The Golden K had a bit of a face lift last week. 33 dead pine trees were cut down at their knees. They never saw it coming. But we did.
When we bought the property there were already 16 dead pines. Over the past year – mostly during early spring – another 17 bit the dust. Bark Beetle dust that is. The beetles bore their way into the bark of the pines and the pines, after five years of drought, can’t produce enough sap to fend them off. It’s evident from red dust protruding from the bark instead of sap. You can almost see the trees dying in front of your eyes. The death starting at the very top and quickly working its way down to the lowest needles.
Fortunately we still have 107 Pines and plenty of Oaks and Cedars and the 33 now removed pines will hardly be missed in the landscape and organic fabric of the Golden K.
The crew was here for five days and there was a lot of chain saw action to say the least. Much to Kloe’s chagrin. When you live in the mountains the sound of chain saws is as natural as the chirping of the birds or cockle-doodle-doing of the roosters. Kloe has literally grown up listening to chain saw noise. Maybe it was the proximity of the saws cutting down our 33 trees or perhaps some sound beyond our audible spectrum that bothered her. Whatever it was Kloe was very agitated when the saws were buzzing. Kali, not so much. Except for thunder nothing seems to rattle Kali.
Kloe survived the week and The Golden K is better off with the 33 dead 100 foot plus matchsticks. If you’ve never experienced the sound of a 120 foot tree hitting the ground you are really missing something. There’s a certain majesty of something that big and heavy hitting the ground with a massive thud and bounce! On one of the falls I was about 15 feet behind the crew member making the cut. After it was on the ground he turned around. I told him that I knew he does it all the time but for me it was so awesome to see and hear this massive piece of mother nature hitting the ground. He grinned and told me that it never gets old for him. Every time he still feels the rush.
So 33 dead trees and a chunk of change later the Golden K is a safer place. 33 fewer matchsticks in the event of a fire and 33 fewer chances of a giant child of nature falling on our house, or God forbid one of us or The Girls.
So at the end of the day ( a term I dislike but use here any way) our small piece of the forest was thinned for the greater good and as we look out over it, or under it as the case may be, we continue to feel blessed with our romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet.
The felling of any tree, for whatever reason always cuts me to the quick. Think of the lifetime that magnificent piece of nature experienced. Fingers crossed the bark beetles don’t return and your forest is able to bounce back to the beauty you are lucky enough to enjoy. 🌲
Kloe doesn’t realize it but yes, she was not a happy camper when the chain saw was running ( which was a lot of the time). The property looks much better without the dead trees. Just keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t lose more this year.
Wow, that’s a lot of dead trees to take out! Other than the thrill of hearing them hit the ground, I imagine that was a lot of noise and confusion to deal with. Still, it was certainly the right thing to do. Leaving dead trees standing is dangerous, as you noted in your post. Bet Kloe is glad it’s all over!