Thursday, August 27, 2009


In June, I wrote about a favorite old tree of mine, saying, “It's nice to see an old tree left standing; so many people are eager to cut down ‘ugly’ old trees. What good could possibly be found in an old, dying tree?” I went on to describe the activities of nearly three dozen bird species that I saw and/or heard in that tree during a half-hour period on a lovely June morning:

I concluded that essay with these words: “So, what good is an old tree, anyway? Plenty good for these birds and the other creatures that depend on it for food, housing, resting, and courtship. Next time you're thinking about felling a dead or dying tree, sit down and watch it for half an hour. You might be surprised at what you see.”

Yesterday D and I went to that park, owned by the town of Avon, Connecticut, to walk through the woods and fields. I promised to show him the wonderful tree.

When we arrived, I was shocked and saddened to see that the lovely old tree had been cut down to the ground. Gone. Removed. Cut down. Destroyed. Stumped. All that is left is a ragged, broken stump a few inches above ground level.

That corner of the meadow is a lot quieter without that lively gathering place.

I can’t even think about this without tearing up.

I’m stumped.

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