Tuesday 15 January 2019

Tree down

When we stopped bloggin' about it last week, our mighty Monterey cypress Cupressus macrocarpa had been shorn of all its top hamper and was but the backbone of its former wide-spreading self. It was another day's work to remove another 3m from the top to simplify the gestalt. As I worked to tidy up the fallen debris, I took time to reflect on how feeble people are until they tool up with chain-saw, axe and wedges and become Homo faber, the maker, and/or Homo destructor the destroyer of the natural world. One misplaced tonk with my splitting maul and I'd be off the Effectives List for the day with a burst finger, sprained wrist or massive bruise on my shin. All of which I have sustained in the past in similar circumstances. But tool use is part of the human condition and examples in the rest of the animal kingdom are few, far between and pathetic compared to using a hammer and nails; let alone constructing the Golden Gate Bridge or the Channel Tunnel. Until you're up close on a building site it is hard to imagine the relative size of people and their creations.

Check out the bottom part of the rebuilt Oroville [multiblovoprev] spillway. The 4x4 parked [R] in the middle of the concrete can fit 6 or 8 people and one of their hands is a single pixel at this scale. Those hands [and $1 billion] made this massive structure. With the macrocarpa trunk now reduced to about 3m of vertical biodiversity aka beetle hotel it is ready for its next role - tree-house. Peadar the tree-climber suggested that we leave a good length on the lowest limb of the tree to serve as a natural brace for the said house. It has to be at least 2m x 2m interior floor area, excluding balconies with sea-view; because it is my determination to force the grand-children to join Swiss Family Robinson and sleep up there as much as possible.  I think also that a helical staircase going round the trunk is the obvious way to sort out access. There is a helluva lot of fire-wood:

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