Friday, January 11, 2008

Rainy Winter, and where I nearly get squashed

It's still rainy out. After the one weeks of cold, sunny, frosty weather, the rain came back and has drenched the countryside. I go for walks in my slicker and boots, and the dogs are perpectually muddy. (Let's not talk about my floors...) I am off to a lunch with friends today, so that will brighten up the day a bit.

We went for a lovely walk in a nearby woods. We saw deer bounding through the trees, and Auguste and Rusty were tied together so Auguste wouldn't go running after the deer. We were in a public domain forest, which means the paths and sandy roads through it are kept up, and the trees are constantly being pruned and checked. As we rounded a corner, we saw a lumberjack's truck, heard the whine of a chainsaw, and saw a lumberjack crouched at the base of a huge tree. We were about to go forward, but prudence held us back. Which way was the tree going to fall? We called out, but the lumberjack was wearing ear-muffs and couldn't hear us.
We decided the best thing would be to wait near the truck. He wouldn't make the tree fall and crush his truck, would he? Just as we reached the truck, the tree gave a huge crack and fell - right across the path we'd been standing upon.
I'd never seen a tree that size fall. It fell in slow motion at first, then suddenly swooshed down. The sound was incredible, and the ground shook as it hit, or perhaps it was just my imagination. But it seemed as that giant fell, the forest held its breath and then let it out with a rush of whipping branches and crackling wood.
The lumberjack looked up, saw us, and gave a start. He turned a bit pale, poor guy. I don't think he expected to see anyone that day. He told us it was a good thing we had our dogs on the leads, as there was a family of wild boar with small babies nearby. He'd seen them as he'd driven up. If the dogs had chased them, the mother would have attacked the dogs.
We clambored over the fallen tree on our way back home. It was dead - pocked with holes, and soggy with the rain.


Oopsy Daisy said...

Wow, you sure don't run across scenes like that here in the Midwest. Although we did run into some wild deer on Assateague Island back in MD when we flew there for New Years.

Bernita said...

Who said there were no more adventures to be had!

Gabriele C. said...

Wild boar with young ones are dangerous. And the damn beasts get those little striped buggers all the year now, not only in spring like decent boar did over the centuries. :)

I've met my share of wildlife in the woods(and deer in the Scottish highlands), including a lynx, but mostly they are very shy.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

I hate the sound of chainsaws - it makes me think that it is the tree that is screaming.

Hmm, I remember running foul of a family of wild pigs once - having just made a getaway from a leopard. Let me assure you, the wild pigs were a darned side scarier and more aggressive than the leopard, who, by comparison, was very polite! :-)

Rosie said...

About 3 or 4 years ago we were visiting my in-laws who lived on a lovely wooded area. Their neighbor's trees got some sort of disease and several had to be cut down. Watching the process of them topping the tree, removing the branches and then cutting down 4 huge trees was fascinating, awesome and a little sad. I thought of it immediately when I was reading this piece.

I agree with Bernita...that's an adventure! Glad you were all safe and sound.

Travis Erwin said...

Good thing you moved nearer the truck. Thanks for giving us a taste of your world.

December/Stacia said...

But what if you hadn't been there to hear it? Would it still have made a sound? :-)

That's scary. And it's raining here too, again, and supposed to all week.