The day after the ant invasion (last week’s slice), my husband and I were hoping for a calmer day. We would not be meeting up with family, as they all needed to complete some work before we take off for our Catalina adventure. This day would roll out leisurely as we revisited places we had enjoyed previously. The highlight of the day would occur late afternoon. I was meeting up with a fellow slicer, Julieanne, who writes To Read To Write To Be.
Unfortunately, Julieanne had quite a distance to travel to meet me at the designated shopping center after teaching all day. I didn’t mind waiting because this center has wonderful patio furniture for weary shoppers. I was able to settle into a comfy chair and people watch as I waited for Julieanne.
I pulled out my mini-notebook and began jotting notes of life happening around me. There was a large patch of astroturf, which was a magnet for toddlers, older siblings, parents, and grandparents. The children roamed free in this space surrounded by white adirondack chairs. Adults monitored their children from the comfort of the chairs, as the children discovered the joys of movement and each other. After a short time, they moved on and others came to take their place.
Humans weren’t the only creatures to watch. Birds stopped by to see if there were any crumbs left behind. A couple of girls began tossing pretzel bits out on the grass. It is amazing how many birds showed up to grab a morsel. The pretzel bit was snatched and they flew just out of reach of other birds to gobble their treasure.
Soon, Julieanne arrived and we wandered away from my observation post in search of dinner. How quickly the hours passed as we talked of slicing, school, and blogs. Hopefully, we will be able to meet up again. It is such a treat to meet the person behind the words I so enjoy reading.
I was basking in the joy of my conversations when my husband said, “I have something to show you,” as he handed me his cell phone. “This came from Blake (neighbor across the street) today.”
Slowly it dawned on me what I was seeing. “What happened?” I asked.
It seems that a freak storm came through with wind blowing out of the north (normally wind comes from the west). A huge portion of the maple tree in our front yard landed on the garage and driveway. Fortunately the neighbors reported that there was no damage to the house, but it did not look good for the tree.
The neighbors swooped in with chainsaws and cleared the broken limb away within a day. From California, we arranged for an arborist assess the damage to the tree. It could not be saved. This was heartbreaking, this tree always had the most beautiful colors in the fall.
We learned that the red maple is a hybrid and not a particularly strong tree. The limbs grow so densely that the air cannot get through, which causes them to break. We have two more of these trees in our backyard. The only way to ensure this won’t happen is to trim the branches and create open spaces. When the tree company came to remove the tree, they trimmed all our other trees.
The removal of the tree was monitored by all the neighbors, since we were not yet home. It was a sad sight to turn the corner and not have our tree to greet us.
Tomorrow a new tree is being planted. It is a Pacific Sunset Maple, the arborist promises this one will be strong.