The Fourth of July was coming up, and that meant that we needed to be able to cook outside. En plein air, as God intended. I had purchased some “Hodge Podge” brats from my butcher and I couldn’t wait to roast those delicacies over our backyard fire pit, surrounded by as much of the fam as I could coax to our remote (though charming) and out-of-the-way location.
But I had one problem: actually, four problems. In last year’s drought, four of our large Colorado Blue Spruce trees had died. Well, to be more precise, large portions of the four trees had died, and months of hopeful waiting hadn’t resulted in new growth on the dead portions, no, nor some arboreal miracle where suddenly the old trees turned from brown to green, overnight. We had finally come to the conclusion that the old trees weren’t going to rejuvenate and come back to life. It has taken us a good nine months to swallow this painful fact.
Well, come on–don’t laugh. Good husband I have planted over 400 trees in the 12 years that we’ve lived here out on the prairie. It really goes against everything we believe in to cut some of them down. But eventually, even we have to come to grips with reality.
The trees were dead.
The trees weren’t coming back to life.
The trees were a horrid danger to us all. The trees (bless them) had to go.
Besides, we couldn’t have our Fourth of July fire and festivities (nay, not even shoot off fireworks) until those massive fire-starters were cut down and hauled a safe distance away from our merry-making site, the back yard. Not to mention our big, flammable house.
The following pictures show you how we (finally!) accomplished this unhappy job.
With all four dead trees down, it’s time to call the troops to help haul them all away.
While Bryan used the tractor to haul away the big pieces, the kids and I used our muscles to drag off the smaller branches and brush. Ouch. I wish I would have remembered to put on jeans, instead of shorts. My lower legs will never look the same.
Neither will the back yard. But we’ll work on that. Good-bye, old friends.
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