rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Arboeal Vanishing Act

Today a crew came and tore out a big dead pine tree up the block. It took four guys the better part of the day to do it. It was between two houses, and there is only about fifteen feet of space where it was growing, and that space was shared with two other pines just as large. There was a huge bucket truck with a very long arm— I'd guess at least 60 feet— and the tree was about twenty feet taller than the arm, so removing the top section of the tree was a pretty delicate operation. There were no mishaps, though, and about four o'clock this afternoon the trucks departed with the remains of the tree.

I was surprised that their wood chipper was not way noisier than it was. The sound dampening technology must have been improved in recent years. Wood chippers used to make a deafening racket, but this one wasn't much louder than the chain saws. I'm not sure what they did with the bigger logs. The owner of the tree might have kept them to use as firewood. It ought to last him a couple of years. It was a big tree.

When ponderosas begin to die, their needles start turning grayish brown in patches, but once the process is well advanced the needles all turn a rich golden brown, with more gold than brown. I had gotten used to seeing the dead tree, and enjoyed its color, especially in the evenings when the late sun lit it up. Because the dead tree was at the southern end of the group of three, the newly exposed middle tree is kind of scrappy looking. The tree that was removed had blocked its light, and had kept it from putting out many branches on that side. Now when I look that way I see a big trunk rising up almost uninterrupted by branches on my side, and the branches going out to the sides are mostly scrawny, probably due to decades of light deprivation. It's not the loveliest sight. I probably won't look in that direction so much anymore.

The mild days and cool evenings continue. There are no clouds today, so there'll be a clear view of the waxing crescent moon for a while. I might go out and watch it now, while scratching the mosquito bites I just got while watering the back yard. For conserving water, the hour around sunset is the best time to water, unless you can do it in the hour before sunrise, but it's the worst time of day for mosquitoes. I probably saved about thirty cents by getting bitten this evening. Whether it was worth it or not will depend on how bad the itching gets tonight, and on how long it lasts. Oh, and whether or not I've contracted some terrible mosquito-borne disease.

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