Saturday, June 17, 2006

If a Tree Falls....


For the past week, all day, every day, starting at about 7:00 am, several large chainsaws start growling in the woods to the west of us. Our neighboring farmer is having his timber harvested.

Interspersed with the the saws' whining are the sounds of tree trunks cracking and protesting as they fall, for the first and last time, to the ground with a thump you can feel in your feet, even from a mile away, the same way you can feel the bass drum in your heart as a marching band in a parade passes you by.

Timbering your land is a time-honored tradition here in SE Ohio. It's everyone's right to "harvest" what they want to from their property. What baffles me is: Why do they have to cut in the middle of the songbird nesting season? What can't they wait until fall or even August?

We're sure that the recent sightings in our yard of cerulean warblers and summer tanagers are of birds who have been displaced from the woods being timbered. It's hard to imagine a summer tanager being forced to leave its nest as the tree it's built in teeters, then falls over.

So we try not to think of that. Instead we try to think about how the newly opened up woods will be good for turkeys and grouse. How resilient this land is. And how the power of Nature means green trees will still be here long after these chainsaws are rusted, broken, and silent.

6 Comments:

At 1:12 PM, Blogger MojoMan said...

I'd much rather see a wisely-managed woodlot, complete with harvesting, than a housing development or strip mall. Finding that wise manager might be the tricky part, and harvesting at the appropriate time of the year is part of that good stewardship. But, if the profit from timber pays the taxes on the open land, I'm all for it.

 
At 5:53 AM, Anonymous Anil said...

I'm not sure the 'power of nature' to regenerate can last indefinately in face of 'harvesting'.

 
At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all have our aesthetic preferences.
Short-sighted blight that we are. When the Earth has finished disgourging the hydrocarbon remains of past eons, not only will the chanin saws be silenced, so will the tractors and the harvesters and the trucks. To survive, our progeny will perhaps take up shovel and plow harness again, assuming a more humble place in the grand scheme...unless, as with any other emitic, our species is expelled along with the emmision.

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger robin andrea said...

If we are going to keep on the way we do, pretending that there are infinite resources that must fall to our pleasures, we could at the very least time our insatiable appetites so the tanager is rewarded for its journey by having its nest spared the ax. If only we had even a smidgeon of consciousness every once in a while.

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger Rondeau Ric said...

I can relate to this. I live in Southwestern Ontario, in particular the municipality of Chatham-Kent.
We have no tree cutting bylaw here and the soil is excellent for agriculture.

We have three, yes 3, percent of our original forest cover left.
The vast majority of that is located in one Provincial Park.

Managed harvesting makes much more sense than clear cutting, however, the attitude is " this is my land I'll do what I want".

Sorry but I don't have any answers.

BT3 I hope this isn't the piece of land Julie wants to buy.

Ric

 
At 10:16 PM, Anonymous l.lantz said...

chucking fainsaws!

 

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