"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


We have quite a few trees in our back yard.  Seven, actually.  It's one of the things we loved about this house over all the other new construction homes in our area.  We did know, of course, that many times trees don't survive the construction process.  Construction can disrupt root systems and trees closest to the house often don't survive in the years following.  We had four trees that were pretty well dead and finally decided that they needed to be cut down before mother nature took care of that for us.  Tree trimmers have precision (and insurance!), mother nature does whatever the heck she darn well pleases.  Drew got an estimate last week and it was much higher than we had expected.  The second company came this morning to give an estimate and was significantly lower.  They came with great recommendations and all the appropriate insurance you want from a company falling a tree near your big pretty home.  Even better?  They had time today.  They did a fabulous (and very efficient!) job and now our backyard has 4 less dead trees and a lot more sunshine.  They even cut the trees into  18 inch lengths, stacked it, used the stump grinder on what was left, and raked up & hauled off the leftover mess.  Eleanor and I were at church this morning when all this started and only came home in time to see the last tree fall (which was pretty impressive, I must say).  Drew told me that he had seen them pick something up after falling one of the trees and put it in the bird feeder (my favorite one that Alex & Nonnie made from a coffee can years ago and I was sure to move from the old house to the new house with us).  He assumed it was bird eggs, so when they were done and gone, we went out to inspect the finished product and peek in the bird feeder.  Y'all, there are three baby squirrels in there!  I moaned and groaned over these creepy little babies like the hormonal woman that I am.  I haven't touched (because, um, they are kind of gross looking), but we watched them for a bit and then went running back when we heard their squeaks.  At least two of them are breathing and making noise, so I'm hoping that means momma will come back for them.  I'm feeling a tad bit guilty that we cut down their nest.  I mean, it was a tall, rotting tree that threatened to fall on my home, but it was also a tall, rotting tree with a hole it in where, apparently, Momma Squirrel had her babies. 
Picture it... me and Drew standing in the back yard, peeking into the bird feeder (that I'm barely tall enough to see in to)...

Me: Awwwwwwwwww
Drew: You're going to Google what to do, aren't you? 
Me: Probably 

Five minutes later when Drew is on his way back upstairs to go back to work...

Me: Drew!  There's actually a flow chart on what to do if you cut down a tree with baby squirrels in it.  Somebody actually made a flow chart for such a thing.  And it's detailed. 
Drew: Yeah, I'm gonna let that be your thing. 
Me: Who is going to get them out of the bird feeder if Momma doesn't come back and they die? 
Drew: I'll do that part. 

Y'all, I'm pretty sure he thinks I partially crazy.  I also think it's part of the reason he loves me.  I'm crazy enough to have emotions over it and to read flow charts online about what one should do.  I'm crazy enough to be writing a blog about it right now.  Unfortunately (for the baby squirrels), I'm not crazy enough to carefully inspect each baby for injuries, fix a shoe box with bedding and place it on a heating pad, and call a wildlife rehabilitator.  Sorry squirrels.  You're up off the ground (safe from Foose!) and hopefully your momma will hear your squealing and come save you. 

I didn't take a dedicated before picture (since I didn't know this was happening today), but because I'm the crazy camera lady, I have a photo of Eleanor and you can see this same area of the back yard last month. 
What it looks like now:

The trees that came down were sassafras.  I'm telling you this for two reasons.  First, I think sassafras is fun to say.  Go ahead, say it out loud and let yourself smile.  Second, I had no idea sassafras was so aromatic.  I mean, it smells.  Strongly smells.  It's given me a headache just being back there for a few minutes. I'm hoping the smell settles a little.  I'm also hoping that we can use it as firewood for our camping trips this summer (even though you can't use it in fire places because it pops). 

My favorite bird feeder...
 that is now home to these creepy little alien squirrels that I've spent the last 30 minutes reading and writing about.  Ew.  I mean, life is beautiful, but YUCK. 

I really hate to leave you with that image, so I'll wrap this post with a picture of Eleanor before we left for Bible study this morning.  I picked her clothes, she picked the accessories.  Two head bands and a bow on her head, two extra head bands in one hand, and a hanky in the other hand.  She ditched the head bands in the car and only wore the bow inside, but I was 100% committed to letting her wear them if she wanted.  You do you, girlfriend.