CHANGES

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.

How many baby squirrels were born in this tree?
Dove in the tree

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.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Lady Cardinal in the tree

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.

Cardinal in the tree

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.

Nuthatch on the tree

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.



Categories: Anecdote, Birds, Humor, landscape, Nature, Photography

Tags: , , , , ,

17 replies

  1. We need all the trees we can get. They really must stop decimating the woods and forests…

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    • It’s terrifying. We are very heavily treed in New England. More then 70% from Connecticut through Maine. More here in Massachusetts, less in Main where forests thin out because of the elevation of their mountains. But those developers are incorrigible. They do not care about the future. For them, it’s just about making as much money as they can right now and damned be the future.

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    • And it’s all the same tree. Birds and squirrels really love their special trees and despite what people think, all trees aren’t the same. They definitely have favorites and when they are cut down, they get surprisingly upset. Sadly, this particular tree is old and I has been invaded by some kind of booring insect. The woodpeckers spent a lot of time trying to get every bug they good, but while they may have gotten a lot of bugs, they couldn’t save the tree from old age.

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  2. Well you dodged a bullet as it would have been bad karma to have that branch fall on you newly restored deck. The birds will get used to it and find another branch.

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    • The are beginning to fly higher up into the same tree, but when that tree is gone, there won’t be any tree close to the deck — and there’s nothing we can do about it. Trees get old too and this one, insect invasion notwithstanding, is an old catalpa. I’d explain it to the birds, but we have a language problem.

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  3. Beautiful shots of the birds.

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  4. It is sad to lose a tree. I was very attached to my trees at Geeveston, especially the apple tree. I would have been sad if it had died. I still miss it. Here we have a tall gum tree at the bottom of the garden that I think is dead. It’s near the corner of the property and if it comes down could damage the neighbours fencing as well as ours so when we can afford it we’ll have it looked at. The next door neighbour would like us to get rid of some other trees because they drop leaves on her garage but Naomi doesn’t want to. We have leaves everywhere too but if you want trees you get messy leaves. That’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is the only tree that shaded our deck and it has become sort of a gathering place for all the birds that liked to eat at our banquet tables. But reality bites. I really hoped the woodpeckers could save it. There were days when four or five woodpeckers — various types — would be working on the tree at the same time. They almost stripped the bark off it. The bark grew back, but I think the tree has simply grown old. Catalpa trees are like apple trees. They aren’t long lived. At a certain point, they just start to die, branch by branch. We’ve been putting off calling a tree guy. I think it will survive at least one more year and I keep hoping that it will revive. I’m not optimistic, but there’s just a drop of hope. Just a few more years.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. IT IS SO SAD TO LOSE TREE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS HOME TO WILD LIFE. WE HAVE SIX IN OUR BACK YARD, TWO OF THEM FRUIT TREES….LEMON AND PEACH….AND THEY PROVIDE SHADE AND A HOME FOR SOME BIRDS AND A PLAY GROUND FRO THE SQUIRRELS. IT IS NOTHING LIKE THE RICHNESS OF YOUR LAND, BUT IT IS ENOUGH FOR US. I LOVE THE SURROUNDINGS OF YOUR HOUSE.

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    • Fruit trees just don’t live as long as our larger hardwood trees, but I love them because they aren’t as tall and they are somehow friendlier. We had a wonderful pear tree in one house. We got bushels of pears from it and we had to give away even more bushels because we couldn’t possibly eat that many pears. It was getting old too. You could see that upper branches were slowly dying and no longer producing fruit or leaves. We don’t have any fruit trees here. We have MOSTLY oak trees and because they are so big and tall and produced deep shade. so any tree that needs more light doesn’t do well. The catalpas live along the edge of the woods along with the maples and sassafras (tons of sassafras trees). Hardly any pine. There ARE a lot of orchards around here. We grow the best apples and pears. Not as good for peaches. Also corn, though most of the farms are closing down because the price of land is SO high, it makes retirement very attractive — especially because the kids don’t want to farm. And most of the farms are located along the Blackstone in some of the most beautiful land in the state. The people buying the land are “wannabe” farmers. I suspect they just love the land.

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