Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Tale of the Tumbling Tree

Back in April of this year I looked out of the back window one early morning and noticed a large black and red woodpecker hammering away at one of our trees.
He was so beautiful and large so we all spent quite a bit of time peering at him with the binoculars. The sawdust and tree chunks were flying and we felt quite privileged to have such a beautiful bird in our own backyard. We looked him up in our Florida wildlife book and discovered that he's a Pileated Woodpecker, which is America's largest woodpecker (about 18 inches long with a 30-inch wingspan).

We were so caught up in our own Mutual of Omaha moment that it didn’t dawn on us that the stupid bird would end up hacking an enormous hole in the tree. Later that day we came home and assessed the damage. He had pecked a good sized hole on one side of the tree and a couple of decent holes on the other side. There didn't seem to be a whole lot of "tree" between the holes, but we figured the tree would be fine - after all, they're just woodpecker holes.

July rolled around and I went outside and noticed that our friend had been back to finish the job. He pecked an enormous hole in the tree big enough for a cat to get in. Farmer B said that the trunk would be too weak to survive hurricane winds and since we're smack dab in the middle of hurricane season, the tree would have to be chopped down now so that it didn't hit the house later. We're both tree lovers, but he was convinced it would fall and hit the house or the screened-in patio. I told him that woodpeckers don't kill tall trees and that the tree would be fine.

A couple of weeks ago Farmer B and I compromised on the fate of the tree because we both agreed it's a tree worth saving. After all, this is a tree with a face and I'd miss him smiling at me every time we walked into the backyard. Farmer B would shimmy up a ladder and tie the tree to the closest neighboring tree with a large rope. This way if the tree fell down in any high winds the rope would stop it from falling toward the house and we'd all be saved. I thought it was a silly idea and that a big rope would be unattractive, but I agreed because a rope is better than a chainsaw.

Well we all know how it ended, don't we?

Microburst.

Fallen tree.

House and patio undamaged due to fancy rope contraption.


Farmer B - 1.

Kate - 0.

1 comment:

Annie's Granny said...

If the story weren't so darned funny, I'd cry over the loss of the tree. Good thing Farmer B wasn't concerned with aesthetics!

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