Weed whackers and leaf blowers drive me crazy. But the sounds of a chainsaw and attendant wood chipper wrack my deepest nerve. I rarely document the final demise of the various peak-growth beauties in my neighborhood, perhaps feeling it too deeply, even though I’ve watched it more than once.
This time, I took out the camera and captured the chop-down on January 14, 2011, the messy aftermath three days later.
Mostly, we’re losing maples to disease and age. One magnificent tree spread high above rooftops, across two-homes-worth of backyard lawn, perfect against the sunset for years and years, then lost all its leaves in a few midsummer weeks. Irretrievable. And though the decaying branches would have made lovely homes for birds and insects, they must have been thought of as likely for falling in the stormy winds that have become increasingly common.
It’s a tough and hazardous job, taking down a behemoth. The crew worked hard through most of the day. But I think they cut this one down too soon. It has taken me six months to complete this winter story, move through the cutting and on to remembering our splendid friendship, to cheers for the beauty of branches, leaves, and sky.
All images and text in this post are by Catherine Rutgers © 2011.