Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Last night I was sound asleep, no doubt snoring like a piglet, when my dreamless sleep was rudely interrupted by a very loud and most peculiar sound.   I sat bolt upright, trying to make sense of what had woken me.   

The sound I had in my head was like that of a gigantic rain stick, or a thousand long thin aluminium sticks being dropped from a height, a fractured sound, yet it was altogether.  It was weird.    Husband slept on, oblivious.

I got up and checked on the animals,  they were all fine.   No security lights had come on, no alarms were ringing,  so it was unlikely to be intruders.   I decided that I must have imagined it, or had an auditory dream.

I went back to bed, still puzzled, but too sleepy to do anything more about it.



My daughter came round this morning - as you may recall, she lives just across the garden, in the old farmhouse, her first words were to ask whether I had heard anything in the night...

She and her husband had both been woken by a loud noise, they thought it sounded like a 'fizzing firework'!   They got up to investigate.

It turned out that an old oak tree, just a few yards along the lane, had collapsed.    Luckily it had fallen away from the lane, although a couple of large branches were across the road and had to be chainsawed before being dragged away.   I slept through all that!




This is not the tree which collapsed, but it is a truly ancient oak which can be found a couple of miles away.     It is recorded as being almost a thousand years old.    They say that oaks grow rapidly for the first 120 years, begin to produce acorns after about 40 years, continue to grow until they are about 300 years old, spend another 300 years maturing, then gently decay for their final 300 years, or thereabouts.

The tree which crashed down in the night was a mere youngster then, for I reckon it was no more than three or four hundred years old, but it had probably been choked to death by the ivy which had twisted and twirled up the trunk for almost as many years.








18 comments:

  1. It's always sad to see a tree down. Imagine it being that old. Wow! We had an ash fall recently along our old stone wall and had to have a maple taken down recently that had rotted from the centre. :-( It did leave room for two new maples to grow that were stunted from it's grandness. Life goes on.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, Deb. I have had to point out a sick ash tree in Owl Wood, it will have to come down this autumn, for the sake of the other healthy ash trees - I felt very guilty though. We always have a stock of young saplings ready, so that we can try to redress the balance.

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  2. But couldn't _you_ have heard the tree coming down, in "your own way"?

    And if I wanted to go further... Could you have heard, it's _true_ sound? When coming to its End? Know what I am trying to say....?

    πŸ‘πŸ’›πŸ‘

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    1. Oh, I did hear the tree fall - that was the noise I heard as a 'rainstick' and which my daughter heard as a firework - same sound, two interpretations. The bit I slept through was the chainsawing and clearance work. Neither of us heard a big thud as the tree fell, it was a much more magical sound...

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    2. A more magical sound, to the 3 of you. Yes! That's what I am getting at. -smile-

      πŸ‘πŸ’›πŸ‘

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    3. A tree spirit set free.

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  3. Very disconcerting to be awoken with such a strange noise. Such a shame for the majestic oak. Quite a few of our almond trees have died and when you chainsaw them up we find they have been eaten inside out by the ants. xcx

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    1. It was very strange, Chrissie. I am very relieved that it fell the way it did and that no one was hurt, had it happened twelve hours earlier it could have been a different story. Sorry to hear about your almond trees. :(

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  4. so you heard the real noise of a tree dying..

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    1. I like to think it was the sound of the tree spirit setting off on an adventure..

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  5. Ivy chokes a lot of trees, there is one two doors up which is well choked and I wait fo rit to fall, lucky it's only a fir tree and not an oak

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    1. Luckily the trees in Owl Wood don't have that problem, my husband hates ivy with a passion - so much so that our daughter wrote a poem about it, a couple of decades ago!

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  6. We had such a wet and stormy spring we lost many trees. Our road crews were kept busy clearing the roads.

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    1. Apparently we are supposed to be in for a very wet and windy weekend - always potentially dangerous at this time of year with the leaves being in full leaf. Fingers crossed that there is no further damage.

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  7. A sad end to a magnificent tree. Interesting the animals seemed unconcerned. Love the idea of the tree spirit setting off on a journey. Your rain stick interpretation instantly allowed me to hear the noise, a gentle sound of an ancient oak giving up the ghost in the night.

    LX

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    1. You are right about the animals, they just lifted their heads and blinked at me, no anxiety or distress. This is what helped to convince me that I had dreamt the sound. I'm glad you can 'hear' the sound! I used to have a rainstick, played with it for hours - but ended up giving it to one of the grandchildren, never to be seen again.

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  8. What a delight to come home from vacation and see you've started posting again.

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Lovely to hear from you!