OLD FRIENDS

1

The snow started during the early hours of Friday morning. The power went out mid morning and did not return for another two days. The wind picked up by mid afternoon and did not let up for another two days.

When it was all over the early March storm dumped ten inches of wet snow that still clings to the naked branches of those hardwood trees that survived the winds. Those of spruce and pine sag under the weight while bushes, such as forsythia, spirea, and the climbing hydrangea bow in supplication.

But it is those trees that succumbed to the elements that break our hearts. These old friends that began as seedlings before we were born, that matured before we began our stewardship of the twelve acres surrounding our home, trees that graced our lives with their presence, watched our daughter grow and eventually leave to begin her own family, trees, some of which had grown to one hundred feet or more lay like so many “pick-up-sticks” in every direction.

A sound, much like that from a shotgun blast, accompanied the cracking of each limb as it was brought crashing down by the wet snow. Neither hardwood nor conifer were immune from the power of the wind that blew so fiercely with gusts of up to sixty miles an hour splitting the trunks of many of the trees. The earth, already saturated from repeated rainfall, failed to hold others.

2

Behind our pond, a once majestic white oak collapsed against a shagbark hickory, the two larger trees taking with them a number of smaller ones, the ground around them now a hopeless tangle of bark and branches. A red cedar, one of three whose dusty blue berries are favored by cedar waxwings, was one of the first to fall. Another is leaning against one of our sheds. Although the trees’ trunks are intact, their roots stare toward the sky. Across the yard, the top of another cedar fell across a dogwood tree breaking off a limb of the smaller tree. Another oak, a neighbor’s tree straddles our property line. The oak’s trunk is too wide to be cut with the sixteen-inch bar of my chainsaw.

It will take time to clear away the debris. The wood will not go to waste. We will use the cedar for posts. Over time, the oak, poplar and hickory will be cut, split and stacked—fuel for the woodstove. The spruce and pine will be fashioned into rough benches placed beside the saplings Trish and I will plant to shade and shelter those who will follow when we are gone.

 

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13 Responses to “OLD FRIENDS”

  1. Melissa Says:

    Reading this piece was the most relaxing thing I’ve done all day! Thank you!

  2. Ronald Lasko Says:

    This is lovely writing. We lost our power on Cape Cod on Friday too & never got it back until the following Friday. Many trees & limbs have come down on the 30 acres where we live on a trout pond & our evening wood fireplace fires are fueled from the annual fallen trees & limbs over these last 12 years we have resided here. We too find it hard to accept the loss of the trees & limbs but they do not go to waste & provide warmth, brightness & joy every winter & the seedlings are growing fast from the roots of the lost trees that we have noted these last 12 years.

    Some day, we too will have to lie down like the trees and hope that what we leave behind provides some measure of joy, warmth, continuation & comfort for those that follow.

    Happy fires & happy fishing!

    Ron & Donna Lasko

  3. Robyn Hill-Stitson Says:

    I do enjoy your blogs immensely. Happy New Year to you and yours.

  4. forgottentrout Says:

    Robyn, Very glad to hear it. Same to you and your family.

    • Ronald Lasko Says:

      Bob, this is lovely writing by you. Fortunately new shoots will grow from those roots of the fallen trees. Some day we too will have to lie down. We hope that what we leave behind allows new growth for those who follow. Your work dertainly does. Happy home fires & trout fishing. Ron & Donna Lasko

      • forgottentrout Says:

        Thank you Ron for the kind words. I continue to take down your lovely and informative book, TWO RIVERS from the shelf whenever my mind slips back to those hidden streams of Cape Cod and the forgotten trout who fin there.

  5. Tom DeAngelis Says:

    Condolences to you and Trish on loss of your “old friends”. Glad to hear you will help with replacing them. Are you aware of removal of the Columbia dam on the Paulins Kill in a couple of months? Nature Conservancy project coming to fruition after much planning and fundraising.

  6. tightlineproductions@comcast.net Says:

    Beautifully written 🙂

    >

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