A Chronicle in Three Parts
Part I: April Flowers
The saying goes: April Showers Bring May Flowers. It didn’t happen quite that way this year. One fine April day, Bob went round the garden taking pictures—of flowers, not showers. You’ll see serenity bathed in wan sun of an early spring. You’ll see favorite azaleas in bloom. You’ll see a quince, ‘Jet Trail,’ in bloom since January, lately festooned with native honeysuckle. You’ll see a bench inviting you to set a spell.
Part II: May Showers
Here’s the switch, though not exactly showers. One misty day in early May, a 10-minute storm full of sound and fury barreled in from waters to the south. Hail and pine cones hurled themselves against the house like grenades. Rain swirled and sheeted till there was no world out there. Straight-line winds and tornadoes headed down the canal toward our little piece of Eden.
Garden beds near woods were strafed by shattered forest debris that would continue to drift down for a couple of weeks. Torn limbs, some pretty hefty, straddled shrubs, maybe mauled them, then slid down out of sight. It took us a while to figure out the damage.
You’ll see the hundred-year-old oak that lost its head. You’ll see a bank of uprooted and flattened trees. You’ll see a maple split in two and hanging over the slip. You’ll see a toppled arbor. You’ll see a mess. (The canoe is a remnant left from Hurricane Isabel.)
Part III: Diesel Powers
A couple of weeks later James and his sons arrived with chain saw, tractor and grinder. They tackled the maple overhanging the slip first, then cleaned up massive limbs torn off the oak. Uprooted and fallen trees we left in place to protect the shoreline from erosion.
You’ll see the front loader snaking carefully through the woods hauling maple logs which would become edgers to paths. Oh, and that’s Bob meditating and then getting down to business. You’ll see the feeding of the grinder, though you won’t hear its sputtering and roaring. You’ll see a spray of chips, deceptively fine and powdery, emerging from the grinder. Then you’ll see the chips going straight into our garden beds to become mulch. The best kind of mulch there is.
The trees live on.