September 15th, 2013

piranha - don't think about it tomorrow.

An earthquake in Utah?

Last night I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep.  I tossed and turned but every time I shut my eyes I'd hear a little scratching noise that I suspected was a mouse, and my eyes would snap open once more.  I kept expecting to see a little rodent scurrying across the floor, which really would have ruined any chances of drifting off.  But though I think I hear them, I've never actually seen a rat or a mouse or fresh rodent droppings, so I have no proof that they're in the trailer with me.

Anyway, so I'm lying there and eventually I nod off, only to be awakened by a great boom and the house shuddering and shaking.  Now I'm really awake, and confused.  "What the fuck." I said to no one.  "An earthquake?  This is Utah!  that's impossible!  I'm going back to sleep!"  The words were braver than I felt.  Secretly, I was wondering what the hell had happened, but I was too scared and cold to go out and look.  I kept telling myself, "Well, I haven't got a light on my porch or a decent flashlight, so even if I open the door and go outside to investigate, I won't be able to see anything.  Suppose it's a mountain lion trying to get in to eat me?  I'm better off staying in here where she can't take a bite out of my leg.  If there was an explosion at the gas station, there'd be flames so bright it would look like daylight outside - and it does not.  So, whatever happened can probably wait 'til morning."

Eventually I did go back to sleep, or at least I drowsed, but it was an unrestful night.

When I woke up in the morning, groggy and longing to stay in bed just a little longer, I opened the door to see what the big noise had been.  An enormous tree branch had fallen and slammed into the trailer's porch, narrowly missing the main building.  That was the BOOM that caused the house to shake.  I stared at the tree branch and wondered idly if its weight would have broken the walls of the trailer if it had landed just a few feet to the right.

The bit that worries me is not the fallen tree branch - it's on the ground, so it can't hurt me now - but the other branches that still loom overhead.  They lean dramatically toward the trailer, and if the tree has some sort of disease that caused it to drop the branch (I don't see evidence of a lightning strike or a similar trauma to cause the accident) then another branch could fall soon, and the consequences would be disastrous.

I took a crummy photo of the branch from my doorway with my iPhone, but I'll have to get a better picture later with my camera since this really doesn't capture the size or proximity of the branch to the house.