Win some, lose some

Another fine sunny day; Jacqueline and I set out to plant a tree in the arboretum.  It is a specimen fir tree, with striking silver grey needles, added as an afterthought when we collected forest trees from the nursery.  We chose an open space among the soaring wellingtonias, weeping ash and dawn redwood.  As we heeled it in firmly we envisaged it growing tall and elegant to please another generation fifty years from now.

We walked on into the Wilderness, the ten acre wood at the head of the lakes, replanted in the hospice days some twenty years ago.  Plenty of trees growing well, but many of the oaks have been ring-barked and ruined by the grey squirrel, the woodman’s number one enemy.  Above us our resident buzzard roded up and down with his distinctive cry.  Buzzards are blamed for a reduction in our song birds, and as such we resent their presence, but today we had another thought.  Somewhere recently we’ve read that they also take young squirrels, and this year we’ve yet to see any hanging off the bird feeders.  Maybe our giant predator has redeemed himself.

Walking back to retrieve our tools we paused to study the plastic label which came with the tree.  The small print reads, ‘Height 6 to 7 feet’.  So much for our soaring giant;  We need another trip to the nursery.