Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thursday Thoughts #31

"You can't improve on perfection. That's why it's called perfection."

"....went to the fridge. I made a sandwich of things. I'm an American. We can eat anything as long as it's between two pieces of bread. With enough mustard......."

"Thin, built like someone who ran or rode a bicycle on their weekends. Clean cut without being particularly memorable, medium brown hair, medium height, medium brown eyes.
The only exceptional thing about his appearance was that there was nothing exceptional about his appearance."

Hey, look at that. Three quotes for the price of one. Heh.

Have you all read the papers about this Robert Allenby  fellow who was "bashed and robbed"?
Our Saturday paper dedicated a full two pages to this story. I didn't read it thoroughly, just skimmed over, so I've already forgotten the details, but these two paragraphs caught my eye:

"And what of that star witness, a homeless woman seemingly destined for involvement in something like this from the moment she assumed the name Charade Keane?
You almost hope this ends up in court just for the spectacle of a woman called Charade taking the witness stand. 
"Miss Keane, could you tell us what you saw that night? Six words? First word? Sounds like?"

That would be hilarious!

Now let's get serious.
I'm a little upset. Okay, I'm a lot upset.

Reasonably close to my flat there are several large pine trees. Possibly not all the same variety, but they all have needles that fall and cones which the cockatoos love to eat and throw on the ground.

Last week, I noticed two of these, close to the back of one block were being cut down. I took photos of this destruction, as I do, and asked a neighbour who was also watching the chainsaw in action, if she knew why the trees were coming down.

Apparently the woman who lives closest to those trees had complained many times about the needles and cones filling the gutter on her garage and the garage being flooded each time it rained. 

So the trees came down. No shade anymore for her. Nor for the upstairs flat. None for the cockatoos either!

There is a maintenance crew which clears the gutters once a year on the buildings, maybe twice, but the garages are single storey blocks and I would have thought someone could be spared to clean those gutters more often. Perhaps someone sentenced to community service for whatever reason.

Yesterday, I heard the sound of the chainsaw and again today. 

On my way to the shops, I looked for it and saw the cherry picker platform, complete with chainsaw wielding tree bandit way up high in another pine tree, right next to one that had been reduced to a single branchless trunk yesterday. Branches were being cut, lowered and chipped. It seems these trees will also be coming down. 

I don't know the reason, maybe they are old and diseased. If I ask I'm sure that's what I would be told. But they seem healthy to me. And where will the cockatoos go now? Into the city parklands where I won't see them nearly as often? Into the city parklands where they will make a similar mess with the pinecones until people start complaining? Will even more trees be cut down?

these are the first two trees that were cut down. The shorter, lighter green one in front, with the larger tree several metres behind it.

only the trunk left of the shorter tree on day one and I thought that was the end of was the only tree hanging over that garage block.

then came day two...and the return of the cherry picker platform.

soon more branches were gone, from the big tree this time.

support ropes as that first trunk was cut at the base.

starting up the chainsaw,

cutting the branch,

swinging it down.

only the upper canopy left now.

this is what I saw when I got home a few hours later.
That trunk is gone now, through the chipper.

A break for the weekend, and yesterday it began again. 
I can't take more photos, I'll cry.


  1. That looks like an awful lot of work. Seems it would be easier and cheaper to just clean the gutter out a couple of time a year.

    Your anger is understandable.

  2. I'm an old tree hugger and have lived all my life with leaves and pine needles in the gutters. When I sold my birthplace, imagine my surprise when I saw "my" home with ALL the trees, and even the bushes I lovingly cared for all my life: GONE. Just a house now, sitting in the middle of a large lot. It made me so damn mad I wanted to jerk the new owners into the yard and stomp on them.

  3. Not even enough time to tie yourself into one out of protest!
    Look at the size of those limbs - what a shame.

  4. What a shame those lovely big trees had to go.

  5. I live next to a field that once was clear cut of many trees for expansion of the business on the property. It was a heart wrenching week; trees scream when they are being killed. The crew removed the survey ties and were about to cut our trees (they took them to a sawmill). I found an old fence line and made them stay behind it. But at the corner they were about to take a big pine I knew was mine. My sister and I went out and fought with chain saw guy. Eventually we threatened him. He left the tree. We went back in the house, shaking. My sister said "Can you believe we threatened to come back with a gun? I don't even know how to fire one." Our mother said "I do."

  6. Heart-breaking. And wasteful. I am so sorry. And would be furious.

  7. I'm a busybody I always ask the workman why they are cutting down trees as I know our council will fine you if you cut down a tree without permission and I think they should have a very good reason if they want to cut one down too but I'm a tree lover from way back, I like the shade and birds that move in.

  8. Such beautiful big old trees. That's heartbreaking and makes me very sad. The cuts don't seem to show evidence of interior rot or disease to me.

