April 16th, 2011

Tree falling accident

Hello all,

Just a few tree based questions. The climax of my screenplay involves a big tree falling on a couple of friends/lovers/"it's complicated" types while they're in a tent on a camping trip. My idea is is that one of the characters gets trapped beneath a tree trunk that is about to crash down on him, stopped only by a buckling branch that is propping the whole tree up (which he would have to disturb to free himself). Now I know this is unlikely and a bit cartoonish, but is it possible? I hope it is because I have an image of my characters buried in this deep, lush foliage - sort of intimate and beautiful (while obviously being terrifying), with a bit of arachnid related comedy thrown in.
My screenplay is set in the present day, and in southern England. 

I'd like to know of any types of trees that are heavy, very leafy (evergreen preferably) and with long sturdy branches, that could be taken out by 75 mile per hour (or less) winds.

I've researched wind speeds in the area, but a bit more information on gales/storms would be useful. How quickly would a 75 mph wind take to develop - would there be heavy winds for a long period before? My idea is that my characters have a bit too much to drink and are fast asleep until they're woken up by really forceful winds. I need the storm to be sudden enough for the characters to decide it's safer to stay in the tent than try to get back to their car and face the elements.

Also, how many mph/ knots does it take to lift a person up? Or a two man tent?

Any advice/ ideas on how my characters could escape would also be appreciated. Or any better/other ideas for how someone could be put in mortal danger by a tree would be interesting.

(Search terms: "windspeeds to uproot trees", "windpeeds england", "tree types south of england", "is my tree safe?" "deaths caused by falling trees").

(P.S I hope these questions don't seem daft, I just need to believe that a situation could happen before I put it in a script. Maybe my vision is conflicting with reality here a little bit!)
go away or I shall taunt you a 2nd time

Native flowers by colour/region/season

Time period: medieval/ancient/fantasy/irrelevant
Location: fantasy world with flora/climates largely based on various Australian (temperate, mountains, desert, tropics) climates, South-East Asia and African savanna.

I'm looking for a decent native flowers database, especially looking at the regions I've named above, though in terms of tropical flowers I can probably go with anything I'm given. I'm especially looking for somewhere that'll give me maybe a map of where they grow natively, a rough guide to when they flower, and (long shot, I know) maybe even a way of finding all the red ones or all the blue ones.

Especially looking for ornamental flowers, but not particularly fussed at this stage. Native is vital. I'm not interested in roses and poppies, wattle and desert peas are far more interesting :D