Wondrous works Monday, Oct 27 2014 

‘Will you cherish the wondrous works of God, and protect the beauty and integrity of all creation?’

This was the text of a resolution passed by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut on Saturday as a proposed sixth baptismal question (it now has to be run through the General Convention twice before being officially adopted, so 2018 at the earliest). As a lay delegate to the convention, this resolution was one of several that I had a particular interest in.

Those of you who know me, know that I have very little patience with the ‘green’ movement. And when this question was posed last year, it had serious problems with obvious political overtones: ‘trigger words’ and very little Scriptural grounding. A year later, and the kinks were worked out. It now reflects the fundamental truth which has been so often warped: the universe is wondrous and we are part of it.

So what does this have to do with this blog? Well today, I spent time working on the annual cutting of unwanted brush up on the house lot, Holly spent time working in the garden, and Jamie spent time cutting the trees in the Spring Lot that I had marked for removal.

The thing is, the ongoing thinning of the Spring Lot, which will eventually result in a towering* grove of Maple, Oak, Beech, Black Birch, and Ash is a long running project. Its final glory won’t be evident for about a century or so. But in a century or so, God willing, someone will have a stand of forest giants. As I have enjoyed the trees that are giants now, so will they. A cathedral of trees and a pond caught at the break of the hill, where the sunset falls. I won’t see them, and the land almost certainly won’t still be in the family. But that does not matter. It will be there in glory.


*when the little guys, that don’t even hit the lower branches of the canopy are 50 feet in height…..

Considering trees Sunday, Aug 31 2014 

Esperanza has a horrid, Brigadoonish*, feel about it.  Alright, it isn’t horrid. It is lovely, I like the musical. But the fact is that being outside of time can’t happen, when it does…Brigadoon actually has a rather dark underside to the story and the older tales it is based on are darker still.

But I was fretfully contemplating a few trees in various stages of mature/decline/stone Dead.  Trees should outlive people, that is one of the points about planting them.  But they still die. Just like people, just like pets. When you have a history going back 140 plus years, some trees, important trees, will die.

It’s a long list. There was a horse chestnut on the east lawn in the 1870’s, that was gone by the 1890’s, two big maples on the north lawn, two big elms, we are on our second copper beech, at least four full sized white pines, one of the big Norway Spruces*, the old cottonwood, several white birches, several huge apple trees, several full sized sugar maples, at least one Norway maple, several hemlocks….

And those are just the trees that spring to mind and were big enough to require outside help in removal…

Sometimes I wonder, what hell would it be to live forever?


*The others are just as big now, 80-100+ feet, but this was one of the originals.

If a tree falls in a forest… Saturday, Dec 28 2013 

The woods, of course, are far from silent.  Even in a snow storm there is noise: snowflakes falling through the branches with the faintest rasp of ice.  Frozen solid, the crack of a tree yielding to the cold will sound like a light rifle.  On an ordinary day, there is the chatter of squirrels, birds, rustling leaves, maybe even insects, water, a multitude.  But what is wonderful about the forest is that this symphony has nothing, nothing to do with man.  It will go on whether we listen or not.  We can deafen ourselves to it, we have for the most part done so already.  However, we can not silence it.

If a tree falls in a forest, the forest hears.  It could care less if we hear it.  We would do well to remember that.

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