Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A sad day

Yesterday was a very sad day for me.  So sad that I wandered around moaning softly to myself pretty much non-stop. Why?  Did something happen to a dog?  Nope.  Did something happen to a family member?  Sort of.

You see, I lost my most beloved Catawba tree.  Those of you who have been here know the tree.  It featured in at least 50% of all the pictures taken here.  The dogs climbed her.  Kids climbed her.  Squirrels made their home in her.  Birds nested in her.  And above all, I just plain loved her.  For right now I'm going to share a few pictures of it, first in all her glory and then in her ever so sad demise.

See, after at least 120 years of life, bugs, rust, rot, wind, rain, ice storms all took a mighty toll on her and now all that is left are lots of useful logs, a pile of firewood and a somewhat large pile of mulch.  No, the mulch from my once lovely tree did not get mixed with the regular mulch mountain.  Instead it formed its own pile and for some reason the dogs seem to like it better than mulch mountain.  Memories of climbing the mulch when it was a tree?

I moved here 11 years ago and fell in love at once.  Allen Hufnagle, the best tree man there is, told me I needed to cut her down.  I refused.  Every year I refused and every year I patted her and talked to her and made sure she had water when there was a drought.  I did the best I could to keep the bugs and worms away.  Mostly I just enjoyed watching her each and every single day. 

As she was....................................

I truly believe the double whammy blizzards of February 2010 dealt her a fatal blow.  Allen said she was going to have to go.  I fought to keep her one more year.  The snows this past winter tore at her heart and by spring she was clearly too weak to even be able to handle the weight of her wonderful flowers and magnificent leaves.  And so, I didn't get to see one more spring with a tree full of beautiful flowers.

The day she died............................................

That's all for now.  I'll post some more stills tomorrow and then some video footage of how a great crew of real tree men carefully took her down one piece at a time and never let a single piece fall on the fences or harm the much younger and smaller black walnut tree that had grown up in her embrace.  In fact, after she was pretty much finished they even took the time to carefully trim that walnut tree so it will be able to stand on it's own and grow tall and strong.

Last night everyone else thought it rained.  I know better.  Even the sky cried for her.

Oh, beautiful Catawba! You will live in my memories forever and ever.