Sep 16 2008
…does it make a sound?
You bet it does!
On Sunday night, as the remnants of Hurricane Ike passed through western Pennsylvania, too many of us heard the noise of falling trees. No rain fell but the wind gusted from 65 to 79 miles per hour.
Just that afternoon I had hiked the Glacier Ridge Trail at Moraine State Park. At that point the weather was already unpleasant – 86 degrees and humid with winds over 30mph.
In the distance I heard the crack of a rifle shot, then several rapid shots followed by the sound of cannon. It wasn’t gunfire. Somewhere out of sight, a tree fell in the forest.
I was lucky I wasn’t close enough to see that tree fall. When we were in Maine I learned about widow makers from my cousin John. They’re dead limbs that are about to fall or have fallen partway and are hanging overhead. Just a touch of wind is enough to send them hurtling to the ground.
Now that I knew what I was looking at, these trees over the trail made me nervous. (I took their picture anyway). The stronger the wind got, the sooner I wanted to be out of the woods so I picked up my pace.
Later that night when the wind howled against our house I wondered about the flock of wood thrushes I’d found in a thicket near these broken trees. I hope they made it through the storm.