So yesterday, I almost got my horoscope irreparably altered by Mother Nature. Let me explain.
I'm a little short on firewood this year, so I was down front, felling a large and obviously dead maple tree. It was located in a brushy, swampy area, one of three large trees in close proximity to each other.
Not an especially technical drop, but my first mistake was not making a thorough pre-inspection, I failed to see a significant limb threaded through a fork in one of the adjacent trees that also counter balanced my projected fall line.
As a result, when cut free, the tree tipped and spun, remaining nearly upright and balanced on the stump. After a more careful inspection, I realised that the tree was, much like a bow at full draw, now under considerable pressure. Taking this into account, I mapped out a cut that would allow the almost 36 inch diameter trunk to shoot straight backwards when it was released. I also cleared an escape lane 90 degrees to the anticipated direction of release. Unfortunately, the trunk hung up once again on the stump, jammed against the impinging piece of wood I had cut loose.
Realising that I had created something very much like a scaled up deadfall trap for the zombie apocalypse, I decided I would back away and do the sensible thing. Instead of cutting further, I would go get my splitting axe from the garage and knock the locked up piece of wood free from a safer distance.
My second mistake was momentarily forgetting about Newtonian physics... specifically gravity.
I started to walk out the path to retrieve the axe, all the while congratulating myself on my newfound patience & wisdom. Curiously, I had somehow discounted the chances of this multi-ton people-hammer conforming to the physical laws of the universe just as I walked past it.
Yeah... don't ask, 'cos I don't have an answer.
Of course... somebody always wins the lottery. About 15 meters down the trail I heard a loud crack and turned to witness the entire tree shake like a wet dog, shoot backwards about 10 feet and drop like Hillary Clinton at the WTC.
Had I been a little slower to set off, there was a pretty good chance I would have been knocked sideways into tomorrow.
There endeth the lesson.
RELATED: With apologies to CSN&Y...
"Teach... your husband well..."
"Anyway, this morning I'm sitting at the computer typing away and suddenly the volume on the radio in the kitchen goes way up."A reader responds... "That's sweet. A lot of women would have turned the radio down."