Sunday, December 10, 2017
When we first found this land, the mix of wooded slopes and former fields just seemed to fit our planned retirement lifestyle. Time spent here has been filled with a variety of experiences with both nature's creatures and plants. Trees of mature size gave this place the feeling of permanence and we expected them to outlast our time here. The good news is that we are still here but sadly many of the huge trees are failing to both wind and disease. Both are way beyond our control so we just watch what happens. This red maple has been dead for the past several years. Now we can watch just how it is falling to the ground. Its trunk is still standing while the crown has fallen in various sized pieces. We have not walked near this tree in years since even the smaller branches could be deadly when they fall.
A nearby tree's upper branches have fallen across a deer path that we use for hikes. The white pine in the foreground is still healthy. Its dead lower branches are just part of the trees' natural life cycle. They can fuel a ferocious campfire but our picnic area is far away from here. A return visit with my bow saw will allow me to cut the fallen branches into pieces small enough for me to move. They will be dragged and dropped on the downhill slope near the trail. Then both the deer and I can return to our former route to the south woods.