You see, around 5:30 last evening, my next door neighbor came knocking on the door to inform me that our largest spruce in the back yard was not looking so good. In fact, there was a giant split in the trunk from the ground several meters up and the tree was leaning on the power line directly behind it. I called the power company's emergency line and was told they probably wouldn't come look at it until the morning. When Stuart got home, he took a closer look and said, "Uh, the only reason that tree hasn't fallen down is that it's leaning totally on the power line. And if it falls down it will completely demolish T's garage!" (the guy who lives behind us; also, he is trying to sell his house.) Another call to the power company, considerably more panicked this time, and I convinced them to send a crew to check it out that evening.
One look and they called dispatch. Two hours later we had a half dozen guys in our back yard with ladders and chainsaws and headlamps making quite the ruckus, slicing branches off that tree so it wouldn't pull down the power line and smash the garage of the house behind us.
This is what it looked like this morning:
I found an arborist who could come first thing to clean up the huge mess of branches on the ground and pull down the trunk. When he did, we could see how completely rotted it was inside:
It was wind from Sandy that finally did this tree in, though it had clearly been unhealthy for a while. It was pretty cold outside when they were hacking away late into the night, but we were dry and the lights were on. I couldn't help but think about all the people on the east coast who aren't so lucky.
In any case, as we stared up into the night sky and listened to the roar of the chainsaw and saw the branches come crashing down into the neighbor's yard, Stuart said, "Yup, this is definitely one job I would be terrible at."