May 06 2009
That’s the best part - the tree didn’t become rubbish.
But I was still heartbroken when I realized the huge oak in front of the house was dead beyond repair - so much so that I shot photos and video of it being taken down. Like an obsessive fan watching the final swan song of a storied opera diva, I snapped probably 300 pictures of the thing singing its way down.
As if losing the tree wasn’t enough, a gaggle of honeybees had set up shop within the dead tree itself - causing the initial tear-down crew to retreat because two of the guys were allergic to bee stings (as in stretcher-and-hospital allergic). ((insert tough-guy joke here))
I immediately phoned the city and promptly received a call back from Ken Gillette, from Atlanta’s Office of Parks, who shared my worry about killing the bees. “I trap and release wasps in my own home,” he told me wistfully.
In the midst of the bee conundrum I was reminded of the Buddhist principals of not being attached to materials objects, which is a principle I think is healthy - although I tweak it a bit to add reverence to everyday things we interact with. This tree fits (fit, past tense) that bill perfectly, and she will be missed.
The urgency of the removal meant there wasn’t time to call a bee specialist because the tree was a hazard to the neighborhood. Ken had a legal obligation to remove the tree. I snapped neighbor Jim inspecting the remnants of the hive. Sad, particularly with the mysterious problem we still have with this particular species.
So out it, and they, came. But not before I captured the whole thing, from beginning to end, with many types of cameras.
As the sawdust filled my nostrils my heart sank. Another tree will rise in its place, but still - the end of an era.
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