Thursday, December 02, 2010

I think I shall never see ...

... something as beautiful as this tree.

It's my favorite. It's at the lakefront, just south of Belmont Harbor. I can't say I care much for it in the summer -- the foliage is no great shakes. But when the limbs are bare ... oh, my. Spectacular.

It's looks the kind of tree Pixar or the people behind the Wizard of Oz would conjure up -- all multi-armed and humanlike. Or maybe Van Gogh, with those swirling masses of branches. Or maybe it's some mythological god-beast that hurls big balls of fire.

I just love it. And I haven't seen another tree like it.

Today I was reminded to make sure I appreciate every moment it has left. See, it's an ash tree. A green ash, I believe. And they've been under attack for a decade or so now from the emerald ash borer beetle.

This morning a crew from Streets & Sanitation showed up right in front of my place and proceeded to cut down two massive old trees ...

... one of them maybe three feet thick at the trunk and 60 or 70 feet high.

And by noon they were gone. Cut down to the stumps and all the branches hauled away.

These guys were good, I'll give them that. Mighty efficient at their murderous task. No damage to any property, even as the giant branches and pieces of trunk thundered to the ground.

I assumed these were ash trees, but I'm not sure they were, actually. They may have been locust trees. Maybe they were just old and dying. I know the smaller one lost a pretty huge limb a year or two ago in a summer storm. And in looking at the cross-cut sections of the larger one's trunk I saw it had a pretty big hollow area running upward from the base. That can't be good.

Either way it's sad. I'll be getting a lot less privacy next summer (though probably more sun). And it all reminds me that my favorite tree's days are numbered.

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