Posts Tagged ‘Trees’

The Most Scruffy Cat in the ‘Hood

November 18, 2017

There’s a new cat in the ‘hood. He is super-scruffy.

I’ve seen him off in the woods in the underbrush. He never comes nearer than 30 feet when he can see me. Sometimes when he is in the Treehouse, he is so engrossed in eating that he can’t see or hear anything else except the food. I can be that way with food, too, but this guy is starving.

A week ago, I was preparing to head out to the Heritage Days festival. I had things to move out of the car, like bags of cat food, so I was walking back and forth from the car to the shed. I had already fed the cats at all the feeding stations, and Mr. Scruffy took his opportunity to grab a quick bite, not knowing that I was going back to the car for good. He hasn’t learned that when the hatch is open, I’m coming back.

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Then he spots me.

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And he’s off the platform into the woods, sailing out into space like a tiny super hero.

He’s learned to sit in the woods and meow at me, as if to remind me to make sure there is extra food in the bowls, enough to include him.

One early morning as I was preparing to leave for work, I had already filled the bowls before going back inside. Mr. Scruffy Cat had still not caught on that the car hatch was open.

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How adorable is this?

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The Treehouse Gets A Roof

September 4, 2017

Sugar had made a treehouse for the cats. 

It was perfect for lounging and feeding. 

The Butter in the Treehouse

There was one flaw in the set-up. It was a platform only, and, while the gravity feeder fit perfectly on the platform, rain would soak the dry food in the feeder’s basin. In the coastal heat, that rain-soaked food turned foul quickly. 

So Sugar built a roof. 

Mr. Friendly takes a bath


He used the same board system as the platform. I had a piece of metal roofing that a cat lady friend gave me years ago. It proved to be the answer to protect the feeder from rain. It was about 33″ wide so it didn’t completely cover the platform. Sugar pushed it to one side against the tree trunk which left about 10″ open to the platform below. The cats thought they had a hatch to the penthouse. 


Friendly went all the way to the end and lounged there. He is basically cantilevered over open space. 


Then he went to the other side and did the same thing. 


We considered putting the roof on at a slant for rain runoff. Now we’re glad we didn’t since the cats like the sun deck effect. 


I don’t have a problem with intruders. Anyone can see the property is protected by C. A. T. Surveillance. Lots of people are afraid of cats, and seeing one 8′ in the air over your head would give one pause. 

I think a “Beware of Cat! Owner is also Sketchy” sign would add to the fun. 

In Search Of Transpine

November 23, 2013

Sugar’s ancestor was Colonel Alexander James Lawton.  He’s found several references to where the Colonel is referred to as “Alex”, like in the papers of Benjamin Spicer Stafford.  Every time we’ve talked about him, we’ve always called him Alexander James.  Like at the family reunions, the organizers divide the attendants up into groups depending what child of Joseph and Sarah Robert Lawton they descend from.  There’s only one other family that descends from Alexander James, and they descend through his youngest child, Edward Payson Lawton.  In the papers of Benjamin Spicer Stafford, he refers to this person as “Ned”.

I love this so much, this finding of these little facts that personalize these long-deceased people.  “Alex”.  “Ned”.  I. Love. This.

There are other references that we’ve found that refer to Transpine Plantation  being part of the larger Mulberry Grove Plantation.  I don’t know why one plantation would be part of another one.

Which brings us back to the enormous oak that we saw.  Live oaks mean something here.  Many times they define an allee, or lane, to a house, like a driveway.  A lone oak?  I don’t know specifically.  But it means that someone was there.  It brings a humanness to the spot.  We’ve seen one other oak that was bigger, and that’s the Angel Oak.

In some of his reference materials, Sugar saw where Alex Lawton had a small house, basically cabin sized, built for his mother Sarah Robert Lawton to live in during her later years, and it was built at Transpine.  The enormous oak we saw was next to a little house, and he wondered if that would be the location of Sarah’s house.

We wiggled all week in anticipation of going back to see the tree up close and to measure the house.

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We drove past, and saw yet something else that we had missed in all our previous passes.

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It’s less than 20 feet from the dirt lane.  What is it?

