April 23rd, 2007

The break-away fence

While I was away there was another “storm of the century”—the third, by my count, since this century has begun.

I was overjoyed to have been safely away when it happened; my neighbors, hearty New Englanders all, report cowering in their beds without electricity or heat, listening to gale-force winds and the CRACK! of huge evergreens dropping with the regularity of metronomes throughout the night.

The arborists are still so overworked that they are doing emergency service only—”emergency” as in “a gaping hole in your roof.” My tree doesn’t quite qualify, since my house is intact, but only by a fraction of an inch.

The tree resembles a huge lance pointing at—but not quite spearing—the house. Here’s a trunk’s eye view:
fallen-tree-4.jpg

The thousands of broken branches that littered every inch of the front, side, and back yards have mostly been cleared away. And it’s an extraordinarily beautiful day today, seventy and sunny and June-like, making the fallen tree seem like the relatively minor noncrisis that it is.

I have a fence on the side of the backyard, a rickety thing that doesn’t do a bit of good keeping anything in or out but serves as a sort of rustic scenic boundary marker. After the storm, it lay littered on the ground, covered with tree limbs and debris, and looking for all the world as though it were irreparably broken.

But no. It turns out that the fence’s design allows it to disassemble itself at the first hint of trouble, the posts leaping out of their holes in the ground and the rails jumping out of their nests in those poles. And then, like a tinker toy, it can be easily reassembled when the storm is over and ends up looking as good as new. Or, that is, as good as old: good-fences.jpg

There’s some sort of moral to the story, I know. It’s not Frost’s “Good fences make good neighbors,” but something about flexibility and rigidity, and the ability of the former to bounce back from adversity whereas the latter would break.

And hey, the crocuses are out.

7 Responses to “The break-away fence”

  1. Lee Says:

    I vaguely recall something along those lines from the movie “Dune” Something about “bending with the wind, or being snapped by it’.

  2. Ymarsakar Says:

    Are you going to get prosecuted for killing a tree, neo?

  3. dicentra Says:

    Wow. I sure don’t miss the late Northeast springs. Here in SLC, (Zone 6, eat your heart out), the crocuses and hyacinths are long gone, most daffodils have faded, and the early tulips have lost all their petals. My first crocus erupted in late February.

    I’ve got late daffs, mid-season tulips, species tulips, baskets o’ gold, and, of couse, lots and lots of dicentras, which have been blooming for a week. My late-season tulips are poised to explode within the next few days.

    Not to rub it in or anything. :D

  4. Lee Says:

    It should be obvious by the evidence of the tree in your own front yard that global warming is real.

  5. harry Says:

    Thats what you get for not purchasing some carbon credits.

  6. Lee Says:

    Karma is telling you to install your Sheryl Crow toilet paper meter.

  7. camojack Says:

    We had a dilly a couple of weeks ago in the Philly ‘burbs.

    It’s that damned global warming climate change, I tells ya!!!

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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