The guys joined me last weekend and took down two trees. The first was a large, 90 foot spruce in the front yard. It pained me to see it go, but it had a spiral crack in the base and a good north wind in the middle of winter would have left it in the middle of my driveway for a long while (inevitably in six feet of snow with Brad underway- 'cause that is when it always happens, right?). Josh set up the chipper, and Paul hooked a chainsaw to his hip and climbed and de-branched the tree. Josh gathered the falling branches as I sat on the porch in awe of how quickly he de-frocked the tree. Then the first cut, about 45 feet up. The top portion of the tree made an echoe-ing boom when it finally hit the ground. You could count almost three seconds for it to fall- which is a long time to stand in the middle of your front porch, mouth hanging open with the words, "Holy S..." desperately trying to escape your lips.
Paul climbed down, took the saw to the trunk and had it neatly stacked on the side of the yard, as Josh began the burn pile of the brush that would not go into the chipper. Once cleared, the second cut was at the base of the tree, and, to be honest, I cannot describe how loud that boom was. It shook the house, and- I am sure- peeved all of our neighbors that Saturday afternoon.
So, how to does one remove a 90 foot spruce from the front yard? Why, find a neighbor with a wood stove, of course! Throughout the action, our neighbor, Myla walked by with her two kids, Olin and Alta, and the dog for their daily walk. We struck up a quick conversation where she made no mistake in heading directly for the tag line, "So, whatcha gonna do with the wood?" "I don't know. I don't have a wood stove, and I would like to exit from my driveway this evening." "Well, we'll take it. Let me go get Tom and the Rhino." Tom rolls in and hooks chains to the logs, and hauls the smaller ones with the diesel-powered rhino (insert Tim the Tool Man grunt here) and the larger ones with his Dodge (insert Tim the Tool Man grunt here, again). All the while, Alta played in the front yard, and Olin road the Rhino with dad. Just your typical Alaskan family.
Myla caught onto the fact that Josh and Paul were spending the night so as to head to a job in Soldotna the next day. She ran over to her coup and selected 18 fresh eggs to feed the fellas breakfast the next morning. Some of them were still warm!
Alas, the business deal ended with a handshake and a promise to deliver fish in exchange for teh four cords of wood they just towed out of our yard.
The second tree was in the backyard and fell neatly into the devil's club. A fellow coastie traded us some fish for the two cords of wood he got out of those logs. Now my freezer has both halibut and fresh king salmon. Yummmm. Good trade.
The big spruce in the front yard was over 360 years old-
hence my heartache at seeing her fall.