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Originally this post was to tell you about Monday's short visit to Leu Gardens which is arrayed in all its spring glory, however, something unexpected happened which will take precedent. Yesterday afternoon while looking at some photographs on my computer I heard a loud thump outside. Thinking it came from my neighbor's home, I peered out my side window, seeing nothing. Walking down the hallway I immediately saw what caused the sound--a gigantic tree limb was laying in our side yard!
See our little Baxter on the left side of the tree, bewildered to say the least. As well you can see where it broke off next to the other large branches. To say that we were blessed that no one was injured during the fall is an understatement.

Imagine if you were house shopping, arriving at your destination, only to get out of your car and watch a massive tree limb fall right before your eyes. Well, that's exactly what happened! A lady was looking at our neighbor Chuck's house directly across the street on the Gem Mary side! She was shaken to say the least. The crash brought all the neighbors out to inspect the damage with one from the cul de sac behind us saying that for the last hour, while sitting on his back porch, he heard the cracking noise. He also witnessed the fall. Immediately he drove over to see if we needed help.
It landed between three pots of flowers, in front of the bench, with Grandma's gnome standing by watching the proceedings. So, not only was no one hurt, nothing material was hurt either! We were also blessed to have Orange County take care of the limb, which seems silly to say, because this limb is far larger than many, many trees. A small army of guys arrived with a big claw, dumpster, chipper, and lots of chain saws. They had the whole thing cleaned up in thirty minutes or so. One of the limbs that went underground with the impact was buried three feet! When they lifted the sections of the trunk after cutting them into manageable pieces, they said they weighed 1,000 pounds a piece! Now you know why I feel so amazingly blessed.

Sadly, however, it seems as if the whole tree will have to be removed because as the previous photo shows, the remaining two gigantic limbs hang directly over our home. I've never really worried about that before, but now I keep imagining one of those thousand pound limbs crashing into our living room, possibly crushing one of us, not to mention our little Baxter! As I type this, I'm waiting on the third estimate for removal. Oh how I dread the summer now without the shade of this magnificent oak to keep us cooler. Getting used to it's absence as far as a landscape addition seems possible, the shade factor not so much. The quotes so far are $2,800 and $1,800. Quite a spread, huh? I told the first guy that when I woke up yesterday morning I hadn't planned on spending nearly $3,000 the next day on taking something away from my life. There's also the matter and cost of a replacement tree AND a place to hang our beloved stag horn fern which has been with us since our first year of marriage. Yikes!

The third guy just phoned and will be here shortly so let's close this post with some images from Leu Gardens which again was absolutely spectacular. I'm particularly pleased with the darling child in the fallen blooms from the wildly vibrant yellow tabebuia tree.

Finally this image from a tree I've never seen before--a redbud.

Blessings, I'd say so!

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