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