It's March, and if you've read my earlier years' February-March entries, there
is usually at least a reference to my "chore of the month": bringing in firewood
for next year's heating season.
For the past two years, I've had my eye on a large maple tree that has leaned
over the farm field, giving the farmers pause about planting under the tree,
fearing that harvesters wouldn't fit under the low hanging (and large, cab-wrecking)
Maples here grow fast and big, this tree was probably (i haven't gotten a look
at a continuous-to-center run of rings) fifty years old, and was thirty-plus inches
in girth two feet from the ground. A slower growing pine of the same size would be
closer to one hundred years old, maybe older.
In writing these "vitae" I realize, that chronicling the life-facts of this tree is
an act of respect, like describing an opponent in a duel. I'm sorry to say that the
tree's overhang was a matter of economics rather than of challenge. Though the felling
was a battle to the finish, removing the impediment was merely a convenience (even
sadder to say).
It is always with doubt that I place saw to plant flesh, I'd much rather cut
up a blow-down, which is just a matter of lessening waste. But, the maple HAD to
come down, and it now waits it's turn as former tree's funeral pyre.
On the "yin" side of my personal ledger, I can say that this same week, two apple
trees and one cherry tree have joined my little ark. I only hope the great
tallyman takes due note of graces as well as sins. Can apples and cherries ever
replace that maple? In six years I'll let you know.