there must’ve been a powerful pull by the phase of the moon this week… reda, ed, farrah, michael and, known in fame only to those who appreciated her, virginia:

by the light of a february moon
by the light of a february moon

i thought she was was a Quercus virginiana (live oak) when we first moved in, thus the reason for her given name (also the name of my paternal grandmother, but i wasn’t fortunate, or old enough to remember, meeting her).  however, i soon found out that she was a Quercus stellata (post oak), one of the trees indicative of the post oak savannnah ecological region.  the land here was once a cattle ranch and within the past decade was sold to a residential developer… to say the least, it can be difficult for developers and post oaks to be good friends, as the land is either clear cut or, in the case of this oak, the growing conditions changed drastically enough within the drip line of the tree that the oak loses in the end.  these changes typically include soil compaction by construction equipment and drowning by automatic irrigation systems.  virginia hadn’t shown signs of vegetative growth since july of last year, but she supported life of many different kinds.  while i’ll miss the avian rest stop towering over our backyard, it’s the shade she provided that i’ll miss the most.  it’s amazing to realize how much shade the post-dormant canopy of a 200 year old tree could provide…

the morning the arborist arrived
the morning the arborist arrived
mid morning
assessment break mid morning
the arborist riggs in
buzz off
one leader standing
one leader standing
setting sail
one down, one to go...
one tree down, one to go...
a blank canvas awaits
a successional grove will take her place

while i understand the safety and hazard needs to take her down, it doesn’t make it any easier to let go of the ecological and aesthetic benefits she provided.  nonetheless, a new Quercus virginiana was planted in the same neighbor’s yard months ago, and will (hopefully) take her place in time.  unless, of course, our juniper, pomegranate, tangelo and peach trees beat it to the punch…  sky’s open, canopies and vertical landscape interest wanted…

peace to all those who experienced loss this week… as the zen proverb says, the strength of a tree lies in its ability to bend…


4 thoughts on “eulogy

  1. oh honey- i’m so sorry- i know how shocking it is to lose a big tree- we lost a big red maple in our front yard awhile ago and even though it was clearly time for it to go (it had begun shedding big limbs- onto the driveway…), it still left a big void. here’s to the speedy growth of the new virginia!

    • thanks lady… i know… but we’ll do our best to green this place up, one plant at a time…!

  2. Sad that. I hope she knew somehow how much she’ll be missed. And at least there was a professional so that no ladder lives were lost, like at some people’s houses…

    • yeah right… that thought crossed my mind while i was watching the arborist at work…! while ropes are used for climbing and arboriculture, perhaps some climbers should leave the chainsaw work to others…! 🙂

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