Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Imagination Itself

In memory of the pretty tree in full bloom around the corner, which our neighbor just cut down.

Also, it’s Tuesday.

(This is the part where I like to bring it back to a cheerful ending. Right. Hmm.)

Ah yes! I’m making excellent progress on the bird front, lots of goldfinches, robins, cardinals, chickadees, juncos and sparrows. Nature finds a way, even if it sometimes needs a little help:)

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“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”

― William Blake
Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash

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I usually try to stay fairly upbeat here but today I’m sad. 

The neighbors out back are taking down two big magnolia trees. Those trees always had the first flowers of Spring and I was looking forward to their pink and white petals. 

Photo by Chris F on Pexels.com

Nope. Instead, we’ll have a lovely view of the water tower a few blocks away.

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Now, I know that sometimes you just have to take down a tree. We had to do it ourselves, when the Emerald Ash Borer came through. These trees didn’t look sick, but you never know.


My parents raised us on The Lorax, and childhood books stick with you. It’s hard to see big trees come down. 

I’d hoped the new cardinal families that moved in over the winter would set up house and stay. They still might, but it feels less likely today. And then there are the tree-dependent squirrels. 

Right now I’m looking out at the back yard and it no longer feels quite as cozy, quite as welcoming as it did. We still have our trees and some at the near neighbors, but stretching away to the south the sky opens up and what I see now is suburbia, in all its generic glory.


* * *

All that said, it will be fine. I’ll indulge in a bit of virtual “hanami,” or “flower watching,” as cherry blossoms announce the first signs of Spring. I’ll think about ways to use the yard as a place for everything from trees to flowers to birds to squirrels to insects.

Himeji Castle is even more beautiful than when Mr. Man and I visited. 

And I think it’s time to pick up another bird feeder.

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I get along with most types of bugs. If you’d asked me a month ago I would have said that there are only two types of critters for which I have a serious hate-on: fleas and mosquitoes. Sadly, I now add the Emerald Ash Borer to that list.


Pretty, isn’t it, all sparkly and green? Ha! Those looks are deceiving.

No, it doesn’t suck my blood, make me itch, or give me nasty communicable diseases, but the EAB is gnawing its way through ash trees at a seriously alarming rate. That’s the sort of thing you hear about and shake your head at the millions of trees dying, but it all gets real when a letter from the City arrives telling you that your favorite front-yard tree has to go.

Things I didn’t know:

  • if you catch it early enough insecticides can save your tree (the City of Ottawa is using TreeAzin, an injectable neem oil derivative), but it’s got to be done early;
  • woodpeckers in your tree during wintertime are not sweet and nice (or not just), it’s a sign that the birds hear the EAB larvae moving around under the bark and are coming to snack;
  • ash trees get very dry when they die, becoming a serious hazard to anything beneath or in them (climbers and car parkers, beware);
  • the best way to pick a replacement tree is to research your options, then choose from a short list by walking out into the street and checking out what your neighbors have; pick something relatively unpopular just in case another blight like this comes along in the future;
  • it takes very little time for a dude with a chainsaw to make short work of a decades-old tree.


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