Thursday, September 5, 2013

Murder, She Wrote!

I’m not going to write about Shelby County today. That Ohio County is coming but first I have to tell you about a murder that took place right by my house this week.

Tree, empty space on this side where
branches were removed a few months earlier.
No, it wasn’t the murder of a person or an animal. It was the cruel and unnecessary murder of a tree. Not just any tree, but a living, vibrant, healthy, beautiful tree – one that graced this neighborhood for over 50 years and is therefore irreplaceable. It would be one thing if the tree had been diseased and dying. This tree probably had another 20 to 30 years, at least, of sharing and cleaning the air to make it sweet and breathable. Another 30 years to house various bird species and insects. Another 30 years of beauty and shade to be appreciated. But, even if it were only 10 years or 5 years – it should not have been removed now. I simply can’t let the day go by without grieving for this lovely creature. Sometimes I would sit in the sun room and do nothing but enjoy the tree view. It was so lovely and peaceful, its branches swaying gently. It’s bird population flitting in and out. It was a Zen place. It was a good place. 
The beginning of the end.
It was only last week that my cousin, Diane, featured a website on her Facebook page called “That Tree.” Mark Hirsch, a talented photojournalist captured on his cellphone camera a lone and solitary tree every day for a year.  The photos are amazing, who knew a tree rooted in place could look so different every day of its life. 

The world seems to have two types of people – those who love and appreciate trees and those who are hell-bent on their destruction. The second type just baffles me. How can you not appreciate a tree?  Anyway, had I known about “That Tree” website sooner I believe I would have been out photographing ‘our’ tree.  I write ‘our’ that way because it wasn’t my tree . . . it was a neighborhood tree.  Several of my neighbors were out to join me in protesting this execution . . . but to no avail.  About six months ago another large, healthy, beautiful tree was taken down because "the roots were threatening the house."  Really?
Here’s what happened with this beautiful pine.  It was on a slope – growing straight and true with a deep root system. It was not leaning, it was not threatening.  Then a few months ago limbs were cut off encouraging the tree to over-balance. 

Almost gone

The poor little old lady whose house was sheltered by the tree took her life in her hands and crept out her back door while they were cutting the tree to let her protesting neighbors know that she had not called in the tree people. We weren’t able to save the tree. I’m sure the wood and the mulch will be recycled.  It is over. The tree will never again sweeten our air. 

Do you believe in omens? As the tree came down a strange black animal appeared.  It is as black as midnight.  There are no stray dogs around here and it does appear to be feral. No one can catch it.  It is rabies season, which is a concern. It ranges around the back of our houses where our tree once stood – as if it is the naked, lost spirit of the tree.

PS The coyotes from the canyon came after the dog. His screams and their howls in the middle of the night were blood curdling. I found my dog sitting up in her bed with eyes like saucers and we hugged each other.

Lovely Roof View sans tree 

The Facebook post below on ShamanTube is far more beautiful than anything I could write about a tree. Please click on this link!


  1. Love your ode to a tree; I know what you mean. Senseless removal of flora. Since our area was a desert before irrigation; trees are priceless - yet we see wanton destruction of them at will. When irrigation came in, the winds were terrible all the time - sand & dust blowing continuously. The Bureau provided trees for wind breaks to keep all the precious new farm land from losing all its top soil. Today's farmers are SMARTER than Mother Nature; they have no recall of the days of wind & dust SO they have managed to remove most of the windbreaks. They are in their way & unnecessary. Hence, I await the great dust bowl... We have had a nice row of bushes along the edge of our farm since those early days; but those renting our land manage to remove some each year, since they are OUT of vogue...grrr

  2. I love trees! Sorry for the loss in your community :-(

  3. beautiful quote (by Hesse)


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