Anyway, I had a tree guy come to take it down, then I proceeded to cut, split, stack and clean up. Easier said than done....
First a look at the stump and a partial reveal--finally--of Mister Tristan, the 4 year old human being, not the blog:
[Oops, I accidentally cut off his head in the photo]
Here are a couple other shots that indicate the extent of the work:
I reckon this tree yielded nearly 6 cords of wood, which should cover my heating needs for next winter (2013-2014). Thank goodness for chain saws and hydraulic wood splitters! But it makes me wonder how the heck the first settlers of this land ever got it cleared enough for farming?
The link to Ultrarunning is that trees are so commonplace as to be below the radar when I am out in the backcountry. See, here in PA "backcountry" means forested trails--we have no treeline or bald stony mountains. So leave it up to a "domestic tree" in my yard to bring me back to reality.
When a tree of this size falls in the backcountry, it's a total non-event. It just happens...and whether it makes a sound or anyone hears it remains a mystery. But in my yard, it's almost a life event.