Any long-term visitors to my blogcasa know I seldom write about my daily life concerns. Well, yes, there have been posts about food items like the chocolate banana tortillas –btw, at 3:17 am I discovered these are great with flaked coconut too instead of the fresh sliced fruit–and pumpkin cakes. But I generally steer far away from my mundane immediate context unless it inspires some humor that might tickle someone else’s fancy — besides my own funny bones. Today there will be a deviation from that norm. I desire a venue to vent. A full-blown rant to be honest is what I’d really like to indulge in–complete with much foot stomping and turning on the garden hose full blast. The birds and squirrels won’t mind the latter, but the neighbors might when it drowns their weird expensive ‘grass’ which needs more attention than a newborn baby with a bad case of whooping-cough. If I had a newborn to prod into whooping, I would, all night long. While wearing earplugs, of course. Get where this is going yet? Hmm? What am I miffed about? The trees. ‘My’ trees. The trees that are currently mature enough to provide enough shade that they’re cooling about a quarter acre of land so nicely that it’s ten to twenty degrees cooler in the extensive shade than it is in the direct sun on a hot day. That’s sweet relief when the temperature kicks up to 100+ degrees farenheit with humidity chugging up the oxygen. When nature is cooling your home for nothing but having the space to exist instead of the electric company, what’s the downside? Oh, well, yes, there are leaves and dead branches that fall to the ground when their time comes. In my mind this is nothing to ‘pay’ for all the benefits.
About those benefits. Hmm. Me, the human gets a nice cool abode from the tree shade. The birds seem to enjoy nesting, roosting and courting among the trees. The robins eat a lot of bugs. We’ve had owls, woodpeckers, and squirrels make their homes in the trees as they’ve grown over the years. Most of the trees are volunteers. Like the Mulberry tree that first appeared compliments of some bird or other critter’s digestive tract. Noticing the leaves and realizing it was indeed a fruit bearing tree, I managed to fence it off from the lawn (not) mowing junkie among my legal relatives. Some habits never die–bah. The same for the Black Walnut trees, the Maple trees, and the Elms. The two Poplars I planted were small ‘gifts.’ A Weeping Willow was a cutting present from an old fellow down the street. A small Pine tree came from some odd fast food place’s Arbor Day alliance. Over time the fescue has been replaced by a variety of local native plants including wild strawberries, dandelions (you can eat all of this plant except for the seeds–it’s packed with nutrition to the max), lamb’s quarter and clover that the bees adored, when there were bees around to adore it. Bees are scare this summer.
Take note that this abode was chosen in part for the quarter acre space it provided for a rescued puppy with grew to be considerably LARGER than anyone expected–part bird dog and part St. Bernard (vet’s best guess)-. She needed room to run and she got it. There were only four trees on the property when we arrived. They provided little relief from the summer sun. Now there are over thirty trees which allow the squirrels nesting in them to traverse upstairs from this yard to several others via the upstairs tree branch highway.
Now, while all this shade is not conducive to growing veggies or lovely flowers that thrive in sunshine–it has plenty to offer in its own way. I rather like the tiny forest around this silly little house. So does the local wildlife. Most of the humans nearby have no issues with it.
But–apparently my extremely neat minded neighbors do not appreciate the shade that cools part of their home for nada effort on their part. The other morning I awoke to the sound of chainsaws gleefully working their way upwards on the south side of one of the large Elms. Tree cutters don’t come cheap here. Take note that the city tree trimmers had just last week worked their way up and down the street dealing with any limbs that might prove dangerous to the electrical wires. They left the Elms in the front yard ALONE because they posed no hazards to wires or passing vehicles. There were no dead limbs lurking in wait to assault passersby. No one parks on this street. Yet, my neighbors apparently live in dire fear of said limbs clobbering their car –which is usually parked inside a garage. Hence the reason they hired some tree-cutters to do a little trimming. Hmm. Interesting monetary output from people who complained bitterly when the yearly education tax was increased to the point of adding an extra one hundred dollars to their bill. Supporting schools pisses them off, but cutting trees for much more than one hundred dollars is something they’ll willingly dish out cash for. I’m at a loss to comprehend this logic.
Now, I would understand this outlay IF the trees were posing any sort of hazard to anyone’s health and well-being, if they were diseased, dead, rotting, or head hazards when walking under them. But we’re talking head clearance, healthy and tree rot free trees here, folks.
So when aforementioned chainsaws disrupted my morning, the tree cutters and I had a little meet and greet. They were oddly sheepish for hired hands. They were extremely subdued for guys who’d been told it was all a-okay to chop away as they pleased by the folks who’d paid them. They ceased and desisted when I pointed out that they were now cutting branches well above any height required for even the trash trucks to clear while they made their way down the street. We did not argue. No, not the tree-cutters and I. Nor did my neighbor when I greeted him. He just glared. Oops, did I catch you red-handed at something naughty? I must have because the chainsaws went away pretty damn fast with just me and my cup of green tea putting in an unwanted appearance in my dandelion farm under the Elms.
Comments? Questions? Funny Stories? All are welcome.
I feel so much better. Time for a chocolate-coconut whole wheat tortilla taco and maybe some fresh black coffee. Hmm. Yep. I think so. I’ll going to enjoy them outside in the shade while watching the resident sparrows take their afternoon baths in between sunflower seed snacks.
Arbor Day Foundation http://www.arborday.org/