Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Since we bought the property in January I had been eyeballing a large, dead oak tree on the other side of the creek. It was ominously leaning towards the power line that feeds the spring house. I had hoped to get a solar system installed this summer that would make the power line obsolete. 

Nature had another plan. Last week we got a solid 5 straight days of heavy rain and then snow after that and it was all too much for this dead and leaning oak tree.

The spring house is middle right with the fallen power line there in the foreground. This part of the line made a 90-degree turn at the spring house to run over to the workshop (left side of the photo). This was a terrible design but it worked to our favor here. When the tree hit the line the line broke free from the power pole at the corner of that turn which gave the whole line enough slack to not pull out on either end or sever the line at all. 

Those poles used to point straight up!

It just barely missed one of the beehives near the creek!

The whole tree was doornail dead but had soaked up a lot of water making it really quite heavy.

There's some lovely fungus and lichen eating away at the tree.

More bent power poles!

This is the backside of the house. The line on the right is incoming PG&E power, the line on the left is the downed line to the spring house.

It appears that this ancient block breaker will cut power to both the house and the spring house power line.

This is an old concrete bridge that spans the creek. This is the highest that I've ever witnessed the creek level but there's lots of evidence to show that this big rainstorm had the creek level all the way to the top of the bridge.

There are two really good outcomes from this. First, we wanted that line out of there anyway. There are probably 4 other dead trees just waiting to fall in the same way this one. We're working on a plan to bury a new electrical line in a trench across the field so having this power line be a non-issue will be nice. Second, we learned an easy lesson about deferred maintenance!

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