Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy news from an arborist

Several months ago, you may remember, we had to dig up most of our backyard to have a new drain field installed.

Some of the trees had a lot of their roots damaged and dug up during the installation, and I've been worried about them. I had called the county extension service and spoken to a master gardener volunteer who told me that the roots wouldn't regrow, and I should just have all the trees removed.

I called a tree company that we had used before and been quite happy with what I'd been told at the time, but this time when I got an estimate, it was from one of the salesmen, and he wants to take down nine (9!) trees from the backyard.

Ok, they're not the best trees. They are pine trees and sweet gums, but they form part of the squirrel superhighway from the far reaches of the backyard and all the neighbors' yards to our roof, from which a squirrel can easily reach the birdfeeders via the large ligustrum with only a few feet of cat gauntlet to run. Yeah, I doubt that sentence is grammatically correct, but I'm leaving it as is.

I've been dreading taking down all the trees. Sure, it's expensive. As in OMG! You want me to pay what?! More importantly though, I have memories in those trees. The redheaded woodpeckers that hollowed out a nest cavity in the old dead tree, and finally left after the tree fell. They lived there for several years. It was so cool. We both loved to watch them.

There was the night I knew we'd have to put our husky Ripper to sleep. He was so uncomfortable. He had lost so much weight that I could carry him from outside to his bed inside and back again several times that night. I sat outside with him, listening to him breathing and trying to comfort him while an owl hooted in the trees above us. It was such a sad, difficult night, but there was also the wonder of hearing that owl keeping watch with me.

Then there was one night when we heard an owl very close by making the strangest sounds we'd ever heard an owl make. It sounded like a very happy owl trying to hoot around a mouthful of rodent, and it was almost just outside the window.

I've procrastinated calling other tree services since I was afraid what they would say, but I forced myself to call 2 more yesterday.

The first arborist came today and tramped around my hellishly messy backyard (we've not done anything to it since the drainfield was installed as we've been waiting for any treework to be completed and for the weather to cooperate for longer than 24 hours. It's rained so much that the red clay sticks like crazy to your shoes. But, I digress.) After looking around, quizzing me about when the work was done, he said, none of them look like they need to come down right now. If they were in danger of coming down, we would have seen some dieback, and he didn't see any evidence of that. A couple need to be trimmed, and several need to be checked again in the spring when they start to leaf out again.

That was the best news I've heard in some time. I do have 1 more arborist/tree service coming to take a look, but now I'm actually ready to go do some work in my backyard. It won't be all torn up again, and I'll be able to make some headway back there. It will be a very Zen experience as I go pick up all those rocks that now litter the surface. (Or it may just be utterly maddening.)

To keep this a little fibery, I did ply my singles the other night. The yarn is balanced now, but I don't think it's plied that well. Gale suggested I run it through the wheel again and add more twist to the plying. I'm thinking about it while the yarn rests. I've got to take pictures and post them soon.

As for now, it feels like midnight since it's been dark for hours already. I think bed and a book are calling to me.

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