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We wore our rubber boots because we have no idea what we might step into.

 

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This building is all cattywampus. I told him not to go in there because it was going to fall down around his ears. I wouldn’t go in at the same time in case it collapsed. Somebody would need to be able to call 911.

 

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To the right of the door.

 

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To the left of the door. Perhaps this was an old store.

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Okay…
I’m leaning in the door at approximately the same angle as the left wall. This place is scaring the bejesus out of me.

 

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The left side of the building.

 

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Part of the support system holding up the front porch.

We walked along the left side of the building, and Sugar said, “Don’t step on that skull.”  I said “huh”, and looked down and saw that I was indeed stepping on a skull.  Just a skull, no skeleton.

 

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The back wall has completely fallen away from the building. See the sunlight coming THROUGH the building?
My apologies for being to antsy to allow the camera to focus clearly before I made this shot.

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I manned up, and skittered inside the building to get a detail of the wall support.

 

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And when I turned, I saw a chimney suspended in the air.

I skittered back out, and we decide to get back in the van to head toward the enormous live oak.

But first.  The morning sun slants through the trees.  We are facing south, and there’s a half-allee of live oaks on our right.

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Further along this lane is the enormous live oak.  I was still jittery about the ambiance at the old building, and I didn’t have my wits about me to remember to take a photo of the tree with a real-life frame-of-reference, like a person.

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But see that tiny building to the left of the tree? That’s about 22′ wide by 34′ long.
Are you getting a sense of how big this tree is?

 

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This long horizontal branch has broken away from the tree, although it is still attached.

We turn onto the field lane, which is between the house and the field, and stop to have a bite of early lunch.

 

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That mass of greenery is the house.

 

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This is a zoom shot of the previous view. See the walls of the house under all the greenery?

 

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Sugar brought his machete because of all the vines. He’s chopping and whacking a path for us.

 

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Dear God, that’s a widow-maker hanging over his head. I was as jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but he wasn’t worried.

 

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The house is not the right dimensions to be Sarah’s house at Transpine, but perhaps it was here once.  Regardless, Sugar named the live oak “TransOak”.

Then onward past what we believe to be the original location of the house at Mulberry Grove which was burned by Sherman.  There’s a lane which is marked No Trespassing, but the road map shows that it is a public road.

Yes, we did drive along it.  And took photos out the driver’s side window.  Some are zoomy, some are not.

 

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The gate to the driveway to the house.

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Further along the lane, we come to more fields.

 

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Peanuts!  My father used to plant peanuts.

Sugar agreed to go again to the Lawton Cemetery so I could take some photos of headstones to confirm that this was indeed the Lawton Cemetery that Mama Florrie said it was.

And that’s another blog post.  (Spoiler:  she was right.)

 

Catching Up With Fanny Andrews in Washington, Georgia

November 2, 2013

This is the third post of a series. Click here for the first part, and here for the second part.

After leaving the Gilbert-Alexander House and not getting accosted, although no thanks to our efforts, we tootled around a bit more.
Sugar had seen a marker or two that he wanted to investigate.

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Oh, yeah.  Now we’re having fun.  We stopped on the side of the road to view this marker.

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TWO HUNDRED FEET EAST

SITE OF

PRESBYTERIAN POPLAR

HERE WAS HELD THE FIRST

ORDINATION OF A PRESBYTERIAN

MINISTER IN GEORGIA, JULY 22, 1790,

WHEN JOHN SPRINGER WAS ORDAINED

AND INSTALLED PASTOR OF

SMYRNA PROVIDENCE AND

WASHINGTON CHURCHES

BY A COMMISSION OF THE

PRESBYTERY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COMPOSED OF

REV. ROBERT HALL

AND

REV. FRANCIS CUMMINS

That is surely important news for someone.  I don’t know who you are yet, so feel free to comment.  Don’t just sit there.

We headed back over to another marker that we saw near the Catholic Cemetery.  Sugar has a nose for markers.

