Slightly irritating point in the afternoon: people I consider friends calling wanting to ban target shooting in the town. May their garden get eaten by the deer and may the coyotes get their chickens, again.  I don’t happen to like what my neighbors have going every weekend (slightly drunk, loud people for six hours each day in my case), but I’m not proposing a law against it either. Argh. I might be more sympathetic if the guy ever sighted his rifle in at 6am in an unsafe location, but he doesn’t.  The occasional mid day on a weekend, on private property, in a location with a good backstop isn’t the end of the world.

In other news, I was sitting here writing a weekly piece for my church when I heard that most distinctive of noises: a sharp Crack, then a series of muffled crunches, and an almighty Thud.  Spend any time in the woods near a logging operation and the sound is unmistakable: a large tree with an intact crown just fell over.  Dead wood, by the way, often makes no sound at all until it hits; the crack and the crunching rustle need live wood and a crown interfering with other branches. Not that it really matters, one doesn’t want to be under either sort.

It took a bit of looking to find the tree in question: the big old Silver Maple by the driveway entrance, the survivor of the original pair planted c. 1935 when the state highway was realigned.* Its trunk snapped about thirty five feet up. Just a little too much wind from the northeast, courtesy of the hurricane that didn’t.  The crown fell down right along the trunk, which was nice of it. Had it snapped at the base it would have made a mess, as it stands! the damage to surrounding trees is minimal: it smashed one hemlock and possibly a volunteer beech; but did not come near two important spruces, a Japanese Maple, or the driveway pines.  The trick will be the trunk itself.  But, I know people 🙂

*Unless they were even older and belonged to the house on the other, the old east side, of the highway, before the highway moved east. I’ve never been sure.

** I’ve just outed myself politically haven’t I? Guns, God, and logging.  Oy, my apologies to one very specific aunt in particular who loves the woods and has an entirely understandable dislike of guns.