Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Remember the picture above?  It's similar to the one that serves as the banner in my website  It was the view from my backyard.  You can see an old willow on the left.  The entire bank was dotted with one hundred year old willows.  They served as the homes for birds and squirrels, and Glenn and I sat under them on many summer evening listening to the birds sing songs and fly from one branch to the other.  But things have changed.  High water in May took out the largest of the willows, dumping them across the stream, their tops landing on the far bank.  Because the stream undercut our bank so severely, we had to remove the other trees which threatened to fall also.

So the trees that fell into the stream were cut into sections and dumped into a logging truck.

The remaining trees were topped, then removed also.

We sadly said goodbye to the birds, the shade, the squirrels, and the familiar view of the creek.  I'm sad to see all this go, and I've apologized to those animals we uprooted.  I hope they find kind sanctuary downstream in the small willows and the butternut tree that still remain there.

Some critters were more resilient.  Our resident woodchuck's burrow by the stream was flooded by the high water, but he simply moved it back into our lawn, dug another hole near another already existing one and then discovered a better place--under our porch!  The chipmunks ferreted out a new home under the back deck with easy access to the garden.  It's kind of a munk buffet for them.  It's time for have-a-heart traps, so they too can find a new home, perhaps across the stream.  I'm sure they will be very happy there, and I've told them so as we baited the traps.

As you can tell, I've not lost my sense of humor completely, although I'd feel better if the neighborhood cats wouldn't come to visit and leave behind a their calling cards to let our house cats know they're around.

Removal of the trees opened up the view upstream, and it is beautiful.  The kids in the neighborhood are still enjoying the water as you can see.

Still, I'll miss those old trees.  The good news is that branches are growing from the old root balls of the fallen trees  In another hundred years, the bank will look as it did and provide homes once more for the birds and squirrels.