    What is it with people who want trees to be cut down? Makes me so mad.
    Humans who kill, maim, destroy nature just to suit their own lifestyle.
    The dear 100 year old apple tree that shaded our old cottage in country W.A. was chopped down without a second thought by the people who bought our old property - just to extend the carport.
    A small, shitty, cheap looking metal roof replaced a graceful, healthy, grand, century old heritage fruit tree.
    I cried buckets when I heard about it. And, it still makes me mad.

    So, I feel for you, the other residents and the birds, insects and fauna who will miss those pines. Once the damage is done, it's too late.
    I also don't think it's fair that the trees were removed on one woman's (continual) complaints, if that is the only reason why the council removed them.
    Surely gutterguard could have been installed. There are effective ways to ensure gutters stay clear.
    Removal is so... permanent.

  9. They are not a great tree for Australia and suburbs but the loss of any tree is a sad thing, especially if our native animals have adapted to using them as a food source. I hope some new less troublesome trees are planted in their place.

  10. joeh; the gutters do get cleaned each year, but the needles and cones keep falling more often. Maybe there was some other safety issue I don't know about.

    lotta joy; I had similar feelings when I went past a home I had loved and planted a garden around; everything was gone, even the pergolas, all that was left was a flat expanse of not very good lawn. Not a single flower or shrub was left.

    Marty Damon; I probably wouldn't have tied myself to a tree, the ants would eat me alive!

    Delores; I'm going to be sad about them for a long while.

    Joanne; it's a shame that businesses can't work around the trees somehow. A little more time and effort in the planning, probably the cost is a bigger issue for them.

    Elephant's Child; wasteful in the extreme. I'm pleased to report though, that yesterday's destruction isn't complete. Branches overhanging the buildings are gone, but there is a reasonable portion of the tree still standing. Looks a bit like a lollipop now.

    Merle; this was going on around the backs of the buildings, so I couldn't get in there to ask. They were council workers though, so I assume they had permission to cut.

    Vicki; YES! Gutterguard! so simple and so cheap. Well, relatively cheap. Those cuts look like perfectly healthy wood to me too.
    I'm sad to think of your century old apple tree being replaced by a tin roof carport. There must have been another solution available. People just don't think past the most convenient option.

    Andrew; I don't know if the stumps and roots have been removed, if not, then no trees will replace the cut ones, there just isn't enough room. The latest cuttings yesterday didn't result in removal, I'm happy to say. One of the trees is still standing, a bare trunk with a lollipop canopy. Trees closer to the fence and away from the buildings have been left alone, thank goodness, so there are still places for the cockatoos.

  11. Oh wow. These are HUGE trees. I was picturing little Christmas ones. That's a real shame - the tree doesn't look sick or anything!

  12. Happy Elf Christine; small trees wouldn't have been any trouble, certainly wouldn't drop needles and cones in two storey gutters. These are (were) probably 60 feet or thereabouts.

  13. How upsetting. I'd be there angrily standing beside you. We'd make a good pair!

  14. For such a hot country, we are remarkably uncivilised (and dare I say clueless) in our relationships with trees. No, I'm not a tree-hugging hippy, I just think the benefits outweigh the problems. And I think your community service idea is a winner! Why not suggest it to your MP or the local council??!!

  15. That Robert Allenby story is quite weird. He said he woke up 10km from the club and the bag lady said she found him almost outside it. He said someone had used his credit cards but he had cancelled them. Me thinks there's something rotten in the state of Denmark but I'm not sure what it is. I used to enjoy watching Robert playing golf when he played here in Oz and then he had that dreadful accident where he got wedged between two cars (one was reversing) and his breastbone was crushed. He came back after that .. and now this.
    As for those pine trees. If they belong to the Council and are a nuisance surely they could have someone clean that lady's gutters for her instead of removing them. They do look a little like Pinus radiata which do grow very big and are glorious trees. The way they have left them looks quite hideous.
    Did you know that pine fines are very good for plants such as azaleas, camellias etc. Probably good for all gardens but you'd have to check first but a small bagful occasionally may be good for your garden.

  16. Lee; I was on my way somewhere, so I wasn't standing too long, but I certainly was angry.

    Red Nomad OZ; There's a local MP who has an online blog, I may toss that idea to him. Too late for these trees now, but maybe I could save someone else's trees.

    Mimsie; definitely something rotten in Denmark, the story just doesn't add up.
    I'm not sure who the trees belong to, they're within the housing flats grounds, so that's Government property.
    I've heard that pine needles are excellent as a mulch for growing strawberries. I vaguely remember something about azaleas and camellias, but I don't grow those. All the chipped material has been taken away, probably to wherever council trimmings go to be made into mulch which is then sold back to the public in bag or used to mulch public areas in parks and gardens.