Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The End of a Beautiful Giant

The End of a Beautiful Giant

Attention: Dramatic Turn see below in this post!

Like I said before, the day that Pipke was born it had been a very severe thunderstorm, so severe that there had been a lot of storm damage all over the country.

At our place there hadn't been so much damage, only here and there we had seen large branches that had been teared off or billboards on the road that had been blown down.
At first sight we thought that we were lucky, but now four months later it showed that this hadn't been so.
It was really unfortunately but the old beautiful Willow tree on the other side of the street had suffered from the gusty wind, it had become too much for it!
Although the tree seemed OK back then, now – the owners of the place had discovered that there was a fissure in it, and it had started to rot there, with the result that there was now a big hole in it. The beautiful giant had now become a danger not only to the house but also to the people who passed there, it was no longer stable. Another gusty wind could blow the tree over. The people from the fire department came to inspect the tree and they strongly recommended to remove it.
The owners were of course responsible if anything should happen, so they had no choice.
They and also we found it so unfortunate for the beautiful tree: his death sentence was signed!
But, it was not only unfortunate for the tree but also for the ducks, Pipke's family!
What would they do – now that their habitat was going to change?
We had to wait and see!
It was already late in the evening of September 9, 1995 that the firemen arrived to remove the tree.

First we thought: “they arrive so late in the evening, it will be dark before they can finish the job”, we even doubted if that would be possible.
From the moment that the ducks saw the fire engine, they panicked and they ran away very scared from the danger to the woodland of one of our neighbour's.

Last visit at the pond

Just before the cut down.

Very subdued we watched the firemen extending the ladder from their fire engine.

They started with the highest branches on top of the tree.

Their chainsaws made an enormous clamor, they also had to chop.

First the smaller and then the larger branches, each time descending meter by meter, and every time a heavy branch fell down on the ground, we could feel the earth tremble.
When a piece of the trunk fell – it almost felt like an earthquake – even our whole house trembled.

They had finished the job in no time and before it was dark.

Oh, it was such an awful sight now – a large heap of branches and trunks was the only remainder of that beautiful tree. It had taken the willow such a long time to become so tall and beautiful, and now he was demolished in no time.
The place had lost his charm now.
The pond with the ducks and also the beautiful Willow tree had once “lured” us to this place!
Of course, there was still the pond – but what with the ducks – would they return?
The next day, the firemen came back to remove all what remained.
Now it would become a real adaptation for us, we missed the view of the old Giant!
The ducks returned the day after – but they weren't at ease at all – their habitat was destroyed now.
The days afterwards, we saw them less and less.
We only could see them so now and then in the distance, far away – in our neighbour's woodland – and fourteen days later – they were gone and never returned!
We never saw them again.
We could never find out what happened with them.

Pipke's family had disappeared!

Of course there still rested the pond, not all was gone – but what is a pond without ducks – for me it's only a deep puddle with water. It was no longer so attractive, and also “this” would come to an end much sooner then we had expected.
Only a few years later our street underwent a total transformation.
The road was broadened, and to widen the road they (the municipal agencies) had decided that the pond came too close to the road, so: it had to go.
They filled the pond with earth and after only a few months you could see no more – that there had once been a pond.

All what could remind us on Pipke's family was gone!
An era was closed!

Next time we will continue with: A Discovery

Hope to see you then!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

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I wish you all the best

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  1. How sad to lose so much natural beauty in this way; the effect is ghastly for all concerned!

  2. Actually in our case it was such a pity Jeannie. You must know in our suroundings one could and can not find such an other old beautiful willow tree. The owner of the place were Pipke escaped from the fence has planted a few new willow trees. They are still very young, so I will never see them as tall as the old one. In Dutch we have a saying: "boompje groot -- plantertje dood". That means something like: when the tree will be large (or tall) the planter will be dead!

  3. I always feel like crying when another gentle giant (tree) is felled for no good reason. Such as one gorgeous, huge, healthy chestnut tree in the backyard of a house next to where we live (in the center of town) was felled to make room for cars to park and so that the people living in the house would have more sun on their balconies. -sigh- Now the cars are there, all right - and the people put up sun-umbrellas on their balconies - it is too sunny without the cooling shade of the leaves in the summer. Humans are so short-sighted!

    Fran - that is a good saying about the trees and how long it takes them to grow to superb majesty.