Monday, 20 January 2014

A Close Call

Felling timber can be a dangerous task, one we take very seriously .  The kids are usually with us and thankfully are now old enough to better understand the dangers involved and know to stay together and always more than a tree length away from Dad when he's on the chainsaw.

Saturday morning we set about cutting some large trees, which would become split posts for yet another fencing project ahead of us.  Only second tree of the day and the chainsaw stuck, as can happen when a tree decides to come back on the bar, not falling the way predicted.  This particular tree, with a slight lean one way (obviously usually the way it will fall), had a number of branches almost counter-balancing it, combined with a slight breeze meant it tricky to predict accurately where it might fall.

Finally, with wedges and crowbars not budging the great monster, the big fella used a second saw to start cutting another wedge and down she fell.  A second tree close by though caught the first one, causing the butt of it to swing wildly back to not where it should have fallen.  In the process, the cut end of the tree fell straight on his foot.  And there they stayed.  Lucky and unlucky all in one.

To no avail I tried to lift the tree with a crowbar, then set about cutting the tree a couple of feet away from his foot.  Of course I managed to get that chainsaw stuck, then with kids assisting tried again with crowbars.  Eventually with digging, a car jack, the second chainsaw, much sweating, some swearing and about thirty minutes elapsing, we got it off him.  I had to sit with head between knees as I was immediately going to feint, Sally turned the colour of putty and had to have her head stuck between her knees as well.  At least we managed to all hold it together while we needed to.

It gave us all a fright.  The big fella's okay, wouldn't let me take him to town, his limp's subsiding except when he thinks you're looking.  Had it landed an inch further up his foot, untold damage could have been done to his foot, but it didn't.  And as the weekend progressed and his humour and cheek returned, I keep reminding him he's lucky I didn't leave him there.

(I took these photos on a lick-run later yesterday incase you thought I was happy-snapping at the time).


  1. I am so glad all ended well enough. Between trees and horses I pray and am thankful everyday.

    My heart nearly fell out. One of those things my DH always reminds us about when he is falling. And the kick back - we lost a friend a few years back because of a very similar situation. I don't envy you any of that fencing though.

  2. Oh so lucky. Yes trees can sometimes do their own thing. Mr Sparky fell one a couple of weeks ago that just didn't want to go. She would groan and he would get out of the way to let it go and then the bugger would stop and keep on standing but when it went it went and fast and thank goodness right where it should have with no bouncing back.

  3. Fiona. I have nearly gone faint just reading about it. Bloody hell. Good work kids. How did the Big Fella go throughout the process?! Geez. Still got the chills thinking about it again.

    As I type a little shower has come in, funny little thing, it looks heavier just 100 metres down the road. Really feels like a monsoonal shower!

    I was helping Billy load some weaners this morning with the kids set to go and help him walk them out. Guess who he was on the phone to?! Matthew. I had to giggle and said some wild stories had been relayed. He retorted and said make sure I pass on that he too has some stories to tell! ;-)

  4. Oh goodness. What a fright! Well done for getting it off! Glad he's OK.

  5. Not nice for any of you. Thank goodness it all worked out in the end.

  6. It always worries me when Bill goes off on his own with the chainsaw just in case something like this happens. Seem to think from First Aid course that if the weight is on the leg for longer than thirty minutes it can have dire consequences but I obviously need to go on a refresher course as I can't remember what you're supposed to do - trouble is that First Aid courses for farmers are a bit bloodthirsty - all amputated limbs and crushed bodies.

  7. Oh my goodness, terrifying. His guardian angel was working overtime.
    Dad cut down a big one a few months back to make way for our little studio and as I took photos for the blog roll, i had a moment of terror that i might capture his demise, so i put the camera away and said some Hail Marys instead!
    But days later as mum went off in an ambulance for another matter, dad was there taking photos as the paramedics loaded her into the ambulance….so perhaps i shouldn't have worried!?

  8. I missed this post Fiona and my heart was in my mouth reading...all though I have since talked to Matthew so I knew it was going to end ok. Frightening, I had never thought of this one and lets just say lucky the kids were there to help too. A reality check for us all.

  9. Yikes, there is danger never far away. Thank God this ended well.



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