Friday, September 18, 2009

More than STUMPED!

Past 1AM, Sunday 6 Sept,09. The loud whirling wind, ominous of an impending storm jolted my husband and I from our sweet slumbers.

Both of us bolted from the bed, sleepy-eyed,in auto mode to close the windows. The house seemed to shake and the rain was beginning to lash into the room. Trees were wheezing in the howling wind.

Out of the blue, a silvery bolt struck - we glimpsed a lightning streak of light zap past outide the windows.

Instantly - a crash thundered and we were plunged into total darkness. GAWD! We scanned hard but nothing seemed visible for any tell-tale sign.

We reached out for the standby slender emergency lamp and dialled TNB ( Tenaga Nasional Berhad). Hubby reported a storm had cut off the neighbourhood's entire power supply. They promised to act upon it.

Nothing to do about it, amidst rain and all. So back to sleep,tho intermittent. Luckily the mozzies were not active. Was it the sudden coolness of the air?

8 am - lo and behold! - looking out of our balcony, just out of the corner of our eyes, we were STUMPED - an old tree, well over 30 years had uprooted and lain across the road at the bend, lamp posts- cracked and snapped in parts were down , telephone wires were loosely hanging among trees,broken branches, and the green mess of leaves, wet and dishevelled on the road.

By then, curious residents with their children had come to check out the scene of destruction. What was on everyone's mind? Gratitude. No one was hurt. Thank God! I saw the parents took pains to talk about the incident.

What made the tree succumb to the freak storm? It seemed so old and strong. Someone said it was probably white ants at work. I didn't see any signs of termite activity as I had regularly tried to exterminate the big red ants that made their nests there. I was rather shocked to see there were hardly any roots yanked off. Obviously the long taproot of the pongamia pinnata which should have developed didn't.

10 am - men and machines moved in to tackle the mess. The whining and whirring of the chain saws began. Human voices rose above the machines shouting instructions. The backhoe scooped the cut logs mightily and dumped them into the lorries. Coping with the trail of destruction is heavy toil. Made me wonder of calamities that happen and brave rescuers put their hearts and souls to be the best they can be, on land, sea or air. I must say they worked hard, methodically tackling the tree - chunk by chunk. And the entire wreckage was hauled away in 2 lorries within 2 hours.

I took the opportunity to record the demise of a towering grand old tree, the pongamia pinnata ( Indian beech tree) , a deciduous legume tree. At the same time, I got to talk to the supervisor of City Hall workers my concern about some over-arching trees that lean so precariously further down the road. Some of the trees seem to have a poor root system. I was like a prophet of doom but best to ring the alarm bells before calamity strikes.

Now the hole is vacant, the drain cracked - near where the tree last stood. A week later,I was at a Gardening Soc talk and the vice -president, Dr Tan informed the members that a few saplings of the gnetum gnenom ( meninjau ) were on sale.I paid RM 10.00 for 2 really small ones in the polybag. I can't wait to transplant them in the ground. Well nurtured, they will grow to 15 metres tall.

I was told it is rather fast growing; the fruit is edible and the seed roasted, flattened, dried and fried makes the empeng crackers.

Keeping my fingers crosssed. Patience will be a virtue as I nurture this new plant. The wait begins...


  1. Oh my goodness! It's so good to know that no one was hurt. That is such a huge tree and a lot of damage caused. I find it amazing that despite the great shock you must have been through, you already took some great initiatives. Take good care, my dear. Hugs and love.

  2. OMG
    Its not nice to wake up like that :(
    Its really many damage :(
    I am so Happy you are okay and no other people are hurt !!!!
    We can do nothing its the nature ;)
    Thanks for sharing.
    Take care ....

  3. Luckily that no one got injured. Wish you all the best with the newly planted tree. By the way your internet connection seems not being affected also.

  4. Your neighborhood is so lush and green. Nice. I guess it is part of being close to nature and nature being too closed up with concrete and tar. Luckily no one was hurt and no real damage to property.

    Growing a new tree from seedlings is really nice and hopefully history be told that Ms Keats planted the tree many, many years ago :)

  5. Thank more .....destructions....
    Really appreciating your love for nature

  6. Oh wow, that was some storm!! That is really cool to grow your own tree. I am so glad no one was hurt. I bet that was a LITTLE TO close for comfort.

