Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A farewell to elms

Okay, not elms, actually. A variety of "trash trees" that have been growing at the back of our neighbor's property, along our shared back fence. Ailanthus, buckthorn, and white poplar.

I came home yesterday and noticed with glee that the huge mulberry tree that's been slowly destroying our garage roof was completely gone. I appreciated the new clearing on the horizon, and the greater light it let in. I thought how little I would miss having to wash purple stains off my feet when I walk barefoot in our yard. I did reflect that the squirrels and birds who perform their morning theater in the solid wall of 20-foot tall trees would have to find a new venue.

But this morning, things keep on changing. A crew of workers are back, with a big chipper and a couple other yellow machines, and they seem to be removing nearly everything along the fence. A lot of it's falling into our yard, so they hop the fence and remove it.

I wonder what the owner has in mind. An airline pilot lives there, and I sometimes glimpse him on his screened-in back porch having a smoke. We've never chatted, so I figure he must like his privacy. I've already figured out he doesn't like winged company (see the sorrowful birdie condemned tenement at right).

Is this a prelude to landscaping? Will he put up a tall wooden fence instead? Is he getting the house ready to sell?

I wonder if we'll be tempted to plant some sort of screen ourselves, such as a row of hedge or arbor vitae. Good fences make good neighbors, and a thick wall of vegetation along the fences doesn't hurt either, methinks.

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