Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Trite Tree

Almost one year ago, a tree fell in our yard. Like the proverbial lonely tree in the forest, it made no sound. We had no idea that it had fallen until Mike happened to glance out the window one morning to see the huge tree sprawled across our backyard. It had missed our house by only a few feet.

We did nothing with the tree until spring. In early March, while alone one weekend, I attacked it with my bare hands and then a handsaw to removed most of the branches and limbs. A few months later, we borrowed Tim’s chainsaw and tackled the rest of the limbs. (Neither of us had used a chainsaw before. Mike operated the beast while I remained poised to dial 911.) The chainsaw was not large enough, nor our skills advanced enough, to cut through the thick trunk, so the rest of the tree moldered in our lawn all summer.

This weekend, at the expense of Mike’s macho pride, I arranged for Tim to come over with a bigger chainsaw and cut the tree into fireplace-length rounds. In return, we had Tim and his girlfriend, Joni, over as our very first dinner guests for an Indian feast. The next morning, recovering from near alcohol poisoning, I braved the cold drizzle and cleaned up the tree parts.

I can be somewhat of a gloomy Eyore. In a self-improvement effort, I’ve been trying to look at “obstacles” as “opportunities.” Sunday morning found me standing in the mushy backyard, reeking of alcohol, thoroughly nauseated, and trying to maintain a positive attitude. I looked at the downed tree, I said to myself, “Yeah! Free firewood!” I then realized that we’d have to split the wood. “Whee, outdoor exercise!” Finally, I was confronted with the gnarled root end of the tree. Here, I said, “Garden art!” and muscled the stump into the north corner of the yard.

I’m not sure if this is attractive or hideous, but it is definitely a focal point. Try to imagine the three Redwing Viburnum trilobum (American Highbush Cranberry) grown up and flanking the stump. Picture an attractive groundcover carpeting the ground. The stump itself will be hollowed out a bit, filled with soil, and creatively planted (with, perhaps, a fairy garden?). Garden art, or garden horror, it was a bitch to move, but, hey, I thought of it as a “Whole-body workout!”

If a tree falls in the backyard, and no one is there to hear it, it absolutely makes no noise. Obstacles can be opportunities. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Blogger Beverly said...

Great idea.I hope to have a fairy garden someday too.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I love old stumps. That one has great character! Looking forward to seeing the transformation!

7:29 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

i say garden art. looks good to me!

10:51 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Garden art for sure! Looks good to me there now with all those colorful leaves surrounding it!

5:50 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I think it looks nice! Good idea!

6:28 AM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

I love, love, love your garden art! That stump is fantastic.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

I LOVE EEYORE!!! I have tons of Eeyore stuffed animals, figurines, clothes, even an Eeyore coffee mug and pair of slippers! He's always been my favorite cartoon character.

I love the obstacles to opportunities. I try hard to do that myself. It helps you stay aware of ways to go forward instead of moping in your seeming misery.

And the stump looks great. I would love to have that in my garden.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Scott in Washington said...

I love piloting my Stihl 350, especially when still have buzzed!

Who did the uprooting? Job well done.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Tami said...

My vote is for a fairy garden, I think it would be a very appropiate ending for the life of a tree. I am new to commenting on your blog, although I read it with the rest of the blogs I follow. Keep up the good work.

8:07 AM  

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