There was no way out - my driveway was completely blocked, so a jaunt to the store to acquire materials was right out. I walked around to the other side to assess the damage. This is what I saw:
It's not terribly clear in that picture, but a large branch which was growing laterally out of the trunk had rotted over time and it chose today to fail. No wind, no rain, nothing. Dead calm. Clunk.
That picture is a bit of a closeup. The limb is over two feet in diameter and being Bradford pear, it is incredibly dense. Also, it is some of the worst brush to work with - it has short branches that tear up my skin. Oh well, what are you going to do? Well, what I am going to do is sharpen the chainsaw and get to work.
I started by carefully trimming the branches that had bent over a white oak tree which I had transplanted from my previous house:
I wanted to make sure it was okay and also to clear out around it so that it wouldn't get nipped during all the sawing and dragging action. As of right now it is fine, which makes me happy.
To give you an idea of just how large this tree is, here is a picture of me leaning on it back in 2011 - it's had 8 years of growth since then:
This tree sheds limbs all the time - last year I took this picture while working on an upper branch that snapped off and had to be sawed up and dragged - the bar on the saw is 3 feet long and the branch the failed today is the one on the left of that picture:
Eventually, after much sawing I was able to get the driveway passable:
I still have a ton of wood to saw and haul, and much pointy brush to deal with, but at least I can drive down my driveway in a stately manner and buy things like more gasoline for my saw.
So I left it at that - working in 90+ degree heat with high humidity was draining. I have been drinking water trying to rehydrate. Now I will rest and know that the logs will still be there in the morning. Sadly.
The burn pile is already nearly 6 feet tall, and it will grow taller ere I set it alight.
Van the Man.