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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Arboreal Matrimony

It's happening! After three days of maneuvering with two winch-pullers, also called come-alongs, today I finally managed to release the last of the suspended oak tree from the clutches of the second oak that was holding it so tightly.

Three days might seem like a long time for what might seem like a simple task, but firewood-cutting is not a forgiving exercise in any of its aspects.

When screenwriters look for pearls of wisdom, one that they like to grab goes, "Life doesn't give you any second chances." That sounds good but I have found that it's not all that true. I myself have had several second chances offer themselves. But whether I choose to accept them is another question.

Another such principle is that when you learn how to do something, you learn the rules, but you only get good at the pursuit by figuring how and when to break the rules.

But it seems to me that neither of those sayings holds true for a couple of activities in the woods, namely when you are gathering wild mushrooms and when you are felling trees. Both are pursuits in which it is smart to follow the rules meticulously and all the time, because there's no good way to break the rules, and if you make a mistake, that's it. You get badly messed up, and often terminally.

So I might have saved myself a lot of time and effort by violating the cardinal principle of never cutting a tree in which another one is hung. But I resisted the temptation, and that, as much as getting that suspended tree down purely with my winches makes me feel good.

Now that everything is okay, I'm thinking of cutting down that second oak tree anyway. It's probably been damaged by all the stress that my winching efforts just put on it, and the woods won't be much the poorer for it, as it is only a couple of feet from a majestic and much larger tulip poplar.

But maybe the poplar will miss it.

I have noticed that you will see, at least in my woods, many trees growing in twosomes, usually of differing species, and looking comfortable, as if they prefer things that way. This has made me wonder if it's possible that trees can exist in a state of something like arboreal matrimony.

...Naw. Not really ...do they?


Blogger andante said...

Success and victory! Congratulations! And without any broken limbs on your part, I assume?

Nature is full of examples that we humans would be better off emulating.

10:57 PM  

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