Tuesday, September 18, 2007

100 Trees

I tried counting our trees the other day. There are 11 in the front yard, about 25 in the back, nearly 50 in the Witch's Forest, and I-have-no-idea-how-many in the forest past the creek. So there are over 100 trees at Blackwater (which consists of only 2 acres).

The Witch's House and Forest are a tale for another time.

But I must express my awe at our trees. Many of them are over 60 feet tall, with some rising to 110 feet. My husband, David, is concerned about what might happen during a hurricane. And, who knows?

I was settling myself in the hammock the other day. We'd been exploring the creek and walking the dogs. Dave and Alex (our bigger dog) and Kacey, one of our twins were stil climbing around. I laid back and wondered all over again at how we came to buy this place. And at the trees. They are so tall!

But, I mused, they've been here long enough to grow that high. They must be pretty strong. A little breeze was blowing through the treetops; I followed its path as it streamed from tree to tree.

There was a snap, and like a giant rustling weed, one of the treetops shook itself, and slowly fell over, crashing through the woods parallel to the creek and landing with its upper branches in the creek itself.

I jumped -- well, struggled -- out of the hammock screaming for David and Kacey, not knowing which direction they'd taken, trusting in the fact that there'd been no screams to prove they were okay.

They were. Nothing was taken out by the tree, except maybe other trees and plants. We examined the tree where it lay. Kacey, concerned that it was blocking the stream on that side of the island, pulled some of the broken branches out to one side. It had apparently snapped off about 2 feet up the trunk and simply toppled. It had looked a little like an ent starting to walk.

While Kacey moved the tree and Dave examined it, I stood watching the tree's 2 'sisters', wondering if -- or when -- they were going to go.

We looked more closely at the woods. Thick as they are, there are several fallen trees among them, most of them propped by their fellows where they were caught as they fell. The creek makes it easy for trees to uproot; hurricanes and storms knock out the taller ones.

I don't think we'll ever know why this particular one fell -- on a cloudless day with only a little breeze dancing through the woods. Maybe as a warning to us that it can happen. Maybe, as a reminder, that anything
can happen.


pictures courtesy Kacey M.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Beginning of Blackwater

We moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina about a month ago. A beautiful home has become ours. We have named it 'Blackwater', and these are our - new - stories.

We've spent a month trying to settle in, but with family busy and scattered and everyone trying to do everything, it hasn't completely worked yet. We still have another truckload of stuff to move here, and we have to sell our other house. We all have projects underway, that we are trying to complete amongst snake sightings, lizard watching, and owl searching -- did I mention that Blackwater is comprised of about 2 acres in the city of Fayetteville? Yet we have all this wildlife, including a heron, and well over a hundred trees, and a 'lagoon' where Little Cross Creek traverses our property. Amazing.

As is normal for me, I have to break off this post before I get to the big stories, because I have to go work on a project one of our 6 kids has me assisting with. I will add more soon, and you're invited to see my slightly more professional blog at http://dreamweaver6.rjmdreamweaver.com/leavings.


Blackwater photo courtesy of Dave Minnick