Magic of the Everyday, Nature, Personal Life

Last of the Shade Trees

The figs are gone; we ate them all, and now we’re sad. No more figs for a year. Now the pineapples are growing–still green, but getting larger. The hibiscus shove out new blooms daily, and the butterfly ginger scent the side yard. Around us, the air is heavy with sweat–ours, and nature’s, as if even the skies can’t stand the heat and humidity of north central Florida in August. Never before have I been so glad for air conditioning, and shade.

And yet…next week, we’re losing two trees–laurel oaks, which are short-lived “weedy” trees. But trees nonetheless. They are the last two “big” trees on the property that I loved for its “beautiful trees making such shade.” Sigh. But they are coming down for a good reason–we’re installing solar panels on the roof! These two trees, already a bit lank and long in the tooth, are blocking the southern exposure. So out they go.

While I’m sad, the neighbors two laurel oaks will still shade our side yard, and I’m going to plant two smaller trees there. Probably chickasaw plums, which won’t grow tall enough to block the sun from the rooflines, but will protect the shady garden plants below. If they grow like the Scarlet Beauty plum tree did, they’ll be full and lovely in less than 2 years!

So there it is. Another month run away. Butterflies are everywhere, and hummingbirds argue over who has rights to the nectar feeder, and the dog pants, sleeping in the sun until the afternoon rain drives him indoors.

I sip lemonade. Dwell in the shade, savoring the trees until the trees are gone. Consider the sun that will soon be powering my air conditioner. I cannot help but smile.

2 thoughts on “Last of the Shade Trees”

  1. Yay solar panels! The emotional discord/pain of killing a tree (or two). (We have a Siberian Elm in the front yard, also a “weed” tree, which likes to drop branches. Hasn’t hit anyone yet… It’s something we occasionally discuss: do we kill this giant living thing?) You can celebrate those trees and thank them and let them know you’re saving their families by using solar.

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