Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The tree fell on schedule

I was mildly surprised yesterday. The tree fell on schedule.

Yesterday morning I looked at Weather Underground and saw that it was going to be windy between 14 and 1600 local time.

That's when I predicted that the tree would drop and sure enough, it went down at 1414 local time.

Weather Underground is pretty good most of the time which is rare for any weather prediction service of any time.

Anyway, I had a rope tied to the tree and a come-along holding tension on it to try and direct the fall. I knew that as soon as the tree began to fall it would slack the line and it would really be useless. Therefore I out a skellet on the line.

A skellet is a weight on a line to keep tension on it and also to redirect the direction of it. It is also a force multiplier of sorts. In this case I took a clothesline pulley, put it on the line and tied a concrete block to it. Then with a seperate line I hauled the block halfway between the tree and the come-along. It did create somewhat of a sag.

It also served the purpose of being a tell-tale. I could see it from the house and if it dipped I knew the tree was leaning a little more.

At a little before 1400 the wind started to pick up a bit and I saw that the block was a little closer to the ground so I started watching while I drank a cup of coffee. At about 1410 I put my cup down and when I got there I watched for a few seconds and decided to take the sag out of the line.

I put one click, just one measley click on the come-along and heard the crackling sound of a tree letting go from its hold on the earth and ran away to a safe spot.

It came to earth flat, pretty much as planned and when it hit I glanced at my watch out of curiosity. I was wondering how accurate my guess had been. The watch read 1414.

I wandered out to the tree and saw to my satisfaction that the trunk was solidly on the ground and not suspended by branches. This was going to be a safe, easy job of bumping knots and bucking up the trunk.

Off to the garage and the chain saw and by about 1800 the trunk had been bucked up and so had most of the branches.

It is about 0930 as I write this and I have already stacked about 20% of the trunk and started to pile up the slash. There are going to be three seperate piles. The trunk, any of the branches 1 inch or greater and the remaining slash.

I think I will invite some of the neighbors to help themselves to the wood simply to get rid of it. The guy down the street has a camp and he spends weekends there. I suppose he'll snag a bunch. He can have it all as far as I am concerned.

If not, I suppose I'm going to buy a case of beer and maybe a jug and have the First Annual Fall whatever and recreational fire. There's another pile from another tree there. It is pretty dry, alomst to the point of being rotten. I'd like to simply dump a gallon of gasoline on it and throw a match at it but I can't unless it is some kind of recreational fire.

A few years back I went on a mild rampage and spent an entire week burning up a fir that I had cut up after it got taken out by a wind shear. I got a visit from an annoyed fire marshal who knew what I was doing. Every time he showed up at the inferno he'd see me sitting there with a hot dog on a spit roasting it. He'd glower and slink off as this was (and still is) legal. 

I doubt I'll go this route, though, although I very well may come fall.

Anyway the tree is down, my wire antennas are back up and I am back in business on the 160 meter band.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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