tree overhangs. This tree split last year & started to fall but did not completely break free. It also hung in another tree. The break in the tree is a good fifteen feet above the ground, the pine is firmly wedged in the living tree & is not in a position where we are excited about trying to get it down. Ironically, a few weeks ago the gentlemen clearing the lines for the power company came by, took a look at it & told Mr. Potter something along the lines of "Yup, you got yourself a problem there." And they are the professionals.

So as I walked to the barnyard, I heard the pine creaking very loudly. It often creaks in wind but this was a long, higher pitched noise. Since there is nothing I can do about the tree, I felt I should do something about the animals on the ground. I pulled everyone out of that pasture & shut the gate. The tree may come down but hopefully only damage fencing, not creatures.

I was working in the old barn when I heard a strange tree-moving noise. I stepped out in time to hear a huge crack. As I turned my head to look at the tree, I caught sight of one of the neighbor's pines moving. It groaned one more time, listed to one side & broke into three pieces as it fell to the ground. It landed with an explosion as rotted pieces of wood shot through the air. And it landed on its own side of the fence! For the split second that it took for it to fall, I began planning how I would move the livestock to another pasture until the smashed fencing could be repaired. But the wind was blowing just right so that fencing & animals were safe.

I gathered eggs & returned to the house to finish making vegetable soup for dinner. We laugh about it being vegetable soup as I always start with about four pounds of nice strip steak to season the pot. Then I add tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onions, corn, beans & lots of spices. Soup just seemed perfect as the temperature dropped throughout the day. I'd just gotten a new shipment of dill from Penzey's so we had soup, dill bread & sharp Amish Swiss cheese for dinner.

I'll scrub up the day's eggs in a little while & call it a day. I am pleased that we are getting just a few more chicken eggs each day as the daylight increases. Before long we should be back to full production.

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