Lucky Not Hit by Fallen Tree

rock with crystalsI take Roxy for her morning walk either up the street and along the public road or down to the river. This morning we went to the river. There were a few distractions along the way, she needed to bark at a vulture in the back yard of the house and I wanted to wait until the neighbors left in their taxi ride into town. Roxy and I no longer walk up and down the concrete stairs to the river because she hurt her back a few weeks ago and isn’t supposed to do a lot of jumping. Jumping is how she navigates all of those steps. Now we walk the longer way along the property line bordering the public road and then at the bottom of the hill we walk on our internal road.

We arrived at the river and as usual I begin noting what has changed from the last time I was there. Sand banks change, logs and rocks move and the clarity of the river varies. I also take time to look for interesting rocks on the river banks. When we arrived at the joining of the two rivers we heard and saw rocks and dirt falling down the hillside, across the river. Roxy immediately went as close as possible to determine if it was some type of intruder and to see if any action was required on her part. She looked for a moment and then retreated away from the river.

Rio Viejo, PuriscalA few weeks ago I witnessed a bunch of dirt and rock fall from the exact same place. It was noteworthy to me because when we are crossing the river to go to the other side of the property that is the place we cross and then walk in the river, close to the hillside. This morning I watched more dirt and rock fall from the same place, but today it wasn’t a onetime dump of debris, it kept trickling down the hillside and then it would stop and then some more would fall. Right next to this area, hanging onto the hillside and river bank is a very large, old tree. Its roots have been shaped and exposed with the motions of the river over time.

I began looking for rocks and thought to myself, if that tree falls, this isn’t a good place to be looking for rocks, so I walked up river a little way and busied myself with rock hunting. I glanced back to see if Roxy was still there, but didn’t see her. She often gets bored if I spend too much time in one place and she will go find something else interesting to look at. I found a couple of really cool crystal rocks and then, sure enough, I heard loud crackling, crumbling, crushing sounds of that extremely large tree falling! RUN! I ran as fast as I could up river, away from the falling tree, not knowing how large its crown was and if I was going to make it. I ran until the noise stopped.

fallen tree in Rio Viejo, PuriscalMy adrenaline was pumping and I was shaking and in disbelief that that tree actually fell while I was merely meters away from it. Nothing hit me, I was fine, but where’s Roxy? I begin calling and calling for her. I crawled up the river bank, back onto our property and started to look for her. I mustered up enough courage to walk back to where the tree fell to see if I could see or hear her, but there were no signs of my puppy.

I decide to head back up to our house in hopes that Roxy was there. Just as I got to the top of the 230 stairs leading up from the river I see John and Roxy is with him. John heard the tree fall from the house and knew it came from the direction I was in so he left to see if we were OK. As he walked down the property Roxy was coming up the road and found John and began whimpering. I will never know where Roxy was when that tree fell, but I think it scared her so much she ran home for help. John started the decent to look for me and luckily we saw each other without crossing paths on different trails.

Just the other day I was telling my girlfriend that we live in an environment that requires for us to be watchful of our every move. This paradise is beautiful, but comes with its share of dangers. We need to watch where we step, what we touch and where we choose to stand. I feel lucky I was paying attention to my intuition and chose to look for rocks, just a few meters out of harm’s way.

The first picture is one of the rocks I found this morning. It will forever have the falling tree memory associated with it! The second picture is the only one I took that shows the tree before it fell, it is taken looking down river. The last picture is the fallen tree, it is taken looking up river.