I may have mentioned that in a previous life Mr. Fairweather was an arborist. He still does a little bit of tree work here and there if asked. A guy he knows asked. Some time ago actually. He had four mature beech that he wanted taken down. They were growing on the ditch over the road. If they fell in a storm, they could take out the power lines, or land on the road and take out the house below it, or even land on his house – all depending on what way they fell. I could see why he would want them taken down before a winter storm hit and did the job for him.
It was a big job too. These things were huge. Mr. Fairweather was going to need some help. One of Mr. Fairweather’s brothers is a landscape gardener. He’s pretty handy with a chainsaw and has a big trailer for drawing the timber away. Another brother has the farm and all the machinery that farmers need including big tractors and trailers and teleporters and the like. But he was a busy man and his time was valuable. But between them, they would probably manage it.
The Little Paddler and I were on tea and dinner duty so we were coming and going and got to see the work in various stages. I personally can’t watch Mr. Fairweather climb trees when he is working. I don’t do heights at the best of time. Heck, I rarely even wear heels. And I certainly can’t watch him swinging from tree to tree or walking out onto limbs that shouldn’t be able to hold his weight. I know he is very safe and very careful, but I still can’t watch. The Little Paddler was fascinated. Daddy was climbing the tree like a big daddy monkey!
It was a little sad the seeing these majestic giants on the ground when we returned later. Mr. Fairweather counted the rings and estimated they were somewhere between 160 and 180 years old! Wow! And they were laid flat in a couple of hours. The base was so big that the Little Paddler could stand up against one and it was bigger than her. We reckon they were averaging three foot in diameter. The colours and spalting in some of it was amazing. I am so excited at the thought of what Mr. Fairweather might make from the larger pieces. It is Providence come once again to the rescue.
However, help comes at a price. People need to be paid for their day’s labour – you’ll get no argument from me there. But as I keep saying we are pretty strapped for cash. And here is where the beauty of working in the countryside begins. The guy who owned the trees, wanted them down and cleared up. He wanted the timber from one of the trees for his own use but didn’t use a lot of firewood, so most of it would rot before he got to use it. He would have to pay someone to draw it away or else organise to get it cut up and sell it on himself. Mr. Fairweather proposed that he take the rest of the timber as payment for the job. The owner readily agreed. The brothers agreed to take payment in timber for their work. One brother needed it for his own stove. The other would sell firewood in the winter time when work was quiet, and this saved him searching for timber now. Mr. Fariweather would take the rest. Everyone went away happy.
I keep going out to look at these fallen giants that now lie in pieces outside. I say thank God we have the heating sorted for next year once these have dried. And I especially say thank God for all the projects that Mr. Fairweather might make from these. His dream of a hand crafted furniture and woodworking business might be one step closer to happening. And I especially say thank God that it all happened without having to borrow from Peter to pay Paul. Hooray for bartering.