Coming back from the post office the next day, we saw the tree lying in the pasture. J was home, having dropped an antique two-man saw on his leg while putting it up in his shed. After I told him it was stupid to try to hang a big thing like that himself, he changed his story to "I decided to stop when we lost electricity, and leaned it against the bench. When I turned my back, the saw decided to attack and slid down my leg to bite me in the ankle bone" The stab was not very big, but it was deep, so I was happy that his appointment for his physical was the next day. He got a stay-home-from-work note which would have made him happy had he been able to walk without pain. As it was, he spent most of his time with ice on his elevated footsie.
Anyway- he managed to hobble down to the pasture to check out the tree with me- it didn't look so bad from the field, but the brush was too thick for us to see the trunk clearly. Plus the horses were a little too friendly. I don't like having them stand over me while I am crawling under the electric fence wire.
So, after dinner I went down to take a closer look. There is an old wire fence lining our field, about 10 feet or so out from the stone wall which is our property boundary. In order to bypass that fence, I had to get to the wall about a ways up and balance my way down to the tree. And by stone wall, I don't mean the pretty neat kind you see by people's houses, with the flat tops and all. These are the big old honking I-don't-know-how-farmers-got-them-to-the-side-of the-field rocks.
So I teeter my way down, worrying about bee's nests and breaking a leg- J would never hear me yelling, so how long would it take for him to miss me and limp out to check on me? I made it safely however, and found that the tree had not been hit by lightning(darn it) but had been broken right off it's roots. Apparently it grew up between the rocks, or was there when the wall was built.
We let our horse people know about the tree on the fence, and one showed up the next day to cut up the wood and repair the wire. J assured him that we didn't expect him to clean it up, just wanted them to be aware of the escape potential, but he was nice enough to cut the limbs in the field and left the rest for us to get later.
Taking this as a sign that we needed a 'real' chain saw, we bought one Friday, and called it our anniversary present. J can't wait until his foot heals enough to try it out. The saw, not his foot.