Caring for outdoor property can be richly rewarding. Our summer of 2011 investment in the artfulness and health of our tall trees proved to be a memorable spectator experience, almost like watching performance art. For three days, we observed a skilled Tree Crew work to beautify old oak trees of almost a hundred feet in height. The climber deftly pruned the small limbs and foliage, as though the trees were sculptures, and then his ground crew, with ropes and chain saws, gently swung any big limbs he cut onto the ground, sawed them small for carrying, and rid the yard of all debris efficiently. My husband and I photographed the crew extensively. I post a couple of photos for your enjoyment.
I have a habit of searching through a book I’ve had for forty years, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, for a poetic turn of phrase. For this post in patnotes.com, I read a dozen or so quotes listed in the index under the word “trees.” Nothing interested me much except these sentences by a Japanese writer, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694). He lived a short life, a fact making these lines meaningful:
“My body, now close to fifty years of age, has become an old tree that bears bitter peaches,
a snail which has lost its shell,
a bagworm separated from its bag;
it drifts with the winds and clouds that know no destination.”
in Anthology of Japanese Literature, edited by Donald Keene (1955)