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THIS TREE PLANTED – 1930

HONORING

ELIZA FRANCES ANDREWS

“MISS FANNIE”

TEACHER, AUTHOR,

RENOWNED BOTANIST

WASHINGTON WOMAN’S CLUB

1982

AUG. 10, 1840

JAN. 21, 1931

Reading this marker meant that we needed to cross the street to take a photo of the tree.  The walking lady hardly gave us a second look, like people wander around this town all the time taking photos.

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Our hostess at the B&B had told us about the Resthaven Cemetery on the edge of town.  We still had daylight, and we found it easily.  We found the cemetery, but I couldn’t find the entrance, because you have to do a quick lefty-righty thing to get to the entrance, and we turned around in a dicey-looking parking lot.  (*Not* someone’s driveway.)

Sugar knew what the marker for Fanny Andrews looked like, and we easily found the old section, and he went right to it.  There were SO many Andrews people, and their affiliated families, so I took lots and lots of photos.

Here’s where things get complicated for you the reader. Feel the urge to scroll past these unidentified people.

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Eliza Frances “Fanny” Andrews

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Someone had been here before us and left fresh flowers. I wish that we could take credit for being clever and bringing flowers for a world-famous botanist. Nice move, mystery person.

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It was a perfect time of day for photographing tombstones.  The angle of the setting sun created shadows and made the inscriptions easier to read.

On the way to the car, we saw a section with small markers with no inscriptions at all.

There’s an interesting pattern of sunlight on the right side of the photo below.  If you believe in angels, you might enjoy this photo.

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The sun is setting, and the night is calling, and the birds settle down for an evening of rest at beautiful Resthaven.

Where is Colonel Lawton Cemetery? (Part 2)

September 22, 2013

Let’s try again.

I’ve worried over where this cemetery is like a dog over a bone.  Gnaw, gnaw, gnaw.

I GPSed (look!  new word!) the coordinates that my nephew found again from a website where some fellers GPSed all the cemeteries in SC, once again using google maps.  It still led me off way northwest of Garnett into a barren-looking area, keeping in mind that it’s still not the correct name for the cemetery.  It’s listed as Old Lawtonville.  There’s only one Lawtonville Cemetery.  I asked one family who’s lived in that area *forever*, and they are as puzzled as I am over the Old and New Lawtonville listings.

So I went to bed.

The next day, it occurred to me that Mulberry Grove is the plantation that the graveyard is supposed to be on.  And Mulberry Grove is in an area known as Pineland.  And didn’t I see something about Pineland being in both Hampton and Jasper County?  Crap, I’m in the wrong county.

So I looked in Jasper County, and scrolled down the webpage to “Lawton, Colonel”.  You can find it, too, by clicking here.  Then click on the “M” that is underlined, and that will take you to the map.

Then I made a google map with driving directions from Sugar’s house to the cemetery, and it’s less than 20 miles, and almost due north.

Today we drove out, and found it.  I took photos of most of the headstones.  The ones that I am specifically looking for are for Mama Florrie’s father’s people, Betty Gant and Hagar Gant.  They don’t have headstones.  There are a lot of depressions in the ground.

I know that people were buried there because I’ve seen their death certificates on http://www.ancestry.com.

Do you realize what this means?

I think I’m going to have to start a blog and post all the death certificates for people who don’t have headstones at Colonel Lawton Cemetery.  Well, that sounds totally nuts.

The road separated the cemetery into two sections.  We supposed that the one to our left was the black section.

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Do you see the marker in the left foreground that has been overtaken by the azalea bush that someone planted as a memorial?

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This young man died in Vietnam.

 

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We’re inside what we believe is the black section looking over the road to the other section.

 

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Now we’ve crossed over to the other section, which we believe to be white.  (Foreshadow:  we are wrong.)

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W. E. MURPHY
GENERAL
MERCHANDISE
MAR 2, 1879
APR. 2, 1942

 

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Carrie, who is Wesley Eugene Murphy’s wife.

 

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Annie is one of the children of Carrie and Wesley Eugene Murphy.

 

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Just past the cemetery is a farm gate.  Private road, no trespassing.  We are sorely tempted.  The gate is open.

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We look back and see Ole Yeller waiting faithfully for us, so we turn back.

