This past Friday, I cried and cried on the way home from work, because, you see, I lost a dear tree friend. I have lived in my current home for twelve years and on my way to and from work, I always passed this certain large oak tree everyday. Sometimes, when I would get caught by the traffic light, I would be stopped right next to this glorious old tree. He had a bit of rot going on around his base though, but that gave me even more to admire. During rainy weather, he would have beautiful shelf fungus growing at his base. His shade would provide a cool place to wait for the traffic light to change which at this particular intersection could take quite a while. In the fall, his leaves would provide a splash of russet which looked beautiful against the yellow and oranges surrounding him.
|Isn't he a handsome tree?|
I wish this photo was not blurred, but
I took the photo while driving by.
However, progress changes many things. Traffic is terrible at the intersection of Bennington Street and 116. The powers-that-be decided that a traffic circle would be the solution which is undoubtedly costing taxpayers millions of dollars because they have been working on this area for months and months. Evidently this is going to be a HUGE traffic circle because they are bulldozing down the side of a really big hill. Cutting down not only my dear oak tree, but all of his surrounding friends too. I fear this new development because I have seen how the people in the Roanoke Valley seem to have a problem figuring out how to proceed through a three-way stop that is near my home. I'm sure that a traffic circle will totally befuddle them and there will probably be plenty of accidents.
On Thursday, they had taken down every tree on the hillside except for my dear friend. I knew that he would probably be taken the next day. I tried to take a photo with my cell phone as I drove by. Of course, this would be the one day that the traffic light did not stop me. On Friday afternoon, as I approached the stop light, I could see in the distance that the beautiful oak tree was missing from the skyline. I instantly started crying. It looks like he didn't give up easily, hanging on as long as he possibly could.
One way that this glorious old tree could have been honored was to use his wood to make something or to at least use him for firewood to provide heat and comfort. But the most demeaning thing happened to him. All of the trees on that hillside were run through one of the largest chippers that I have ever seen and now there is a MOUNTAIN of mulch where there used to be beautiful trees of all varieties.)
|I will remember you.|