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Wednesday, January 30 2013


They say that burning wood warms you twice - once when you cut it and once when you burn it.


But this weekend, cutting wood warmed me three times. Do you see this chopping block?


Yes, I know, it's too big and needs to be split again, but Other Half is still recovering from hernia surgery and can't use the big chain saw yet. And I definitely can't use the large chain saw. The baby chainsaw "might" do it, but it's not worth the risk. For now, it'll stay in one giant block.

As you know, I'm a sentimental creature, and I love my trees. (read: Ferngully , Saving Ferngully , Anne Frank Meets Dirty Harry, What We Have Here . . .  , Chess Games , Battle Drums , The Good Fight)

And because of this, Other Half hauled that chopping block all the way across Texas.  When I sold my beloved little farm to buy the ranch, the new owner immediately began chopping down trees. It broke my heart.

He renovated the house and flipped it for a profit. The newest owner chopped down even more trees. Each time I go over there to tend cattle I hear a chain saw or see a smoldering fire, and it further breaks my heart. I planted some of those trees. They were old friends.

So last week when we were over there feeding cattle again, Other Half looked next door and saw two giant hunks of one of my old trees sitting in the front end loader of the new owner's tractor. He was getting ready to burn them. Other Half asked me,

"Hey! You want to take one of those chunks to the ranch for a chopping block? It's a way to have a piece of your tree."

I didn't hesitate. OF COURSE! So Other Half climbed off his tractor and went to see if the new owner would give us what was left of my tree.

He would. In fact, he would load it straight onto our trailer for us. Oh happy day!

So this weekend as I split wood on what was left of my old sycamore tree, my mind wandered down memory lane. This tree was one of the few trees in the yard when I bought that property in the late 80s. It was already a large tree. It stood at the end of the driveway to welcome me home.  Two chainlink dog runs and a pumphouse were built underneath it. I used to tie my horse to its branches. On a windy day, the sycamore leaves rattled in the breeze, as if it were talking. The tree always heralded the arrival of Spring with its rustling leaves. It was an old friend.

And it was the first to go when the new owners fired up the chainsaw. . .


And that's why my husband hauled a horrendously heavy tree trunk across Texas to be used as a chopping block on a ranch that is already filled with giant trees. Trees which are already lying on the ground. Victims of high winds and not chain saws.   

I thought about this as I split wood and it warm me. It warmed my soul.

"Humans are strangely sentimental creatures. Sometimes you just have to humor them."

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:31 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
What is the matter with all those people who cut down large established trees? I don't understand it. I had to get two trees cut down on my 1/2 acre (1) a spruce was dying & looked ugly & I was afraid it would eventually be dangerous (2) one smelled like cat pee, was an ugly conifer that I replaced by a lilac. I wouldn't think of cutting any of the other trees even though they prevent full sunlight from streaming into my glass door. They all provide pleasant shade during the hot summer -- what's not to like?
Posted by Terri's Pal on 01/30/2013 - 04:30 PM
Bless you. I am a tree lover as well and it's not often you meet anyone that will admit this. I sobbed my heart out the day I came home and found that my husband had destroyed one of my favorite trees. I felt foolish crying over a tree, but to me they are living ,breathing entities. How thoughtful of Other Half to understand.
Posted by Janet on 01/30/2013 - 06:02 PM
Oh yes! I am a self-confessed tree hugger! I will get downright ugly about chopping down a tree.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 01/31/2013 - 11:30 AM
Have to have permissn here and it had better be a good reason such as it's dying and next wind storm it will be on my roof. I got hauled over the coals for removing dead black wattles (drought) that were falling on fencing and letting stock out. Complaining neighbour got one on his roof next wind storm. KArma tis a wonderful thing. New trees are happily sprouting
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) on 02/03/2013 - 11:32 PM

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