Last night the wind howled around the house. The first four days of this storm have brought a lot of rain, but it has been steady, straight down to the ground, peaceful rain. Last night it changed to a storm with high winds, blowing fog, and driving rain. It was ugly. Even the dogs didn't want to get up this morning. We all looked out the windows, yawned, and snuggled deeper into our beds. Kersey, who is usually begging to go out at daybreak, just stretched out on her bed and snoozed. We did finally get up and make our way to the barn. The first thing I did was look for downed trees. None! Even Camille's pine tree was standing which is a miracle for sure.
A number of summers ago, I was working in one of the flower beds and came across a pine tree seedling. It was a volunteer tree, planted by one of the many birds on the ranch. The flower bed was too small and too close to the house to handle a tree so I yanked it out and put it in my pile of weeds. Camille was with me, looking for worms to give to the chickens. She was... appalled. I was going to kill a pine tree! How could I do that??! She decided to save the poor little tree (no bigger than a weed, at the time). I told her that the tree would most likely die given our hot, dry summers and the fact that I had yanked it from the ground. She was determined. We found a sheltered area next to the arena. It was amongst some boulders and lower than the orchard so water would flow down to the tree. We have sprinklers to wet the sand in the arena and I thought the tree might catch some drift from those as well. Camille planted the tree and carried water to it all summer long. The thing lived. That winter, the rain fell, the wind blew, and the tree fell over. Multiple times. Camille and I stood in the rain and pushed it upright. Brett pounded in a tall stake but it just pulled that over too. Finally, I propped up a piece of wood under some branches and that has held it up pretty well.
In 2009, Camille's pet bunny died. She was heartbroken. Santa brought her Oreo the first Christmas we were up here. He was her first pet and she showed him in 4-H until he got too big. He was a very sweet, friendly bunny and he lived seven or eight years (Camille would know for sure). She buried him under her pine tree.
So this morning I was very happy to see that the tree was still standing upright. And I think it makes a very pretty addition to that corner of the arena. I'm really glad that she saved that tree.