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Now, google maps shows that this is State Road 27-27 and it intersects with Gillison Branch Road, so we drive over to Gillison Branch and try to sneak in another way.  Really, what are we looking for?  We’ve already found the cemetery.

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It seems that Mr. Morel is one ahead of us.

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So, what do I call the new blog…

 

And Finally: A Kitten Post

July 22, 2013

Everyone knows what happens on April 15, don’t they?

That’s right!  It’s when kitten season begins for real.  I got the first call of the season to bottle-feed 6 newborn kittens on April 15 of this year.

There’s a story behind every new litter.  Sometimes we know the story, and sometimes we just make things up.  A lot of people have only bad things to say about people who put out litters, or move away leaving their animals shut up inside the house or apartment or trailer, or want to give away puppies or kittens or dogs or cats – free to a good home.  I say that desperate people do desperate things.  I’ve been desperate before.  I stole a roll of toilet tissue once from a public bathroom.  That’s desperate.  Can anyone judge another?  Of course we can, but let’s not.  Let’s help where we can.  Enter kittens.

The shelter called me to ask if I would bottle-feed 6 newborn kittens.  You’ve already heard that part of the story, but the story behind that is this:  Someone put a this newborn litter into a small dog bed, covered them with a blankie, put them into a cardboard box turned on its side, and set them out on a popular nature trail, perhaps on the evening of April 14, a Sunday.  That night was a downpour, which actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because the rain caused the predators to stay home and not go out in search of food, like newborn kittens with the umbilical cords attached.  The next day, Monday, April 15, someone found the box, and the kittens, still huddled on the bed under the blankie, made their way to the shelter.

This photo is 6 babies, brand-new, tucked into a towel which is tucked into my green wool hat.  Two calicoes, two blacks, one tuxedo, and one white with black markings.

This photo is 6 babies, brand-new, tucked into a towel which is tucked into my green wool hat. Two calicoes, two blacks, one tuxedo, and one white with black markings.

I made a deal with the shelter.  I would feed the kittens at night if they could feed them during the day.  I’ve bottle-fed kittens before, and after 48 hours of round-the-clock feeding, I. am. goo.  So the split-parenting worked out really well for two weeks, when the shelter found a nursing mother.  Oh, my heart be still.

The mother rejected them.

And it just so happened, because it is kitten season, that there was another nursing mother who took them in.

Mama & babies

Sadly, the two calicoes did not make it out of infancy.  One died at about one week, and the one in the photo above died later that night.  But she was with me.

Then I got a single neonate, who died in twenty-four hours, then another litter of four, who also died in twenty-four hours.  They had no nursing instinct at all.  Then a litter of five, four of whom died over the course of four weeks, and lastly a little orange babe found by a drainage pipe, who also died in twenty-four hours.

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We sat with our basket of kittens outside Panera Bread in Savannah on Father’s Day after visiting the Laurel Grove Cemetery. Kittens need to learn about history and lunchtime, too.

And now the “Soul” survivor of the litter of five is living at Sugar’s grooming salon until he is big enough to be neutered and then he will be ready for a home.

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So for now, it looks like it’s near the end of kitten season.  Sugar and Soul sit under the oaks at the nature trail near where the first litter was found.  If you click on the image of Sugar and Soul, you should get an enlargement.  You have to look closely for Soul, even though he’s right by Sugar’s side.

Full circle?  I hope so.

Live Oaks at the Marsh

March 14, 2013

Monday morning after the Daylight Savings Time Change found me driving along the marsh near the Broad River.  The light seemed perfect for a photo-opportunity.

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All these photos were taken from the same spot.  I varied the zoom setting or the direction before snapping the shot.

If you are not taking photos of local color, why not?  You don’t have to be an experienced photographer.  These were taken with a point-and-shoot camera.  I don’t consider myself a photographer, merely a documenter of things that interest me.  And if no one looks at these photos except me, I’m okay with that.  Someday, someone will, and there the photos will be.

Jackie the Photobomber

March 8, 2013

The BabyGirl has lots of collectible stuff that she doesn’t want any more, so she’s enlisted me to help sell them online.

Her grandmother, always the planner and organizer, gave her collectible stuff with a theme.  There are stuffed animals from Beatrix Potter stories, and china dolls with stands.

