Nature Center Magazine right now (Shameless plug. Yeah!!). I took this one to illustrate what I'm about to tell you. I took a similar picture earlier in the day for the comparison I mentioned. But then something bigger than any one human happened!
I was coming back out of Woodland Hills Nature Park, where I had a winter fall that I reminded you about a few days ago. It was a slightly windy day, but it also happened to be the first day of the year that I could go out without a jacket. I had been hearing the trees slightly creaking from the wind all day long, but I thought nothing of it.
I was finishing up from a wonderful day. I was daydreaming about the wonderful sights and sounds that I will show you in the days to come. There are two trails going through this park, and I purposely chose the very trail where I had fallen last winter. It turns out that I might have been very lucky that I did this.
I turned towards the sound as it was all happening. I saw a huge tree falling down in my direction through all of the other trees. It was as loud as standing next to a freight train! As the tree fell, I saw it break in two more places on the trunk! Splinters were flying everywhere! It looked for all the world as if the tree had exploded!
I stood there staring in awe. All I could do was stupidly utter, "Wow..." I wasn't close enough to be in any danger, but if I had chosen the other trail it was right where I would have been. I came within one choice of possibly being killed by a falling tree. Even though I witnessed this from the other trail, I actually felt the ground shake from the tree crashing down!
This all happened in maybe only a few seconds. I always thought if a tree was falling that I might be able to simply step out of the way. Now that I've seen it happen, I know I would never have that chance. It's just too fast. I also realize now that I've witnessed an event that only a few people in the entire world have seen. I'm guessing most of those few people commonly see things like that. Most others have never seen this outside of TV.
I did end up going and looking for the tree later on as the paths crossed. I couldn't find which tree it was. It apparently didn't fall across the trail. But take a look at these photos. This forest looks like it has been torn apart by a giant. There is something very wrong here, and it started a few years ago. Many of the trees are dying.
The tree in the above photo is what remains of the tree that fell across my path that year. As you can see by the other pictures, there are too many fallen trees for me to find the one that I just watched come down. Besides, my search wasn't very detailed for obvious reasons. I wanted out of there.
I'll tell you now that I will definitely be back there. It didn't scare me that much, or maybe even enough to have sense enough to get the hell out of there then. The one thing I want to tell you to wrap this story up is this: If you are in the forest and you hear the trees creaking, pay close attention! ...If it's not already too late.