Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Story Behind The Burning Tree

Because yesterday was "Wordless Wednesday" I couldn't exactly tell you why I had a photo of a burning tree. Which is just as well, because the element of mystery made it that much better. In my opinion, anyway. I won't keep you in suspense any longer!

It all started with my genius of a neighbor. The folks who live right behind us like to burn... garbage, leaves, the kitchen sink... you name it, they'll burn it. You may be able to tell where this is going by now.

Have I mentioned that it is illegal to burn where I live??

My genius of a neighbor had been burning for days, so I paid little attention to the billows of smoke pouring out from his backyard. Other than the smell was really starting to get on my nerves...

I happened to glance out the kitchen window, and immediately had to do a double take. Were there flames coming out of that tree???!!?? Nah, couldn't be. My eyes playing tricks on me again, most likely.

I walked around to various other windows in the house, squinting and trying different angles, and still it seemed there were flames shooting off of the tree.

Grabbing my camera on my way out the door, I meandered on over to find out what the heck was going on. Did he light the tree on fire on purpose?? I knew he was a genius, but I didn't think he was that insane. Or was it the more likely scenario, a spark from his illegal fire flew up and lit the tree ablaze. If so, was he even there? Did he know about it? Why wasn't he hosing it off with water or calling the FD before it took out other trees, and then houses??

These thoughts, and others, drifted through my mind when suddenly I saw him... Mr. Genius himself. Standing nonchalantly on his back porch, beer in hand, watching the flames jump and dance from the tree, listening to the crackles and pops of dead, burning wood.

I called out hello, and then began asking questions... because his little pyro show was a little too close to the pine tree in my yard, for one thing.

So he proceeded to tell me his story. No, the tree was not suppose to be on fire. Yes, he knows that is indeed, it is on fire. He can't call the fire department, because they would fine him... you know, the whole burning being illegal thing. I was also told not to worry, because he had everything under control. Let me tell you, WHEW did I feel better! Because when you want someone to be in control, you definitely want that person to be a genius like him.

"I'm just watching it, going to try to let it burn out and fall, hopefully it won't fall on my shed...."

His shed, his all wooden shed, which was about 10 feet from the burning tree.

I, on the other hand, was slightly more worried about my property. You know, the pine trees, the house.

I'm still not too sure why he didn't get out the hose... my guess is he actually did light the tree on purpose, to get rid of it. I can hear his axe chopping up the charred wood as I type this.

After all was said and done, everything turned out ok. It was actually sort of amusing at one point, when dozens of sirens could be heard coming our direction... Genius dropped his beer and was running to the front faster than you could say "pyromaniac's in hot water now!"

Before you ask me why I didn't call the proper authorities or the FD, let me say: I thought about it. I had my cell phone firmly gripped in one hand. The thing is, the tree was not close enough to any houses to start anything major right away, and I figured if I saw it get too out of hand then I would call. The way the yards are positioned, it was highly unlikely that any damage would be sustained in our yard. Not without plenty of warning, anyhow. He wants to burn down his shed, his house, well... that's his prerogative I suppose.

So, that's the story of the Burning Tree!


Cecily R said...

How fun for you to have such a considerate and brilliant neighbor!!

I'm glad everything turned out okay. Seems like it too easily could have gone south FAST!!

Frances said...

I'm glad your house is still in one piece! Next time though don't take any chances call the FD besides this dumba$$ needs to get fined he's endagering you and your neighbors. Do you think he's got the money to cover any damage his pyro antics could cause?

Chrissy said...

Aren't neighbors like that fun?! Glad everything turned out ok....and hey, at least you got a cool photo out of it!

sweets said...

pity you didn't take a pic of his "crack" while he was chopping down the tree... LOL
omg he is... well words fail me :)

SandyCarlson said...

Neighbors like this need to be handled so carefully! Stupidity is a frightening force. I hope they leave you in peace.

Liquid said...


Liquid said...

What a wonderful read!
Bless your heart, I felt like I was watching this from your kitchen window!

Hysterically, scary!


Angie said...

Wow! I'm going to knock on all my neighbors doors this evening, thank them profusely for living on my street and BEG them never to move, because other than our neighbor who criticizes us for spending too much time with our kids rather than painting our garage every summer, I've got it GOOD!

angel said...

ok... you have some STRANGE neighbours!

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