Yesterday afternoon I tucked up with friends in the basement to watch Part 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. If you have seen this film or others in the series you will know there is rather a lot of arguing with bright crackling items, and will perhaps understand how a few authentic lightning flashes and thunder rolls could go along unnoticed.
Well. When the credits rolled we noticed there was just enough time to buy groceries before supper so off we went outside and, wow!
Tree branches were everywhere they ought not to be. Barely a block was not sporting a very large limb across the road, leaves pointed up taller than the usual car's roofline, to say nothing of the jagged edges left on trees that had dropped (marginally) lesser limbs on sidewalks and lawns.
A few blocks away, half of a tree had been split away from the whole right at the base of the trunk, careening sideways and taking out the awning over the front door of the nearest house. Worse, in another direction, an entire tree had been ripped off its trunk and deposited straight up the front lawn of a house set, mercifully, well back from the road; its second-storey eavestrough is bent, and both storeys' frontage is completely obscured by a wall of leaves and branches that press in at the windows, but the roof is untouched. I feel sad for the gorgeous landscaped garden which will likely not recover from the combination of initial impact and imminent sawdust, when the city's forestry crews come to cut it up.
My tree, the tree that shades my house and dapples sunlight into every window and is generally much loved by me and mine, seemed unaffected by all the excitement.
There is a long gash along the top of one of the larger branches - I am guessing about 4' in length, and 2" wide in the middle - near where it joins the trunk. Yesterday there was a crack in the same area on one side, today an additional crack in the same area on the other. That branch is coming down, and if it's not in the hands of the already overloaded forestry workers, it's on my roof. I'm hoping for the former.