Friday, March 27, 2009

We had three trees removed last week. Two were bang-up against the house in an unfortunate place: one directly in front of the electric box, telephone box and cable box and the second in front of where both water and gas lines enter the house. Now this second tree, a magnolia, was planted there when the house was built 30 years ago.

I had been giving the original owners of this house, the ones who built it, the benefit of the doubt and thought they were simply trying to preserve as many trees as possible and built the house in between these trees. NO, they planted the magnolia and I can count the rings to prove it. 30 rings and the house was built @ 1978. Crazy. The tree was BIG too.

Day one: the crew arrives on time (McKenzies Enterprises, for those who live in the greater New Orleans area and looking for endorsements) and begins by preparing to remove a huge pine tree approx 30 feet from the house. No big deal, just time-consuming and I might add exhausting for the man up in the tree.

Not only does he have to climb up there but then he has to slice off all the branches after rigging them up to control the drop to the ground. You can see the notches from the limbs he has already removed; he's standing on two of them.

That took about an hour alone. Then he begins the tough part. Here he tops the tree and hangs on for dear life as the section he has just cut swings off the treetrunk and like a pendulum, sways back and forth against the trunk where it has been tethered to again control the descent.

I have a video of this guys clinging to the top as the tree rocks to and fro. He's up there, whooping like he he's in a rodeo.

Then after a lunch break he shimmies up the magnolia.

Nowhere as big as the first but lots of limbs to take down and as he works the tree down, the crew carry off the bits strewn around the yard.

I have to mention that McKenzie's Tree Service runs a clean ship. They did the best they could to get the limbs from crushing the surrounding landscaping that we've been working on for 12 years. (Had a little tussle when they sawed away blackberries that I have been tending for 6+ years and are only just this past year producing results! They were in full bloom as well. We had words.)

I confess they had their hands full avoiding all the yard plants. I have veggies growing just to the left of where he is in that tree and all over the place, really. Anywhere I get the sun, you'll find some vegetable growing.

Day Two, (a few days later) Now comes this one and as I was at work and not a witness to what transpired, this is what I know:

Ring: Hello?

John: Well we've had an incident. (and then line went dead)

As one of the limbs was being sawn, AND attached to a crane, I might add, it swung free and hit said crane, broke into several pieces, two of which crashed on top of our neighbor's house. It took off the soffit, fascia and part of that section of roof and left a hole in the front of the roof. BUT no one was injured and they sorted it out and the neighbor is happy and the trees are down.

Now they have to be stump-ground and it's finally done. Yes I counted the rings on all three and John counted the big one. Both the pines were 80 years old, which leads me to believe they were planted intentionally by loggers. The Mag was 30 and had no business being plunked so close to the house. Well, so much for that.

There Went That Month! Yeesh

No, I'm still here and have new thing to say. They'll get their own blog post eventually but a quick run-down of life-as-I-know-it goes thusly:

1. The garden veg has a limited time to be planted for optimum growth potential and I have been busy using these past four weeks applying myself towards this endeavour.

2. And house-hunting. WHY WHY WHY when I love where I live so much? Because a)we may not have chickens on the property, b) I'd like to grow more veg and a fruit orchard and as such more land is a necessity, not a luxury; c) even with Katrina and the loss of many trees, I have maxed out the sun spots in the 1/4 acre we sit on and lastly d) who wouldn't want a hive of bees buzzing in the orchard?

3. Yes I still work at Bright Hopes and have been teaching classes and GSQA just had seminar in Baton Rouge so I was alittle preoccupied with that part of my life.

4. (actually this is also under no 3): I have been working on more samples and donation quilts. This is usually accomplished in the early (quiet) morning hours so as to not disturb anyone who can sleep past 4:00 am. (lucky lucky)

5. House maintenance: Trees, which should never have been planted or allowed to remain when the house was built 30 years ago, are down. That is a post unto itself.

5. Daughter no. 2 was gone to SE Asia for forever and has just returned so I am happy that she's back, safe, happy and hopefully ready to tackle academ once more and GET THAT DIPLOMA!