Alert Gazette readers may recall this post, in which I chronicle one of the most dramatic nature-related encounters we've had the privilege to witness since moving to the Texas Hill Country. I think it's worth your time to check it, but if you have better things to do -- Game 1 of the World Series is underway, after all -- the article details the predation of a woodpeckers' nest by rat snakes in a tree across the street from our house. The action took place in the summer of 2018.
That tree was riddled with holes that were perfect for habitation by woodpeckers and squirrels, but which were probably also symptomatic of a less than healthy organism. Sure enough, we awoke on Monday morning to find* that the storm that moved quickly through our neighborhood during the early morning hours took a dramatic toll.
The tree was standing -- and falling -- in a vacant lot, so nothing else was damaged (and there were no other trees in the neighborhood damaged by the storm). I found it interesting that the top half of the tree was leafed out and seemingly healthy, but the bottom half -- the foundation -- was obviously faulty and insufficient to maintain the integrity of the structure. (Gee, that almost sounds Biblical, doesn't it?)
My West Texas heritage causes me to mourn the loss of any tree, but this one has a sordid past and I doubt I'll miss it not having a future. I suspect the local woodpeckers will agree. And the snakes won't care, seeing as how they're snakes.
*MLB and I actually walked past the fallen tree and never noticed it until about an hour later. In our defense, we had just finished a run and were more focused on getting home before we collapsed than on the presence of an already collapsed tree.