One Last Hurrah


In our mixed woods evergreens and oaks are predominant, but several Ponderosa pines have grown tall to accent it with their uniqueness. Unfortunately, the soil isn't sufficient for the pines' long-term needs, either nutritionally or to hold their root systems, and one-by-one they've begun to die and rot away.

This one provided a family of flickers with a cozy cavity for their nest (we watched the young fledge one afternoon, each coming close to the opening several times before finally jumping out and sailing into life), and as the hole continued to rot and enlarge a family of squirrels moved in, and then one winter the sodden weight of rain and snow, combined with thrusts from heavy wind storms, brought the tree down in pieces. Which is where I found it at sunrise yesterday, surrounded by fog and light and a chance for one last hurrah.

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