Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hello, blue skies

About 2 weeks ago, at the crack of dawn, a sound assaulted our ears very early in the morning. It sounded like a very large angry bee had been trapped in an immense bottle, and it was coming from the lot next door.

What to do in a situation like that but go an investigate? My thoughts exactly.

As it turns out, the Very Large Tree next door had decided to shed a few pounds by dropping an enormous limb a couple of days earlier, and the arborists were busy on the scene doing the chainsaw mambo on what had gone kerthunk.

Three days later, they were still at it. For one limb.

Please understand, when I say 'limb' I'm talking about a piece of wood that was at least 30 feet long and 6 feet in circumference at its base. This one limb was a big as a tree, and took several truckloads to get out of the way. Even the tree folk looked mighty impressed, and allowed as to how they hoped the rest could be saved because it's a might fine tree. I allowed the same, being as that mighty fine tree is a major source of shade for the Tiny House, and in the evening the shape of it is like an 11-fingered (OK, 10-fingered) hand grasping at the dusk. In silhouette, it's a thing of primitive beauty.

Well, it's a good thing I have my memories of it. Turns out that one big limb dropping was the death knell for the grand old pin oak, and the decision had been made to give it up to the ages. This morning when I left for work there was a fellow high up in its branches, lopping off bits of history. This afternoon, there's nothing but a gigantic pile of firewood on the ground and a stump so huge a family of deer could curl up in its base for a nice nap. Turns out the center was rotten clean through, and animals had been burrowing through its base so long there's a network of tunnels through the wood to that nice soft moist spot at the tree's feeble old heart.

The Things and I went over to take a gander at the decapitated titan this evening, and if there had been fewer consarned vampire bugs keeping us company and sampling the ol' hemoglobin, we'd have taken the time to count some tree rings. As it was, I had just enough time to snap off a few shots of my boys playing on the corpse of a being that has probably been alive since the Declaration was signed, and that will have to be enough of a memorial because I suspect that by tomorrow night there won't be much more than a pile of sawdust and a mountain of withering still-leafed branches remaining.

And that makes me rather more sad than it ought to. Or, maybe I'm just sad enough.

Bye bye tree. You'll be missed.

(Neither one of the boys is sitting on the main trunk. Thing 2, in front, is probably 40+ feet 'up' in the tree, and Thing 1, in the back, is on a main tributary, neither of which is as immense as the 'real' trunk. You can well imagine that kind of shade a tree like that affords. I fear for my electric bill next month...)


Also, I don't remember why I wrote this. But, well, I kind of like it.

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