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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Grandmother Oak

Another view of the Oak taken Monday afternoon before the tree went down. There is a Magpie sitting on the fence.

In my last post I was estatic at the return of the Yellow-billed Magpies. I took that picture early Monday afternoon and little did I know that was the start of a a fair bit of hoopla.

The weather was pouring rain on and off on Monday. Around 8PM and I heard something weird - the windows rattling and the wind blowing. The house lights and my computer started flickering and then died; I leapt up and charged for the big picture window just in time to see a bolt of what I thought was lightning, completely visable through the closed blinds - the jagged lightning was that bright! What I saw was not lightning; it was the power transformer exploding all over my backyard.

I totally freaked. Ran to the back of the house for a look see though a window. I could see the power line (visable in Monday's post with the Magpie on it) was hanging several feet lower. Nor in my shock did I then notice the brunt of what had happened.

As I stared excitedly out the back window, neigbbors, came out, their high beams shining on the powerline. That gave me the willies - obviously have seen too many alien movies like The Signs and War of the Worlds - yes, I know I'm pathetic.

I heard a raps at the front door & fumbled my way to the front of the house. It was one of my neighbors whose home is across the street; he still had power. He dropped by to warn me not to go in my back yard because there were power lines down - no kidding?

I think my neighbor's name is Bob and he is very nice - has Plain Titmouses nesting in his back yard most years - a fellow nature lover. Anyway, I probably only talk to him once every 2 or 3 years. I am like a vampire for all my neighbors see of me; sneaking in and out of my garage under cover of darkness. Anyway, it was pointed out to me that the old oak was down; I had been so excited I hadn't even noticed! When I went to look out my back windows again I realized the fence line seemed so naked. How could I have not noticed that beautiful and humongous tree was gone?

Bottom line: the power was out on every home on my block - maybe some dozen residences. When the old oak fell onto the fence line she wasn't going alone - there was a domino effect - as the oak tumbled over it ripped power and phone lines from homes and pulled over several poles and trees. Oddly enough the tree did not take the powerline pole by my yard; the one the oak stood next to for so many years. The tree tumbled down onto the fence line to the north - right down the middle between neighbor's homes, completely avoiding damage to any houses. For my part, my fences were left untouched, but my electrical lines were ripped right out of my roof, and they lay strewn around my back yard. The Telephone line was still connected but it hung several feet lower than normal. Eeek.

An hour later I was stretched out on my bed reading by candlelight. At 1 o'clock AM chain saws growled away at the fallen oak like a pack of wolves. The chain saws were still going at 3 AM.

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