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We experienced a natural phenomenon yesterday

3/3/08 – We experienced a natural phenomenon yesterday that is unique to our 51 years at Sawbill. From late afternoon through the night, the trees were making strange popping noises. It was a spooky, hard to describe sound that sounded like people tapping on tree trunks with resonant sticks. With some quite close and the rest fading into the distance, the sound was nearly continuous. The air was perfectly still and combined with a star filled sky, it gave one a profound sense of the forest as a living organism.
My best guess is that some sap started to flow during the last couple of warm days. Last night the temperature quickly dropped to about ten below, causing the trees to refreeze and make the popping sound. On the mysterious side, we’ve seen sudden temperature drops many times in March and have never heard this before. Also, it was a much quieter, mellow sound than the cracking that trees do during extreme cold snaps in December and January. – Bill