An Appreciation

Greetings, dear readers.

I am appreciating a long-time friend today.

The beautiful cherry tree that graced my front yard for 25 years, and was offering armloads of lovely white blooms just two weeks ago reached a critical juncture. It dropped a huge branch this week without any wind and that’s when I saw that the leaves at the tops of both trunks were withered, a sign that all was not well.

61365758009__A385FF00-9AAD-4D15-8E03-249F94756DEFThis tree was just a sapling small enough for me to wrap my hand around when I moved in. I gave it a collar to protect it from pests and it grew. Over the years it has hosted dozens of species of birds and offered shade and bloom and its sour tiny fruit. The blue jays adore the cherries, shouldering their way through the branches and holding raucous conversations. Just a few weeks ago I was thrilled to see a Yellow-billed Cuckoo perched where I could see him from my window. A mockingbird teased my cat from a safe perch for most of one summer.

The fruit did not set well this year, which is odd, given the rain and warmth. And standing on the lawn with an arborist the next evening I saw what I hadn’t before – there was a big hollow at the base. My lovely tree was in the process of dying.

The smaller trunk cantilevered over my roof, which meant I could not leave it to nature to take its course because that path would likely run through my living room. The tree service took it down the next morning, leaving behind the breath of sawdust, many memories, and a young hackberry (a native tree of the elm family) that has come up next to it to try to fill some very big roots.

I am grateful for all those years of shade and bloom and fruit. I will miss my friend.

Readers, I hope this finds you well and safe – I am grateful you are here! As always, your comments are welcome.

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