All Bark and No Bite

November 16, 2015

I come by my fears honestly. One of my lifelong fears, bordering on paranoia, is of falling trees. Especially being in a house beneath one of those falling trees. Especially a eucalyptus, because they are so dense and heavy.

This is not unreasonable: I grew up in a dense eucalyptus jungle and wind storms were not infrequent. We had both winter wind storms and hot summer storms (you’ve heard of the hot Santa Ana’s that plague the southland?). ¬†Winds during any season could be fierce. Trees that have fallen on houses and cars have done epic damage.

My mom’s house sits among some humongous eucalyptus trees. About a billion are on her property, give or take.

I’ll just say: wind storms are unsettling.

So last night, the wind blew mightily… not as hard as I’ve seen, but enough to make us plenty nervous. My mom’s house is very sound-tight, but we could hear tons of stuff falling on the roof.

Just as my weather app said it would, the wind settled down about 3:00am. Before I even got out of bed, I got an alert on my phone–because I subscribe to a service that tells you such things–that a tree had gone down on the 3600 block of Palos Verdes Drive North, very close to mom’s house–and was blocking the road. They expected it to be cleared by mid-morning.

It was time to assess the damage….


No trees down! Not even any big branches. Just lots and lots of bark and debris.

I’d happened to take a picture the day before–loving that early morning light to go with the sound of peacocks and mourning doves–which makes for a nice compare and contrast:


Here are a couple more.. this one looking back at the house:


And this one of the back patio—usually so immaculately swept and tidy: