We had plans this morning - for a rather leisurely day. Guess again! This is what I woke up to: about a third of the tree in the parking in front of the neighbors and our house had come down during the night and smashed our mailbox (which seems to have absorbed the brunt of it) and landed on L's car. Thankfully, I heard nothing of it. He did - heard the wind and thought it would be a good idea to go out and move the car because the tree on the other side of the driveway had been damaged in similar fashion a few years ago and we have been concerned ever since that it would come down, this time into our driveway.
He was too late, by the time he went out, around midnight, the tree had already crashed (that's probably what woke him up). He spent about an hour sawing away at the branches covering his tree so he could move it at all. Thankfully, there are only a couple of small dents and quite a few shallow scratches. And, thankfully even more, he didn't go out when that thing came down.
Apparently, there was a bird sitting in the tree at the time and when L went out, the bird tried frantically to get into our house (who can blame him/her?) and finally took shelter on one of our window sills.
When I got up, fairly early on a Sunday, and saw what had happened, I grabbed my gardening gloves, tied the (pretty long by now) hair back and got to work, spending about 90 minutes bending, scooping and putting all the small branches and leaves into two huge trash cans. L joined me shortly afterward and started sawing away at the bigger branches. And the neighbors came out, too, and started work on their side of the yard. They eventually called friends who came with a pick-up truck and a chainsaw and made short work of what was left. By the time we left, around 9:30 (we had to meet somebody in Marin), only the really thick branch was left and when we came back home, everything was cleared up and they now have a nice load a firewood.
The tree is in the parking (I said that before, I know) and it's something that's a city ordinance (I believe, at least, that's what our builder told us). There are certain trees on certain streets (and some of them are much more trouble than others, dropping what I consider dangerous seed pods on unsuspecting pedestrians). Anyway, why not call the city and ask them to clean up this mess? They are not responsible as we found out from somebody who tried. They insist on trees in the parking, but then the residents have to care for them and take care of the warped sidewalks when the roots got too big or trees falling down. So, we didn't even try.
We did manage to run our errand, we did make it to the farmers' market where it was hotter than was comfortable and we're back home without any more damage than a slightly sore back and a few scratches. Hopefully, there won't be any more serious wind anytime soon.