Wind Blow

No tears are shed over windblown sitkas
No tears are shed over windblown sitkas

Following some decent gusts of wind last night, I headed out to assess the damage in the woodcock strip this morning. As I expected, the big holes I cut into the wood during October have left the internal trees very vulnerable, and some of the weaker ones have blown out of the wood altogether. This is no problem at all, and I had actually planned for a certain amount to fall down over the winter, but when they fall down over the stock fence, things become less acceptable. I cut them up and tossed the brash back over into the wood, and I will have to go back tomorrow with some new fenceposts just to patch up the sheep net which was almost bent double by the weight of the trees.

Windblown trees have a very satisfying way of plopping back on their stumps once you cut the weight of the trunk away. I met a man who told me how he was cutting windblown sitkas one day while his collie dog sat behind him keeping watch. He cut three or four trees, all of which sat back on their stumps leaving no sign of the fact that they had ever been uprooted other than a semi-circular rip in the ground where the foot-plate had been pulled up. After the fourth tree, he noticed that his collie dog wasn’t where he had last seen it. With an appalling sense of forboding, he began to search around for the dog and quickly came to the conclusion that it must have been standing in the crater left by a fallen tree when the stump suddenly sat back on itself. Death would have been instantaneous and recovering the body quite impossible. Besides, why would he dig up a body only to bury it again? He told me that after saying a few words and shedding more than one tear, he headed back to the Land Rover, only to find the collie sleeping on the passenger seat. I suppose the moral of the story is that your imagination is always far worse than reality…


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