So I just nearly died!

By April 1, 2011 Day-to-Day 3 Comments

And by “nearly” I mean that I was fertilizing my Carolina lupine (a lovely native plant! Recommend it highly!) and heard a splintery creaky noise and looked up and yelled an obscenity and a tree came down about three feet from where I was standing, tore through the trellis I’d put up for the climbing aster (a lovely native plant! Also recommend it highly!) and slammed into the ground.

Approximately thirty seconds earlier, I had been standing directly under it, fertilizing the Celandine poppies (a lovely native plant–oh, never mind…) and had I dawdled a bit or stopped to check for a tick or something, you’d be getting this blog post from the ER (if I moved very quickly) or not at all (if I didn’t.)

It was a dead pine about as thick around as my thigh, and since it’s only slightly windy, I’m thinking the base just plain rotted out and finally gave up the ghost. It was back sufficiently far in the wooded area that we never thought it was a threat to the house. I’d put it at thirty or forty feet tall—probably died in the big ice storm a few years back that took out forty-some trees directly (Kevin said they came down like jackstraws, and you can still see a lot of them downed in the woods) and left others standing but deceased. The main body was still pretty damn solid, though, and if I’d taken it to the head…well, let’s just say there would be reason to be glad that I finished Digger last month. (If I’d had the brains to throw myself sideways, it would be more likely a call to 9-1-1 saying “So there’s this tree on me…” and fortunately Kevin was on his way home, so I wouldn’t have had to gnaw my own leg off or anything. Still, it would have been Very Unpleasant.)

Still, nice to know that apparently it’s not my time!

As I said, we do live in a heavily wooded area, and while the area around the house is cleared–that’s how I garden–there’s just no escaping the fact that dead trees come down occasionally, and if they fall one way, they’ll land in the yard. Every now and then we go out and go “Hey, didn’t there used to be a tree there?” but it’s really never been that big a deal.

So I did what one does in such circumstances, which was to finish fertilizing the rest of the plants while pretending that this was Perfectly Normal and trees nearly fall on me every day, and then I called Kevin and said “So I just nearly died!” and then called my mother and did the same thing. They both took it well. Then Kevin came home and with the help of a hacksaw, cut it down and hauled it to the back of the bed, so now I have a dead tree as the back border in one area (which is actually kinda awesome!) and a moderate addition to the brush pile.

I haven’t gotten the shakes or started crying or anything, so either I really do have ice water in my veins or it’s gonna hit me sometime this evening and it’ll be exciting.

P.S. Missed all the plants, too. Right down the middle of the bed, missed the hardy pomegranate and the paw-paw by inches, cleared the bloodroot by millimeters, and the top broke off directly over a hyssop and didn’t so much as scratch it. Damnedest thing I ever saw. Apparently it really hated that trellis.

P.S.S. Crap, it only just occurred to me—not an April Fool’s joke! I have photos and everything!


  • Graydon says:

    Well, there’s one tree I’m glad missed.

    When I was a wee lad, I wound up viewing my Dad’s insistence on a clear lane of retreat when felling trees as much less over-cautious when an elm, carefully notched toward the lean, and nearly fully sawn through, suddenly rotated about 170% and _then_ fell. That was exciting.

  • Laura says:

    SO glad you didn’t die. And glad Kevin kicked all the trees for you. Glad you have the luck of the wombat with you 🙂

  • Wow, clearly native plant gardening is a dangerous pursuit!

    My mom once had her shovel struck by lightning when she was clearing the front garden path of snow – totally freaked her out about lightning after that!

    I do get nervous walking around in the woods sometimes where there are a lot of dead branches above. You just never know. I’m so glad that tree missed you Ursula.