Tuesday, August 17, 2010

the claw!

So my day started at 11 am, when four small men with chainsaws hopped over my fence.

(Actually, my day started around 7:30 am when I witnessed Banjo lift his leg on the porch railing, but I chose to rub my eyes, pretend I didn't see it, and go back to bed for a few hours.)

Sayonara, Tree - it is time for you to meet the chipper.
the chipper
Watching Tree Guys work is fascinating, mostly because of the amount of danger involved. For example:

1. The chainsaws! The Tree Guys wield these things as if they are no more capable of cutting off their own limbs than a butter knife. One handed chainsawing? No problem! One handed chainsawing while smoking a cigarette? You got it! One handed chainsawing while smoking a cigarette while suspended from a rope in a tree? Piece of cake!

2. The heights! I'm not a fan of heights, that's true. But the Tree Guys can scamper up a tree like a monkey, with a cigarette in one hand and chainsaw in the other (see #1). Clearly, they don't suffer from sweaty palms or, as Larry likes to call it, The Number Nine A--hole Pucker.

3. The large chunks of dead tree threatening to fall and squash anything in their path. You'd think there'd be some science involved in figuring out the safest way to get a dangling limb to the ground, but I think it's more trial and error combined with a little dumb luck. The Tree Guys' first approach was to bounce the dead limb much like trying to move a car that is stuck in the mud. They did this from below the tree - thankfully it didn't work. Getting the piece down required the Tree Guy to climb the tree with a chainsaw (see #1 and #2). When the dead piece finally came down it swung like a deadly two-ton pendulum, but the Tree Guys on the ground were still smoking their cigarettes and hacking at other branches with their chainsaws.

4. The chipper! We've all heard the horror stories involving wood chippers before. I don't even want to think about it. Which is why I had to look away as the Tree Guys used their own legs to push any stuck limbs into the chipper.

Also, see that red thing above the chipped wood? That's a snow shovel that they tied onto the arm of the chipper with a rope to keep the wood chips from flying all over the yard. Genius.

But my favorite part was THE CLAW!
the claw!

the claw!

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