Normally, dead trees at Gamone don't worry me at all. On the contrary, I see them as attractive havens for wild life, from birds through to insects that thrive on dead wood. The problem with this old fellow—a hundred meters down from my house—was that he might be blown down onto the road, when we were least expecting it, by one of our frequent windstorms.
So, I decided to cut him down. That trivial operation extended over a brief 30 minutes. I climbed up the ladder, positioned my backside firmly against the slopes, and slowly sliced through the dead trunk with my Husqvarna chainsaw. The tree fell across the road, as planned. A few minutes later, my neighbor René Uzel happened to be driving down towards that spot, so he had to halt his four-wheel drive vehicle while I started hacking off the trunk that blocked the road. René noticed that my chainsaw was so blunt that it would have difficulties in slicing through butter. He tapped me on the shoulder, and suggested that I stop sawing. He would simply tow the fallen tree up alongside my house. This he did, in about five minutes. That totally-practical guy, who grew up here at Gamone, has been helping me in similar ways ever since my arrival here in 1993. So, I now have an appreciable stock of firewood just alongside the house.
I had to nudge it around a bit, by means of a chain attached to my Citroën, to remove the risk of a neighbor running into the branches.
Down alongside the road, only the stump now remained.
During these operations, as you can see from the photos, Fitzroy was highly concerned by everything that was taking place. Meanwhile, Sophia simply lounged around in her usual style, waiting for things to calm down. She's Zen, a little like me, and couldn't understand why there was all this noise and agitation at Gamone, because of a dead tree.
Thanks to the chance presence of René, the firewood now awaits my intervention, as soon as my chainsaw is sharpened. I left it with a specialist in St-Marcellin, and I'll have it back next Tuesday.