Continuing on the forest theme, sometimes you come across a tree that you think is just dead. This is a good time of year for it: the foliage is falling, so you can more clearly see all the trees, but some of them still have leaves, making the ones which are completely barren stand out. Often the bark is black and cracking, or all the small branches have fallen off, leaving just a stick. I’ve twisted a fair few of these out of the ground with one hand and added them to the growing border that is creating our path.
But others are bigger – the kind that tree experts call “widowmakers”. You can walk up to one, and just push on it, and it may start to fall – but you get more than you bargained for. The tree’s momentum, once started, cannot be stopped, and its weight – even if rotten – is enough to cause a cascading chain reaction, breaking off healthy limbs and knocking over other trees on its way down. These slender systems, dead but balanced in a semblance of life, crash with unexpected impact, ringing out through the forest as they land.
It may be fun to knock over a system you don’t like, but the crash can kill you, and it can do a lot of damage to other people as it falls to rest.
Pictured: Well, I don’t have pictures of the trees that fell over, but I do have vines that I’ve pulled down, which looked twenty feet long but proved to be fifty feet of falling debris that also could kill you.