Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CIRQUE du SATELLITE


It was another lazy humid dog day yesterday, relieved only by a tiny breeze off the lake. And a tiny breeze was just enough; anything more would have prevented the tree trimmers from their work. In the four years I've lived here, everything has been growing. My neighbor's Chinese elm and my red maple on the eastern side have slowly but surely been closing the gap on my satellite dish's eye to the sky. Up there somewhere are the two satellites, two little (compared to the shuttle or the space station, I'm sure) hunks of junk that are having trouble beaming down my evening's entertainment, sight unseen. I don't even know what shape they are, if the spin or turn, if they beep (except in space, no one can hear you beep, either). Are they even, technically, in space? I have no idea how high up they orbit. What a world.

So, yesterday, the tree team arrived. They could trim the maple from the ground, using an extension pole with a chopper on the tip. But for the much older and taller elm, they had to get airborne themselves. Like a Cirque du Soleil harlequin, one fellow hoisted himself on a series of ropes (not long elegant scarves) and ascended into the upper reaches of the huge tree. He first cleaned out a lot of old dead tangles and then headed out to the larger limb. I was the only one in the audience, but I gasped audibly as as he inched out until he was over the water. It takes a lot of skill and nerve to hang there, with the rocks and waves two stories below, with a chain saw dangling from one's belt (middle photo)! He cut the big limb in sections, tying each one to guide ropes so that when cut from the tree, it would swoop down in an arc to the other team members waiting below. It was a tree trimmers' ballet, an acrobatic display of skill and timing!

Today, the branches and the chipper and the ropes are gone. Nothing remains except perhaps a bit of sawdust between the blades of grass to show that a performance even took place. And overhead, the satellites beam down once again.

12 comments:

bobbie said...

It is an exciting thing to watch, isn't it? We had two tall oaks taken down when we lived in NY.Both trunks were hollow all the way up. The houses were pretty close together, and they had to take them both in sections. I think over the water and rocks might have been more exciting.

Lin said...

love the image of cirque de soleil...and the tree trimmers. It's amazing with satellites and interesting that many doubt that prayers are answered...

Aleta said...

Wow! Those pictures are cool! I would have gasped too!

Cloudia said...

Most of our arborists - especially for the coconut palms, are Tongan fellows!
Nice post. A slice of your life, so hospitable!
Aloha-
In space no one can hear you beep. LOL!

Comfort Spiral

fourwindsphotojournal said...

This winter when our big maples came down, I stood at the window with my camera, too. It was interesting.
Guess you would have to keep the way clear to the stars, never thought about it.

Still hot here, spent the afternoon down cellar quilting.
If tomorrow is hot too, I may finish my quilt.

Kathiesbirds said...

How perfectly you describe this feat, this dash of derring do! It must have been wonderful and breath-taking to witness it. I'm glad you are receiving your signals once again!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi there, We're home from our 2-day Hendersonville adventure. The plumbing is fixed and the folks are happy (I hope).

Glad you made room for your satellite to find its signal. I love big trees ---but they do need to be trimmed occasionally.

Tree Trimming is an art... I love watching those guys...

Hugs,
Betsy

Ruth said...

We have to get our trees trimmed every couple of years too as the branches start to rub against the house. Glad they are doing the work, not me! Best to keep trees trimmed and healthy as they are less likely to be toppled in a storm.

Quiet Paths said...

It looks like they did a good job without butchering the trees. It's a real art which some people do not possess the talent for! Is your view a little more open now?

Rose said...

It makes me nervous just watching them!

Sue said...

You turned what I think of as a rather homely task into a ballet!

Dee said...

My son trims palms here in Tucson- I always cringe a little if I am in viewing distance as he climbs the skinny tall ones!