Nothing makes one’s ears perk up as well as walking through the woods (in this case the Rabbit Hole’s stand of Norway Spruce/Pine/Maple) on a windless, warm day and hearing an ominous popping creak from high above.  It might be the massive double trunk White Pine near the drive, it has several pieces of climbing Euonymous jammed in the crotch of the trunk and consequently it sometimes makes some very odd noises, even on a day with essentially no wind.*  It might be an innocuous branch rubbing somewhere; it might be a tree reacting to the changing temperature.  Or it might be gravity asserting itself.  It is the sort of noise that is very hard to get a solid directional fix on, you’re doing well to pin it down to about 90 degrees.

You can’t go and visually inspect all those trees, not when there are well over a dozen Norway Spruces and Pines standing at between 80 and 110 feet in height.  Besides in my experience, you can never tell.  The White Pine on the North Lawn all those years ago was a lovely example: a perfectly fine, fully mature pine when I walked past on a day with light wind; fifteen minutes later and it had snapped like a toothpick.  On the other hand, there is an ash that is busy defying physics: it has a spiral crack so large that a child could hide in the hollow of the trunk and on windy days you can see the crack shifting.  It has been that way for about five years and two hurricanes.

If it is something…well, we will KNOW about it one of these days!

*even 5mph wind is enough to get a little bit of sway at the top, which is just enough to get it to rub.