Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

So Windy

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DSCN2755eNot today, please. It’s too cold. All night long the wind has been making its presence known with gusts that cause our log home to creak.

With a little sunshine and calm air, the bitter cold of arctic high pressure systems is tolerable this time of year. Sure, we would prefer to bask in the warmth of mild waning winter days, but we are still in cold-mode around here, and it is February, after all. We can do extreme cold.

But the wind, that is another thing. It literally puts the bite in biting cold. Today, that bites.

We have company coming to soak up the vibes of Wintervale Ranch, be with our horses, maybe do a chore or two, and definitely play with Delilah. I’m afraid the wind may just push the activities indoors where we will sit by the fire or work in the kitchen on something that involves baking in a warm oven.

Since taking ownership of a property that involves multiple acres of wooded land, I have gained a new awareness of how significantly the blowing wind impacts trees in a forest. I feel an increased trepidation about the well-being of our trails and fences.

DSCN2752eNot a day goes by that I don’t find evidence of new pieces of trees laying in the snow. Usually, they are small, probably snapped off by the activity of an aggressive squirrel. After a windy day, the size of branches finding their way to the ground increases dramatically.

There is no mystery as to the phrase “winds of change.” Our woods are changing constantly from the gusts of moving air. That is a new perspective for me. The growth of trees happens slow enough that we often don’t even notice. I tended to see forested land as protected space, preserved from development.

On the contrary, the woods are probably developing more than the grassy fields around them.

Even the dead and dying trees have a little life left in them. Outside our sunroom door on the side of our house that I refer to as the front, there is a tree that is folded over in two, after the upper half snapped in a fateful wind. In even the slightest breeze, that tree wails and moans from the wound. It makes a wide variety of eery sounds, especially at night.

The ability of wind to change the trees of a forest causes me to feel increased marvel over the majesty of the oldest and most grand of our trees. For a hundred years or more, these trees have braved countless gusts.

It occurred to me recently that in the years of life I have remaining, I will not see any new trees on our property achieve the grandeur and majesty of a hundred-year-old tree. What we have now is all I get. It makes them all the more precious.

It also makes the gusting wind all the more ominous.

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Written by johnwhays

February 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

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