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The Fallen Tree
By
Circle_Something

The Fallen Tree

Tags: tree, love, nature, park

I went to the park today. I had to do something. Laziness was setting in, so I decided to take a walk. The past month or so, I’ve been quite lazy, staying in the house and doing not much. Working quite a bit, right enough, but it isn’t exactly very fruitful. No fruit for me.

When I got to the park, I headed to my favourite tree, which I’ve talked about before. It’s a y-shaped one. Some sort of evergreen. When I sat on it, it creaked and I talked for a while to it. People may think I’m a bit bonkers talking to trees, but they’re the bonkers ones for taking them for granted. They won’t be around forever, so I say make the most of them while they’re still here.

After visiting my favourite tree and hugging it, I went along a slightly muddy and gravelly path. I knew exactly where I was headed and just meandered. It had been raining, but not heavily enough for the undergrowth to let out that really nice smell. Still, it was nice. When I turned, I got to an area with a limestone path. As it was rather hazardous, I took my time and made sure I didn’t fall on my arse. I’ve slipped a few times on that limestone path, but I wouldn’t want it to be changed. I like it that way. There are signs telling you to be careful because it’s slippy, so if you fall, it’s your own damned fault. Don’t go suing the council, dumb-arse.

So, anyway, when I got to where I was going, I stopped in my tracks and my spirit just fell. I had been quite happy, but when I saw what had happened, I was quite saddened. There was usually a tree there and across from it, a pond. Wrapped around the tree, was an iron bench. Yeah, I sat on the iron throne before anyone! Well, the tree and the bench were gone. The only thing left of the tree was an uprooted trunk. It was such a sad sight, that I just stood there crying.

That chestnut tree had a lot of memories for me. When I was a wee boy, I’d climb on it whenever I visited the park with my family. In the summer, there were always loads of conkers to be had. When I was in high school, I went to school right in the park. They’d knocked the old playpark down and set the school where it used to sit. The rest of the park was still well maintained, so I used to go to the tree at lunchtime. Sometimes my friends and I would take buckets and smoke joints under the tree. When I had a free period, I’d be a naughty boy and go outside of the school to study under the tree, no matter the weather. It was always a good place to just sit and relax. The pond directly facing the tree was always full of wildlife, like ducks, heron, the customary flies and bloodthirsty midges and moorhen. Sometimes when I had nothing to do, like today, I would just sit underneath it and enjoy the rain.

Now that the tree is gone, it has left a giant void. There’s nothing where it used to be and it just feels wrong. I can only hope that the council decide to plant another tree, but knowing them, they’ll end up planting a non-indigenous species.

Scotland, in particular, has a lot of indigenous tree species, but they’re all being strangled by the non-indigenous ones, which were introduced, for some unfathomable reason. Mostly it is fir trees that have been introduced, which just grow like wildfire. Plant a few and before you know it, you’ve got a forest. Now, don’t get me wrong, maintaining forests is a good thing, but they should be either leaving them alone to do their own thing, or planting more indigenous species. How about some nice oak trees? Or a few rowans? Ash? Precious little of them exist any more and it isn’t fair. It has a knock-on effect on the little wildlife that we have.

Going back to the park, there are a lot of squirrels there. I love squirrels, but I’ve only ever seen one red squirrel there. The rest are grey. Grey squirrels kill the reds and hoard their food. They don’t do a whole lot of good for the environment. They just take and take and don’t manage. Not like the reds do. Because the red squirrels are indigenous to Britain, they know what to take and what to leave. I’m not saying the greys don’t, after all, they were introduced decades ago, so they should have gotten used to the habitat, but they just seem to take advantage of it all and rape the land. They breed like mad, too, but that’s because they don’t have any natural predators. If you introduce a species, you have to introduce predators, so that the numbers of both species’ are kept in check. Or you could just allow Mother Nature to do it all on her own. She’s savvy, you know.

I saw a black fox once. Okay, more than once. I’ve never managed to get very close to it, but I’d love a picture. Black foxes are actually just a mutation of red foxes. I have a neighbour who feeds the foxes. Right in her own back garden. It isn’t right. She has actually gone so far as to try and hand feed them. That’s bloody idiotic. Foxes are vermin and dangerous, too. They’re opportunists, which is why there are such a huge amount of them in urban areas. They get easy food and don’t have to hunt for it. Of course, the danger of this is that they become less fearful of humans. When animals get less fearful of humans, they tend to go further than we want them to. There was a story of a fox who mauled a young boy. It was tragic for the boy, but the woman did exactly what my neighbour had done. The fox obviously got scared and reacted to the boy in the only way he could - he mauled him. I’m not saying people shouldn’t feed wildlife, but at least be more sensible in doing it. Don’t invite them into your home because if they get spooked, somebody is going to die, or get extremely hurt, at least.

We need to respect the environment and the environment will respect us back. More people should go camping. It gives you a grass-roots understanding of the earth, as long as you observe.

Humans are a huge drain on the planet. We need to stop and think what we’re doing.

I don’t have a candle, but if I did, I would light one for that fallen tree. I’ll just light an incense stick instead. Thank you, tree, for giving me all those years of pleasure. I hope you rest in peace.
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