A visit from Aeolus

The God of The Winds seems to have decided to visit Beetley. Since late last night, we have been buffeted by winds that would probably be enough to stop a ferry sailing, close a bridge, or ground light aircraft. Julie woke me this morning, to tell me that a branch had blown off of the large oak tree at the front. It had buried itself in the beech hedge, leaving a large forked section protruding into the pathway, hazardous to anyone walking by. I got up and went out to extricate it from the hedge, surprised at how heavy it was. I thought that we had been very lucky that it had not fallen into the roof of the house, or onto one of our cars parked underneath. It could have done some unwanted damage, that’s for sure. After checking out the swaying branches to see if any others looked about to snap, I dragged it through to the back, and stored it along the back of the shed. I will cut it up later, and add it to the woodpile for next year. Living under two large oaks, we always have to consider the possibility that we might suffer some damage from them. Despite my constant complaints, there has not actually been a great deal of constant rain, so no doubt the interior of both of these old trees is very dry.

They are about three hundred years old, so would have been saplings in 1715. By the time of the American War of Independence, they would have been a considerable size, sturdy and proud. Spared cutting for shipbuilding, they sat silently through the news from Waterloo in 1815, and a hundred years after that, shaded soldiers home on leave from the Western Front. They remained unnoticed through another world war, and were oblivious to moon landings, pop music, and the winter of discontent. Not until 1979 were their slumbers disturbed, when this house was built between them. I hope that they will remain long after I am gone, looking down on future occupants, ignoring the trivial events that matter so much to the humans who seek their shade, and admire their canopies. To be allowed to share history with them is a small price to pay for having to collect the leaves and acorns that they discard annually.

Out with Ollie on the meadow, the wind had blown away the clouds, leaving blue skies and sunshine. But it remained to make life difficult for us, hitting me with the force of an unseen prize-fighter, boxing my ears. Clothing blown tight against the body, twigs falling like confetti, and even the tiny river whipped into a rushing frenzy. After ninety minutes, I gave up. Ollie felt a little hard done-by, but I had had enough of feeling like I was walking through treacle. I returned home, to listen to the howling outside, and keep an eye on those branches. Feel free to leave anytime, Aeolus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolus#/media/File:Aeolus1.jpg

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20 thoughts on “A visit from Aeolus

  1. Hi Pete, enjoyed your post.. reminded me of the surprise hurricane back in the late 80’s I believe. That was a busy shift! x

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  2. Lovely digression about the history of the oaks! It has been very wild and windy here, and even I (with my poor hearing) could hear it howling….and I mean howling. Must find a recording of Bowie’s Wild is the Wind, it’s on my mind now!

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  3. It was a windy day here in Las Vegas today: 17 mph / 27.36 kmh. However, it was also a warm, sunny day. The warmth lasted well into the late evening, and we enjoyed it on the patio of a local restaurant. I have always been very much interested in trees. Locally, but at high altitudes, we have stands of bristlecone pines that are several thousand years old. Over in California, we have on several occasions enjoyed the sequoias, which are not only quite old but also immense in size. During my years in the Midwest, my favorite tree was the walnut, although I very much appreciated the colorful maples in autumn. And, yes, I may have experienced desire under the elms….

    As usual, Pete, you wrote a very entertaining post. I am curious to know if you ever have ice storms in Norfolk. They occur in the Midwest, and can be devastating to trees.

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    1. You have a larger selection of trees to see over there David. Around here, it is mostly oaks and some large conifers, with a few beech trees too. I have never heard of an ice storm in the UK myself, but have seen photos of something similar in the north of the country, as well as pictures of the effects in North America.
      Enjoy your warmth, and best wishes. Pete.

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  4. Glad to know there was not much damage to your property Pete. It’s still sunny and windy in our part of the world but there is a typhoon coming and it might enter the Philippine area of responsibility either tomorrow evening or early Friday morning. According to our weather reports here, typhoon Maysak is a category 5 typhoon, hopefully, it weakens when it reaches our shores.

    I love the story of those two oak trees, it’s replete with history.

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  5. Reblogged this on Is it really that easy? and commented:
    My friends please take a moment and have a look at this delightful post from a fellow WordPress blogger from across the pond. I’m sure you’ll enjoy as much as I have.. Thanking you all kindly… Take care, from Laura ~

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  6. Pete, so sorry to hear about the limb breaking off due to the high winds. Your post today was a pure delight for the eyes to read along with the trees age and history. I often seek out older trees trying to find out their age and think about the history of the past. Trees have always been a passion of mine, since a wee child too young to actually understand.. yet, able to develop a curiosity and love for them. Bravo I say for this post of yours, and I plan on doing a re-blog for my friends to enjoy as well… Stay safe over there across the pond, and hold on tight to your hat…

    Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~

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  7. We had fierce winds last week in New England. Wonder if they’re the same winds blown over to your part of the world.

    I like the way you regard your oaks and their historical time-frame..

    More spring-like in New England today but the weather is still being temperamental.

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    1. I think it is those same winds Gretchen. They take their time to get here, but get here they do. Glad you enjoyed the history of ‘my’ oaks. I am merely a custodian, as they should see the next millennium.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  8. A very wild and windy night here too! Kept me awake for most of it as I sleep under the eaves! Fortunately no nearby trees to cause any worry. Nice post Pete 🙂

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