Musings from the Hammock

By: Anne Corke

Jul 28 2011

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Category: Rural Nature

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Focal Length:12.259mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

Yesterday afternoon I spent over an hour sitting swinging in the hammock. Feeling rather languid, I had no inclination whatsoever to move. One of the trees supporting my hammock is a pin cherry which my Dad and I planted thirty three years ago. A short-lived species of tree, it has been failing the past few years. The leaves are very sparse and there are a number of dead branches. Within the next few weeks, an arborist is coming to take it down. I hate to lose any of my trees, particularly now that I am “mature” and no longer have the time left to grow a new one to replace the fallen friend. I know the cherry must come down as it’s height makes it a hazard to surrounding trees and fences, but I will miss it. As I lay swaying below it’s airy branches, I watched a downy woodpecker shinny up the trunk, searching for insects. A cicada buzzed above me and a mourning dove cooed quietly. A family of robins sang from the top branches, and a charm of goldfinches swooped past on their way to our feeder. Our resident hummingbird rested briefly nearby then zipped away to visit the daylilies and coneflowers in the island bed. Through the branches, I watched the first clouds of an approaching front moving in, creating a pattern of shade and sunlight across the lawn. What a wonderful way to spend a warm summer afternoon. How I will miss the old cherry tree and my hammock. I will have to buy a stand if I wish to continue to use it but somehow it won’t be the same without that physical connection to the trees. I must have been a pagan in a previous life, I so love my trees! Many years ago, we lost a row of old hawthorns which had grown along the fence row when our property was part of the farm. The largest of these had a beautiful spreading canopy which was a favourite shady spot for us and our dogs in the heat of summer. The dogs spent so much time under that tree that we established a doggy cemetery under it, and they were laid to rest there after they left us. Of course, when the hawthorns became diseased and weak, and had to be removed, we first had to move the doggy cemetery. So our dear departed dogs were moved to the tree with the next largest canopy, the pin cherry. When the cherry comes down, the cemetery will still be shaded by two mountain ash, and the urns are buried sufficiently deep that they should not be disturbed by the stump grinder so we will leave them there. I don’t want to move them again. Luckily we have many other trees in the backyard, a chestnut, a Cortland apple, an old common-garden apple which the birds planted, a bronze maple, a white birch, two mountain ash, two gingkos and a number of lilac bushes. And so, though the old cherry will be gone, we, and the dogs, will still have shade in the summer, and the birds and bees will still have shelter and food in our own little forest.

Copyright 2011 Anne Corke

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