Gaia has it in for me

June 10th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I was awakened at 10 p.m. last night by a roaring sound. I looked out the window and the trees were swaying in all different directions.

This morning I found that one of the oak trees out front of the house was down. This same tree was cracked a couple years ago by what appeared to me to be a localized downburst or funnel cloud circulation…no damage anywhere else in the neighborhood:

Last night’s storm also took out this tree, dropping in on my vinyl fence (that post has a poured concrete pillar in it):

Another large limb from a third tree narrowly missed the cars.

I figured after at least 5 minutes of roaring and swaying trees there would be trees down all over the neighborhood this morning.

Nope. Not a one. Just carnage in the Spencer’s yard.

John Christy says Gaia is out to get me. I said, “But nothing hit the house or the cars!”

John very reasonably replied, “This was just a warning shot…”

Or, after watching “24” last night, I thought maybe a weather modification drone was sent to target me?


24 Responses to “Gaia has it in for me”

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  1. lance says:

    scrapped frost off of my windshield this morning! (south of Calgary)….glad all is well down there.

  2. rah says:

    Well it looks like you have your work cut out for you. Had a pro and his two helpers come out and trim my trees and take down a large Chinese Elm that was too close to the house two years ago. Then I cut up everything he and his two helpers had brought down. Burned the brush and cut and stacked the rest for fire wood.

    I sure has given me peace of mind when the winds get going out here in the farm fields of Indiana and makes for a lot less clean up of dead fall.

    And it also made my neighbor to the north feel better since my largest tree is a cotton wood that stands maybe 40′ from his nice barn. Had 80 mph straight line winds coming out of the south last spring and didn’t loose a limb larger in diameter than my thumb and my neighbors barn was safe.

    Based on the first pic showing that standing tree it looks like your overdue.

    Anyway I’m happy that your property didn’t receive any more damage and what you suffered was limited to inanimate objects and trees.

  3. Johan says:

    Obviously the trees were offended by that vinyl fence. Vinyl, really ?

    • I guess the fence should come with a warning: “Fence is made with manmade materials, and so will be more prone to the wrath of Gaia”.

      • Dave Ross says:

        And then there came a mighty wind and it was a wind spawned from the satanic dioxide of carbon in the lair of Beelzebub, and it came in the blackness of night, smiting the shady trees of the unbeliever with a terrible smityness and there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the house of Spencer.

  4. ossqss says:

    By the looks of the base of that tree in the first pick, you probably could have leaned on it and it would have gone down. Not much wood left there. The other tree was after that fossil fuel lawn mower and missed ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would bet the 2nd tree had as much rot as the first in the base.

    Good luck with the clean up Doc.

  5. Wait for it, wait for it…

    Somebody somewhere will say “it’s what you get for being a DENIER”.

  6. Bob Tisdale says:

    Be thankful your trees aren’t falling into the neighbors’ yards or onto their homes. We had a close call a couple of years ago.

  7. SocietalNorm says:

    Your trees obviously are weaker than your neighbor’s trees. You need to give them more carbon dioxide to strengthen them.

  8. David L. Hagen says:

    The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
    the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
    The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;

    Psalm 121:5-8

  9. Wilson says:

    Obviously it was climate change!

  10. Curious George says:

    What did you expect in the Tornado Alley? An earthquake? Come to California.

    A friend of mine was driving on freeway 580. Suddenly the car veers sharply to the right, tires squeal, she corrects, the car veers to the left, tires squeal: a tire must have blown up. She manages to park at the shoulder, walks around the car, all tires are OK. She looks up and down the freeway, everybody parks at the shoulder, walks around, and looks at tires. Her first thought was, thanks God, it was not a tire, it was an earthquake.

  11. Alick says:

    Make sure to burn that tree.

  12. jjs says:

    ossqss – Global warming is causing root rot all over the world. Trees are falling killing millions and billions of peoples, polar bears, whales and all other types of animals. Not only that but it is scaring the space aliens away, just read about that on WUWT blog. Save us Al from root rot….

  13. ex-lopper says:

    Looking at the root bole you can see signs of disease, the tree would of been suffering from root compaction from the lack of space to grown. It was confined in an elevated area with no space to put out lateral roots.

    Lucky it didn’t break anything seriously. Just another case of the wrong tree in the wrong place.

    • David Springer says:

      Yes. Root compaction. That’s the phrase I was looking for in the admonition against driving or paving over the root ball. I managed to put a septic drain-field in amongst a dozen spanish oaks losing only 2 of the twelve from cutting roots to get around it. I used leaching chambers instead of pipe and gravel. Leaching chambers maintain a large underground air space over a wide trench bottom so deep rooted plants will never clog them. Hence you can grow trees in your drain field. Leaching chambers will also take a 6,000 pound axle so you can drive over them too. I had the trenches (on a hillside) dug by hand because a backhoe would have injured the trees I wanted to save. That was almost 15 years ago. All the trees are doing fine. I have a concrete driveway, 12′ wide, about 500′ long going down the hillside. I eventually lost every oak tree that was within about 10′ of the driveway edge. This was compounded by removal of trees to make way for the drive. The canopy was so dense that the trees were using strength in number when some were removed those nearby lost some support in canopy.

  14. ren says:

    Roy Spencer sorry that you counsel – cut the trees with shallow roots.
    Sincerely yours.,48.62,635

  15. Mary Brown says:

    Back in my forensic meteorologist days I would have been asked in court if this was owner negligence or an “act of God”.

    I may have to rule against you on this one… ๐Ÿ™

  16. Lewis Guignard says:

    Some years ago we had a storm come through and knock down large tree after large tree, all the in same direction, in a straight line about a mile long and the destruction was only about 50 yards wide. There was one exception one tree about 200 yards away, was down in the opposite direction.

    When Hugo came through 25 years ago or so, my ex-wife’s house had 2 trees go down. They both fell straight up the drive between her and the neighbor. No damage to the houses. A few feet either way and that would not have been the case.

    Acts of God can be fierce.

  17. Fonzarelli says:

    Teresa of Avila went on a trip one day on her mule… As she was riding along The Lord came and knocked her off her horse and on to the rocky road. Teresa got up, dusted herself off and continued on her way. Next The Lord came and knocked her off the mule and into a briar patch. Teresa got up, picked off the briars and continued on her way. The Lord came once more when Teresa was crossing a stream and knocked her off of her mule a third time. Teresa got up and soaking wet said to The Lord, “Lord, three times Thee have knocked me off my mule; why hast Thou done this to me?”. The Lord answered in return, “why, this is how I treat all my friends”. And Teresa, who was never at a loss for words, turned to TheLord and said, “well then, I can see why you haven’t very many friends”…

  18. Pete says:

    Hmmm…Gaia’s revenge may have manifest itself in leaving the lawn mower unscathed. (TroyBilt?) Grateful the fence was all it took out.

  19. David Springer says:

    The second tree pictured was grievously injured sometime in the past by a car hitting it. The first tree has paved drives surrounding it which injures the roots and weakens the whole tree. In order to preserve a tree you must avoid driving over or paving over the rootball.

  20. KevinUK says:


    I do hope you cut those trees up and sent some cross sections to your and John C’s best mate

    I’m sure he’ll be able to prove after a bit of de-centering and use of a novel statistic technique that there is a clear relationship between trees falling in Huntsville and the AMO.


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