Feb. 15th, 2015

sparkfrost: (Adulthood)
Because Coco's illness came from "something rotten" that she ate, and the only place she can run free without overt supervision is the backyard, after her procedure we realized that the backyard is most likely where she found and ate the thing that made her sick. Now, here's the thing - we've been terrible about the yard. We started out determined that we wouldn't let her poop back there, that we'd clean up, etc. But as time went on, it became so much easier to just let her out back in the evening to do her business. Then late fall came, and the leaves all came down from the trees, and our yard was covered. Since I'm all eco-shit, and lazy, I figured we could just leave them on the grass to decompose and turn into nutrients for our yard. But with the whole "clean up the yard" mission in place, that was no longer the case. So last Saturday we spent about three hours cleaning up the yard. Going over every inch carefully looking for dog poop, and raking up (and bagging) as many leaves as we could. Now it's all clean, yay! But during that process, we noticed two things:

1. The ground from our sidegate leading down has become hopelessly muddy and torn up, and will likely do so every fall and winter because of shade, leaves, rain, slope, etc. So we've decided to tear up the grass and replace it with a mulch path leading down to our patio. Excellent!

2. One of our big lovely maple trees (and the one I like better) is in trouble. We already knew that it had a hole in the side - a knot that had gotten dug out by birds/animals/bugs/what-have-you. But on Saturday we discovered that the hole has practically doubled in size and depth. Not a good thing! So we called some experts.

We had three tree care companies come by to take a look at the tree. Each of them said, definitively, that the maple has to come down. That hole means it is sick and dying, and we cannot leave it up cause it'll fall on our house. Each of them also gave an estimate for how much this removal would cost. YIKES. So that's a paycheck going to get the tree down right there. We'd like to go with the cheapest option ($1K less than the next lowest) but we're waiting on him to provide proof of insurance and a written estimate. Assuming he can get those to us tomorrow or Tuesday, the tree should be down by the end of the week.

I'm pretty bummed. I know the tree has to come down, and I value the not-destroyedness of my house over the tree, but still. That maple is the one that provides a lovely green curtain during the summer months, and makes the dining room really pretty during the day. It also shades the house, and turns all sorts of pretty colors in the fall. Proof.

The caption on that post says "The best part of the backyard in fall are the maple tree's gorgeous leaves" and dammit, I'm really sad that it has to go. I'm trying to look on the bright side (safe house, more sun in the backyard for gardening, less leaves to rake) but it still sucks, cause when we moved in I pictured our future kids climbing and playing on that tree. Yeah, that's a lot of hopes to wrap up in a tree that could come down naturally any day, but still. I had hopes for that tree.

Anyhow, I'll stop being maudlin about the maple tree. We have another tree in the yard, after all, and an intact house is more important that a dying tree. But still.


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