Monday, March 10, 2014

Requiem For A Tree

I've written more than once about my Hallowe'en tree, that great gnarly dead oak that filled the vista from my front porch.  It was part of my landscape, part of the charm of my mountain life, and hosted a veritable menagerie of bird life.

Not only have I written about my love for this tree, but I've photographed it--with and without creatures.

Spring...and it looms majestically over the slope across from my front yard...

 Summer...surrounded by its living relatives...

And a shot just a few weeks ago, eerie and cool, shrouded in the rain and fog...

Last night we had a monumental rain and wind storm.  Pounding rain, rolling thunder, lightning--the whole nine yards.  It was wild and wonderful.

Except this is what I woke up to this morning...

I actually stood at the front window and tried for several seconds to figure out what has wrong with the view...and then suddenly, I realized.  My most beautiful old tree was gone.

No more photos of the wildlife, perched on the welcoming branches; no more walking past the windows to see vultures, hawks or woodpeckers surveying the valley below as they claim a sturdy foothold.

I loved that tree, I loved that it was part of my world, that it served a purpose even after it had died. Now I suppose it will serve a different purpose, not for the creatures that live in the skies, but for those that dwell on the ground.

I should be more pragmatic--ashes to ashes and all that--but dammit, that tree was more than just an ol' dead thing.  I'm so going to miss the twisted, Hallowe'en limbs that framed my view, and the moments when I saw the sun gleam orange-red through the feathers of a hawk fanning its wings, the tap-tap-tap of a woodpecker searching for his early morning snack...and the startling vision of a turkey vulture, landing with a six-foot wingspan that took my breath away.

I'm totally crushed.


  1. Oh no! How devastating. I was sorry to read about this, Terlee. Mother Nature sometimes destroys beauty. At least you have some lovely pictures of your tree...

    1. I can hardly stand to look out the front windows. The space is huge...and empty. Buggers...

  2. Oh, my throat clenched over this--we too lost a tree out back to the wind this year. My curtain of private green that surrounds my world is torn now.....a gap that I can see the neighbors through. My husband said, "More sunlight? Maybe you can plant flowers...." Here's to making the best of things. xo

    1. The sad thing is, planting an new tree won't give me back the unique, artistic qualities of the irreplaceable dead one--at least not for about hundred years...