It is a great big pain in my buttons to get these things photographed.  I like to photograph things outside against the foliage of the wax myrtles when possible, preferably in the sunny daylight, which there hasn’t been a lot of lately.  Plus it’s cold out, and I’m a sissy.

I enlisted the picnic table again, and while photographing Benjamin Bunny, I saw Jackie strategically place herself in the background, ever so nonchalantly.

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(Click on the photo to enlarge.)

 

Jackie:  "To quote Elmer Fudd:  'Be vewwy, vewwy quiet.  We're hunting wabbits'."

Jackie: “To quote Elmer Fudd: ‘Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. We’re hunting wabbits’.”

 

Live Oaks & Resurrection Ferns, Part 2

February 11, 2013

About 2 years ago, I wrote about a post about some local live oaks and resurrection ferns.  You can read that post by clicking here.

Yesterday, Sugar and I were out and about, and we took a leisurely drive home on a road that we tend to frequent, because it cuts through a hunting plantation and the territory is desolate.  At least, *I* think it’s desolate, but Sugar likes the remoteness of it.

There’s a lot of that here.  Hordes of humanity, and then turn down a lane and you are in Flannery O’Connor territory.  She wrote the kind of stuff my mother worried about.  “You better not go there.  Somebody’ll knock you in the head.”  Worry, worry, worry.

There’s probably no more danger of getting knocked in the head on this desolate road than there is in a shopping mall parking lot.  And driving along this dirt road makes Sugar happy, so what’s the harm?  It’s only twelve-ish miles of narrow dirt road bordered by deep ditches.  The craziest things make some people happy.

Sometimes we see the local fox squirrels, which are as big as cats.  If you have never seen one before and encounter one on this desolate road, it’s like you have stepped back into my county’s rodent version of Juraissic Park.  “What was that?  Was that real?”  Occasionally there are deer bounding across the road, and sometimes hunters in trucks, and we’ve even seen gangster-type vehicles with spinning rims.

On this particular day, Sugar asked me to turn the van around and go back to look at a tree.  Well, if we’re going back, I’m taking pictures.  We ended up at a large live oak covered in resurrection ferns.

Sunday morning, February 10, 2013.

Sunday morning, February 10, 2013.

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This branch was dead and so were the resurrection ferns, but I still like the shot.

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The white building that looks like it’s right under the tree is actually a bit down the road. When we drove past, a man had walked out to the end of his driveway to check out the crazy people out for a Sunday drive. (Hint: it was us.)

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I’m glad we stopped.  Today, it’s been rain all day, and the forecast calls for rain for the next two days.  Spring has come to the lowcountry, although it arrived last month after practically no winter at all.  The spring peepers should be out in full force soon from all the rain.

Welcome, spring!

Widowmaker, Part 2

November 11, 2012

I wrote about a widowmaker about 3 years ago.  A widowmaker is a branch or some type of debris that is lodged in a tree, and can fall and hit a person, and potentially kill them.

There’s been a lot of storm activity lately.  If you were in the path of the hurricane Sandy, you know what I’m talking about.  And even if you weren’t in her path, there were a lot of high winds and the resulting debris falling out of trees.

The RV is parked in a wooded area.  Some of the trees are nut-bearing, and when those nuts hit the top of the RV, it sounds like a muffled gun shot, right over your head.  I don’t recall hearing these sounds before, so I’m guessing the trees are maturing and giving off substantial-enough nuts to make such a loud sound.  I know for a fact that my hearing is not improving, and both Jackie the One-Eyed Cat and I jump at especially loud thumps.

Yesterday I was out and about the trees, and I saw a widow maker very close by the RV.  Of course, I had to take a photo to demonstate how dangerous this could be.  Suppose you were in the woods taking shelter under a tree, and perhaps had fallen asleep, and this happened…

Ouch.

 

This photo is deceiving.  The tree is quite large, and the widow maker is actually as big around as my forearm.  It (the widow maker, not my forearm) is in the ground so solidly that I could not pull it out.

So if you take shelter under a pine tree, look up first and plan your next move.