'HEADS!' That was the constant cry at my house on Friday. No, not a game of heads and tails but the yells to those below my humungous (at least 50 foot high) MONKEY PUZZLE tree as it was (I can hardly bring myself to write it)…cut down!
I know, and believe me the thought of taking down such an incredible and magnificent specimen has weighed heavily on Dan and I, not our neighbours though. As we nervously went to explain that it was to be removed on the advice of tree specialists, there was a palpable air of excitement!
It seems a monkey puzzle collects all the filth and when it rains, outpours the captured debris all over the drives, cars and windows of our neighbours! Not to mention the lethal pieces (sharp is not the word) that drop like stealth bombers.
Interestingly, the name MONKEY PUZZLE seems to have come about due to the following comment – "It would puzzle a monkey to climb that!" Seemingly, more true is the fact the prickly cones would have put off the dinosaur from eating it – a fact my children, particularly Joe loved.
Monkey Puzzle trees were first found in Chile in 1780 and they can reputedly live to 1,000 years. Mine was old but not that old. All these facts though just added to the worry about removing it, but it seems others close by did not share the worry!
Phew, so at least we weren't committing a crime by their standards and our neighbours even jokingly said they wouldn't oppose our building plans if the tree was coming out! So, just our guilt to live with then…
It's just so incredible that the tree has lived for so long and seen so much. I do think The Magic Faraway Tree, a favourite childhood book, has a lot to do with my feeling that trees are people too. Mad I know, but I couldn't really watch the tree surgeons at work so after a morning of wincing I headed out to buy a bowl for Twinkle (I'll explain shortly).
What shall we do with the timber?
The next thing I saw on my return was a totem-style pole. Tempting though it is to carve spiritual markings and dance around it, it will be felled next week into big enough pieces so Dan can chop to his hearts content. He's looking forward to creating something to commemorate our big old tree when the timber has dried. Any ideas?
Incredibly, nestling in the high branches was a nest with two baby pigeons. They're about a week from being old enough to leave the nest and we were so relieved to see their Mummy and Daddy watching intently. They did indeed fly down and feed them during a pause in the procedure.
They're now reinstated outside Joe's bedroom window, still in their branch, untouched by human hands. I just pray they survive the drama; maybe I'll be far more forgiving of pigeon poo in future!
Any ideas for the timber would be gratefully received; three scooped out seats for three little bottoms was my thought. Dan wants to make a table of some sort.
I'll keep you posted.
Lots of love