This is the front of our house. And the back of Tim's car. Oh well, I didn't plan this photrograph very well, did I? Regardless, yes, front of our house. As you can see, there is the house, a cute little courtyard encircled by a wall and some rather large shrubs on the outside of the wall.
Recently we had some trees cut down. They were MASSIVE trees. Just absolutely enormous palm trees. I am told that they were "Washington Palms". Washington Palms grow to be in the 80-90 feet tall range. Whoa! They absolutely towered over the house. I'm not sure who thought it would be a great idea to have sequoia wanna-be palm trees that close to a house but I'm sure it seemed, to them at least, to be a great idea at the time. It was not.
I tried to find a photograph of the front of our house when the trees were still standing, but clearly I failed in that task. My computer used to allow me to "draw" on a photo so I could have showed you where these massive beasts used to be but in the last so called update, that feature was removed. Dang. Ok, the trees used to be side by side on the outside of the courtyard wall between the two giant bougainvillea bushes. Can you kind of picture it?
We really like green growing things. We genuinely do. And even though these ridiculously huge trees looked downright silly in front of our little cottage of a house, we were happy to live and let live even though trimming them was a major pain in the arse. Yes, Yes, I know palm trees are iconic. Everyone romanticizes them and associates them with the tropics and Florida and beaches and vacation. Lovely! Beautiful!
But here is the thing about palm trees that not everybody knows. They need a lot of attention. Some of them kind of prune themselves. When they need to shed a frond or two, they just kind of whisper "Timber" to themselves and release the frond. Then at some point, I notice it on the ground and drag it around to the side of the house for the lawn guys to take away at their next visit. Others palms need to be trimmed by humans. These Washington Palms were of this ilk. Usually if a palm is not too tall, I can stand on a stepladder and use my big old chonkers or a saw to cut off the dead fronds. But when a tree is 50 something feet up or more, well, I don't have a ladder that tall. Few people do.
In which case, most folks hire a tree trimming company to come by several times a year to trim their giant monster palms. And here is the thing about that. While the tree guys do a great job, it ain't cheap. I'm not saying that it's not worth the money. I'm saying that there are other things I could spend those couple of hundred bucks on. Like groceries. Or gas.
And the trimming part of the equation is moot anyway because in our particular case, the doggone trees up and died on us. Sigh. So there we were with two colossal dead trees smack in front of the house. Not pretty. Also dangerous. While we've been unusually fortunate this year (thus far, knock wood) regarding the tropical storm/hurricane season, we do live in Florida where such storms are not uncommon. And dead trees are the first to go in a bad storm. Giant dead trees are just as susceptible as smaller ones to the whims of a heavy storm, but when they go down, they do far more damage.
So, they had to go. Early one recent Saturday, the tree trimming guys came by with their gear and those trees are now history. And I tell ya, the sound of those big daddies hitting the ground when they were cut down is still resonating in my brain. I could feel the vibration right down to my toes. The thought of something that dense and thick having possibly hit our house or one of our cars during a storm makes me shiver just a little bit. I think we made an excellent decision.
The tree guys pointed out another tree that while not actually dead yet, was well on it's way. Tim said, "Take it down" So that one is gone too. That last 3rd tree was in what we call the "island'. We have one of those half circle driveways and in the middle of that half circle are a bunch of things. One of which was another of those brobdingnagian sized Washington Palms. It's gone now too, see?
It looks so much better and it feels so much safer. And as you can see, there are plenty of other trees around. There is no shortage of green here. Well maybe in the lawn in front of the house. That looks a little patchy though it's getting better ever day.
We have decided to save our admiration of giant palm trees for the ones in other people's yards. We will not have any of those on our property again. Ever.
Anyway, that's probably the most exciting thing that happened around here lately. We live life in the fast lane for sure.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.