Yesterday we had to have an old tree taken down. A honey locust, planted too close to the house, when it was first built. My lament about this tree has always been; if only it had been planted 20-feet further out. I've lost count of how many times we've had it pruned back to keep it off the roof, out of the bedroom windows and the rain gutters, only to have it grow back in the exact same place the following season. Hardier than ever. Unfortunately, woodpeckers and insects feasted on it a little too much, which only added to the never-ending fallout of pollen, pods, leaves, twigs, and a host of creepy-crawly things that got sprinkled daily (and liberally) over the deck, chairs, tables and anyone who sat under it. This year seemed worse than ever. Looking closer we noticed stress-cracks in the bark and began to worry about the integrity of the branches (perhaps one falling), and the overall health of the tree. So, taking everything into consideration; a hard decision was reached. We'd been discussing it casually for years though. I suppose, getting used to the idea. Knowing eventually, this day would come. There were a few tears and a bit of angst during the final showdown. To be expected. We could hear and feel the thumps of tree parts falling heavily to the ground. No one could bear to watch.
I bravely opened the back door, snapped this one picture, then ran away and hid during the rest of it. (I'm sure the tree men thought I was bonkers.) Gosh. This picture makes me sad. It's hard to look at. Change is hard sometimes. We'll surely miss the song birds perched at the windows in the morning and the dappled shade under its feathery branches. That's the sad part. But looking on the bright side, we most certainly have more light in the house. A new view of the mountains. And there's the ease of sitting under an open sky.
Which has been quite lovely under big patio umbrellas. (Sarah and I have been reading Bread & Butter Journey by Ann Colver c. 1970. About pioneer families crossing the Alleghenies to find a new homestead.) The strawberries...we picked early Tuesday morning. Both the girls and I visited a local farm and picked 15 lbs. of strawberries in 30 minutes. Those professional berry pickers have nothing on us! Already made 8 small jars of jam; making more today.
Dessert last night; a spruced-up "hot milk sponge cake" with strawberry jam filling.
Served up with more berries and a dollup of whipped cream on the side. Truly a sweet comfort after a rough day. Like a wake for the sad poorly tree.
Hey! Thank you for the garden love; it's day 5 and the roses are still with us! I appreciate the great suggestions for improving the weed situation too. I'm just cringing at the sight of them all at the moment. We seem to have every variety under the sun. BUT I think I'd much rather save any back-bending efforts for...picking more strawberries.
We do have our priorities.