  7. Wow, Keats! Reading this post is like reading a short adventure or mystery story! Oh the poor tree! How sad! What a tragic end! So relieved and glad no one was hurt, though. The broken streetlamp photo was great -- now we can understand the scale of damage! Your little trees are adorable! I wish them all the best. Grow up tall and strong, meninjau/belinjau/belinjai plants! (P/S: Yeah, they have lots of alternative colloquial names)

  8. Hi
    ROSIDAH, luckily the storm happened at that hour when no one was about. Angels were watching over us :))

    Anya, thanksv. much for your concern. All's well here.

    Wan Hashim, Ocean Girl, SSUGEETH,Lucy - thanks so much for your concern. Thank God, the storm came and went again fast.

    ~Covert_Operations'78~, there are a few trees of the same type along our road . They are standing tall and sturdy. We are still waiting for TNB to light up our street. I really have to look after this baby plant. Will let you know when it's transplanted.

  9. Luckily it did not fell over a house..It could have create so much damage.

  10. Hey, the same thing happened to my neighbour's Mango Tree lately! I saw it fell due to the stong gust of wind! Good thing nobody was hurt or nearby!!!

  11. HI Turquoise Diaries , bokjae , besides what you see, nothing else was damaged. Thankfully!

    Mango trees are not terribly strong. I had a fall while trying to lop off an old branch sometime ago. The tall ladder fell and so did I when my hand rested on a weak branch. Luckily, i did not crack my spine or any part of my body. God was with me:))

  12. I see similar scenes like this when typhoon visits our place too. Good that no one was hurt and just so sad that another tree was destroyed from mother earth.

  13. Hi Pacey, we hear of typhoons wrecking lives and homes wherever in the world and it always is so terrifying just to see the images on tv. So this is one teeny 'bite'!!!

  14. Oh my God! Its really shocking to see how the tree has fallen but thank God that nobody was hurt. You have presented very beautifully with lovely sequence of pictures.

  15. THat was a massive tree...I am glad you guys are safe! Here's hoping your new one is happy and provides generations to come with blissful shade.

  16. Hi
    babli, appreciate your comments:) I'm glad the pictures have helped me paint the scenario.

    febriana, thank you for your concern. have a good day!

    Rosey Pollen, yes, really looking forward to the tree being transplanted . But it won't be any time yet. Thanks for following my blog :))

  17. Thank goodness no one was hurt. That last picture of the old stump looks like a giant's foot being hauled away!

    Enjoy your new sapling. :)

  18. Hi adrienne, such an apt description ! giant foot with no toes, if I may add!! thanks and have a good day.

  19. Wah, this is such big tree. It's so sad to see it go. Luckily no one was hurt and help came fast. If you plant a tree outside your house compound, city hall will take call if it is fallen, needs prunning or has a dangerous bee hive. If you plant in inside your house compound, whatever happens to the tree is your responsibility.

  20. Hi
    petite nyonya, quite a storm indeed! thankfully we do not experience typhoons.

    Autumn Belle, you're right. City Hall takes responsibility for plants outside your house. Btw, the street lamp has finally been installed yesterday. Now i can see who is at my gate and on the road:)

  21. OMG!! That must have been pretty scary!! Such a big tree too.

  22. What an amazing awakening you had! What destruction and what mess the storm caused! Your photos tell much even if you didn’t say a word. Thanks God nobody was hurt.

  23. Dear me! And you have the pictures to prove it too. Well done for taking all those pictures. That sounded awfully scary. I'm glad you're here to tell the tale.

  24. Hi
    Veronica Lee, am waiting for City hall to mend the drain. the crack has also resulted in a hole in our perimeter wall. Now water from the drain outside seeps into our garden and it is a soggy garden in parts!!

    MedaM , yes, the photos are revealing! thanks for your concern.

    Anne Lynken-Garner, yes thankfully other damages but not the physical kind:)
    Thank you for following my blog . Welcome!

  25. This is so shocking !! But i am happy you are taking care !!Unseen Rajasthan

  26. I'm glad no one was hurt! You took a great series of the damages, and it's like watching the news..

    Your new plant is hope in the making!

  27. Hi
    Unseen Rajasthan, thanks for popping by and your concern.

    Icy BC, like the saying, a picture paints a thousand words, i'm glad the pics shown here record the damage.
    Thank you for putting it so nicely. Where there is hope, there is life :)) So, may my new plant flourish!

  28. Oh wow, what a huge tree. Good thing you guys are safe and nobody was hurt. Your new plant is encouraging! :)

  29. Hi Tes, Thanks for popping by. Absolutely thankful that nobody was hurt.


Great to have you popping in!