The largest one, a huge old tree next to the deck in the back yard, was my favorite.
For the dogs, it made a lovely, cool place to rest up after a strenuous game of "keep-away-fetch"...
and for the birds, a perfect spot for their favorite cafe.
But last summer, we noticed the ash trees were not doing well, and this spring they looked even worse. The tree dude (I think the proper term is arborist?) confirmed my worst fears: it was emerald ash borer, and the trees were already beyond help. In case you're not familiar with this problem, here's a short explanation from Wikipedia: "Agrilus planipennis, is a green beetle native to Asia and Eastern Russia. Outside its native region, the emerald ash borer is an invasive species, and Emerald ash borer infestation is highly destructive to ash trees in its introduced range... larvas' bore holes essentially disrupt the flow of nutrients as they rise up the trunk from the roots to the crown via the phloem (the tree's vascular structures) just under the bark. This eventually results in the death of the tree. This can take place over a number of years, and the first noticeable sign is usually some die back in the crown of the tree. The tree will usually be dead by the following year or soon after. In areas where the insect is invasive and has no natural predators, it can and usually does have a devastating effect on the local ash tree population." My trees would have to be cut down, and for the ones near the house, the sooner the better.
I was very upset. In fact, the lush forest-like yard was one of the primary factors in my decision to buy the house 25 years ago, and I had come to regard the trees as dear friends. People just didn't seem to get it, though. One person suggested that I should, "grow up and get over it", but it's taking longer than I thought it would. I'm working on it.
When I was working on my BFA, we had to keep sketchbooks for virtually every class. Here's a sketch I drew of my favorite tree- well, part of it- the whole drawing wouldn't fit on the scanner.
Here, the blade is just clearing the end of the log.
And here's what our garage looks like right now.
I am learning to say goodbye; it's just going to take some time...