The 2 Things Challenge for this week was Seed/Sprout.This is a couple of not yet fully developed oak seeds. We all know them as acorns. If they make it to fall and grow to maturity, they will fall to the ground. If then they are fortunate enough to get buried by a squirrel and not eaten right away by the squirrel or a deer, next spring they might sprout to become one of these little fellows.
If they make it for several more years, they can start to look like this, a four or five year old oak tree. They do grow slowly.
Give them another 60 to 100 years and they might look like this big fellow next to my house on the left, maybe seventy feet tall and MASSIVE. They don't call them mighty oaks for nothing.
But then one Wednesday night about 10:30, some night very much like last Wednesday night, because of their massive weight, and maybe some internal "character" flaw, they might just decide to shed one of their huge limbs even if the wind is dead calm.
That big limb might take out another limb on the way down, and all you could hear inside the house would be a sort of "Whump." If you are asleep, as I was, you probably wouldn't hear anything.
Fortunately, if you are lucky, those two big limbs could miss your house completely and even your deck might only get struck by the flimsy ends.
After a couple of hours with the chain saw, you might even be able to see your house again, but more sweat and labor would still await, as that once mighty limb is turned into firewood and mulch.
I know this tree has heart rot (it's even hollow at the base) so I should have expected something like this, but now I fear we must take down the whole tree. If that trunk fell toward the house, it would destroy it, and quite possibly kill my wife and me. But the thing I fear the most is not the blazing sun, although this has provided a lot of wonderful shade from the hot Alabama sun; it's the damage to the lawn, the beds and the shrubs that the bucket trucks and tractors will do as they cut this monster down.