Falling leaves and felling trees

As you probably know by now (especially if you saw yesterday’s post), I’m excited about the start of Autumn. So, let me wish you a very happy season! (And for those of you reading from the other side of the equator, happy spring!)

I love this time of year when cooler weather returns. Where I live, cooler weather has come along with cold, steady rain. I won’t complain, but after a few dreary days in a row, I’m looking forward to a clear weekend that includes sunshine without the heat of summer tagging along.

Falling leaves
The only leaves that have fallen so far dried in the late summer heat. Most leaves are still green, although I’ve noticed a few with just a hint of red to them. Giddiness! That tinge of red makes me giddy.

What makes me a little less giddy is the knowledge of the coming onslaught of falling leaves. We have lots of trees in our yard, and while I wouldn’t trade them for anything, that means lots of raking soon. And with our house on the market, my husband and I will have to tackle that chore more often to keep the yard looking tidy and inviting. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a yard without so many trees and therefore so many leaves to clear in the fall.

Felling trees
I’m grateful that our home’s builder decided to leave so many trees in our yard. So many developers in our area clear out beautiful old growth trees to make construction easier. It strikes me as a lack of imagination or vision to clear everything away.

Near my neighborhood, a developer has just begun clearing land. Whether the final result will be new homes or offices, I don’t know. What I do know is that the usual peace has been drowned with constant machinery chewing up a forest of trees.


Where there were trees …

Now there is mud and debris where once so many trees grew, an ugly scar where there was once so much natural beauty. I’m sad to see them all go, and I feel bad for the neighbors whose houses back up to this property, especially those who didn’t realize this development was coming soon to their backyard.


Small tree protection areas such as this one make me cringe.

I’m relieved to see a few spindly trees with the orange protection fence around them. Even those may not survive, given the small area protected and the heavy machinery that can damage the trees’ roots growing outside of the protected zone, but at least there’s some attempt to save a few of the trees.

Maybe the developer plans to plant new trees once the buildings are done, and maybe someday this space can be beautiful again. It may be years, though, before this space experiences a beautiful Autumn again.

Without trees, could Fall be as beautiful? I don’t think so. A pumpkin spice latte and a burgundy scarf are fun, but nothing can trump (for me anyway) nature’s color palette this time of year.

Aside from the trees and the aforementioned latte and scarf, I love the crisp feel of the air, the clear sky, football, happier morning runs, the pumpkin patches and kids searching for the perfect jack-o-lantern pumpkin, pie, apples, Halloween, …

So what do you love most about Autumn? I know it’s not everyone’s favorite season, but there must be something for everyone to love about this time of year. So let’s hear it. What makes you giddy about this new season?

P.S. I learned something new today and wanted to be sure to share it with you. Google keeps an archive of its doodles. So if you missed one (like yesterday’s) that everyone at the office was talking about, you can browse through them to your heart’s content. The archive also provides a great way to see what the rest of the world is celebrating.

On cutting down trees, again

Back in January, I wrote a post about some tree cutting that happened nearby to put up a needless sidewalk. Then, a few weekends ago, the tree men came to my own neighborhood to cut down one of the grand old oaks that has graced us for many decades.

It’s not the only tree to die because of the construction craze in the neighborhood (the neighborhood is experiencing a “tear-down” renaissance where new, large homes replace older, smaller ones), but it was a beautiful tree that I hoped might just survive its mistreatment.

The tree had declined after stresses piled on to it one after another: back-to-back summers of heat and drought coupled with a construction crew that didn’t understand – or didn’t care – what day after day of painting materials washed out at the base of the tree would do to it. Of course, the new owners had no idea about the paint, and they consulted tree experts to try to save the tree. But after holding off for a couple of years to try to help the tree survive, they decided it was time to take it down.

So a few Saturdays ago, with snow falling (a rarity around here), I was getting my house ready to entertain guests later that evening. I realized I was hearing the steady drone of a chainsaw and looked out to see across the roof of the house behind ours, a man up in the tree:


When I saw what was happening, I stopped cleaning to grab my camera, and over the next few hours (with some dusting and laundry and food prep in between), documented as the tree came down, limb by limb.

I’m scared of heights, and though I love trees, I don’t enjoy climbing them at all. So this sight awed me, this man connected to the tree by ropes and also connected to his chainsaw by a rope that swung at his side.  TreeCutting2013_3 Continue reading