We had to take down the limb of the catalpa that stretched over our deck. Despite the passionate and enthusiastic intervention of every woodpecker in the area to dig out whatever had invaded it, the tree is dying. It has a few leaves left, but the long branch which was the favorite of all the birds to see what kind of goodies we were putting out for them and for seed cracking, had to be taken down. It was ready to fall. There are other, smaller branches that are likely to fall too, but they won’t do any damage.
The tree isn’t entirely dead yet. I know we’ll have to take it down eventually, but I’m hate losing it. At least it’s leaning away from the house. It will still make a mess if it goes down, but won’t be tragic. It’s the birds who really miss it.
All the birds and squirrels love that tree, The squirrels — the gray ones — have a nest in it, but for the birds, it’s the local hanging out tree. It’s where they gather to chat and show off for the opposite sex. It’s the place for sitting and singing and nut-cracking. The squirrels curl up there for naps and the song birds mate there.
I hate cutting down trees, even though we have too many trees. So many things live and play there. But it’s an old tree and it is dying of some kind of infestation and age. Catalpas are not oaks. They don’t live hundreds of years.
The birds keep fluttering, still looking for that branch. I miss the branch too. It was our shade. Without it, the sun is much stronger and I have had to move plants around to find some shade and I may have to take most of them inside.
Just one branch from one tree and the woods is very different yet we cut down whole forests and wonder why the birds die and disappear.
We destroy their entire world. Planting baby trees is no answer. By the time those baby trees grow up, the birds have moved elsewhere — if they have somewhere else to go — or died. Every time a developer comes and plows down a woods, I shudder. I can only imagine how the creatures whose home it was will fare.