The tree  (2010)  by Mary

The tree was a big part of the landscape even from the road. It towered, naked and bleached from years in the sun with no leaves for protection. It must have been quite a tree in its day, with cattle using it for shade, and birds nesting in its branches. Unlike humans, it continued being useful for years after its death, harboring insects and homes for certain birds and small animals. It was always on our mind that 'someday' we would take it down. We had removed others, but this one was enormous.

It was a challenge to even get to the tree the first season we owned the farm. It took several days of cleanup stages just to come close. One of the first jobs we did was to remove thistles the size of bushes so we could cart off and burn a large brush pile someone had made - only to discover fallen tree trunks in a little dip behind it. Beyond that was the tree which appeared accessible, but even then, a huge job lay ahead to gain access because of its fallen branches, interwoven with tall weeds, nettles, and thistles. Someday.

When a dead tree falls, the woodpeckers share in its death.  Malayan Proverb     

                                                                                                                    The fall

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