Still life with tree surgeons

I went to work. I came back at lunchtime.

At least it wasn’t raining…

They’re back to finish off on Friday. And in the meanwhile I have a huge straight trunk with a nobbly bit at the top rearing up into the sky – very, er, symbolic. Ahem.

You can understand why coming round the corner five hours later and finding this

was something of a shock. Always an archaeologist at heart, I suddenly understood the impact of a newly-erected (ooo, er, missus) standing stone. At least it will be down soon…

(And if any of the local pagans are reading this, you’re welcome to come and dance around it on payment of a – let’s just say ‘large’ instead of any other adjective which might leap to mind – fee. It would help offset the cost…)


20 Comments Add yours

  1. paulinemulligan says:

    I could carve it into a totem pole for you!

    1. kate says:

      How can I put this?

      I know that’s what often happened to WRCs in the Pacific Northwest, and thanks for the kind offer, but… no. I could have it milled into planks and make it into a garden bench but in the end, and when I factored in the cost of wood, it’s going on the stove. Eventually. After t’s become a focus for unseemly ritual, that is.

  2. Christina says:

    Wouldn’t you like to climb something over it as a special focal point?!!

    1. kate says:


      (I’m just grateful it will be down before Sunday, because I’m next to the Chapel…)

  3. wellywoman says:

    Are you getting the stump ground? It’s not a noise for the faint hearted. Seeing past it you have an amazing view there.

    1. kate says:

      The view is amazing – what a plus. Swinging round 90 degrees, I can even see the hills on the fair side of the estuary.

      No, the stump is staying where it is (path / house problems) and I’ve finally vetoed the use of stump killer on organic grounds (I try my best). So we’re making lost of cuts into the base and exposed roots, and I will be rubbing off any sprouts that – er – sprout for the next few years. I’m assured by The Man, who has WRCs in his own woodland which he has dealt with similarly, that this will work. If it doesn’t, I know where he lives…

  4. Dobby says:

    Oh wow Kate,what a view. And I don’t necessarily mean what’s behind it!
    Your garden is going to look so much bigger. Good job. (And I know where to come to if I run out of logs;-)

    1. kate says:

      The view is fairly amazing… and it was there all the time. The tree surgeon said it was fantastic from the top of the tree, but I was quite prepared to accept that as hearsay evidence, didn’t feel I needed to check it!

      Much, much lighter. Admittedly it’s been sunny, but still much lighter.

  5. Oh my word, that is an “Interesting” feature… What a view though! And think of all the new planting opportunities now that the shade has gone. Will you sell tickets for the ritual? I’m not that far away now…

    1. kate says:

      Trunk / totem pole / interesting symbolic manifestation of Freudian anxiety in the female is down now. Sorry to deprive you of dancing / chanting, etc. opportunity (no spectators would have been allowed, just participants anyway). Rather sweetly, they carved the trunk into a throne* for me – I’m not sure what that says – but I don’t think it will be staying that way!

      *I’ve even got a foot rest!

      1. You do realise you have to provide a photo of said throne, don’t you, though it won’t make up for missing the ritual that you are clearly still not comfortable sharing the details of 😉

        1. kate says:

          It’s coming up. Throne shot, not ceremony details. That will remain a hushed secret, shared by me, the buzzards who fly over, and the whole village – who can now see into my garden…

  6. croftgarden says:

    To be on the safe-side, I think you’d better have a tree-hugging ritual (before Sunday of course) to placate the tree-spirits, assorted tree-guardians and any passing Ents.

    1. kate says:

      I did plenty of hugging and I must admit that I sort-of wassailed it (you can take the girl out of the Celtic Lands, but dump her in Wales instead of London and her fringe gets just as Celtic), thanked it for the protection it had given the house and gave it a libation of a little sloe gin.

      That’s a Little. I drank the rest. Er, afterwards, not before, whatever anyone thinks of such odd behaviour…

      1. croftgarden says:

        Not at all strange to anyone who lives in a land where you forget the “wee folk” at your peril.
        As for the sloe gin I assume I assume that it was the cure for severe trauma – yours and the trees.

        1. kate says:

          Phew – you understand!

          The Fair Folk are apparently my next-door neighbours, or they were until they built some affordable housing on the field next to their mound, so presumably they’ve moved. The gas man saw one, sitting on the field gate. No, he hadn’t drink taken, he was on his way to school about 50 years ago… As an archaeologist I’m convinced that the mound, which looks somewhat artificial, is a site of some kind. The name is significant – Castell Coch, the red castle. There’s no castle, but when you get names like that and legends of the Old Ones, 9 times out of 10, it’s an archaeological site. Would love to get my trowel out…

    1. kate says:

      Hello beach! Hello dunes! Hello crowded campsite! (Er…)

  7. Having visited and seen your “still life” I must say, that while it is very, very sad to remove a tree, the garden is now amazing. So many new possibilities now. The views are sublime and I offered all the “tree-spirits, assorted tree-guardians and any passing Ents” a little holiday around my willow tree

    1. kate says:

      I’m loving it more and more, and I’m hoping the ents have appreciated the fact that despite my cruelty to Western Red Cedars, I’ve still got more trees than I had when I arrived here….

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