Started as a seedling, usually nurtured only by nature, and all on their own outdoors.
All the time. Unless a short stint happens because of a saw, ax that frees them to be placed in a Maine living room. For the family tradition around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
The holiday trees in Maine that have to worry about being stuffed through a home doorway, removed in a body bag are evergreen fir, pine variety. The hardwoods are safe from the chop down, timber yuletide ritual. But still the target of woodcutters looking for firewood. Sturdy material for heating or building homes. Furniture or grinding up for pellets, wafer or particle board.
Maine trees take a beating from the harsh weather too.
Strong sun, too much or not enough rain. Whipping winds picking up speed. Snow and ice loads bending them over backwards to the ground. Subtle, flexible but sometimes no match for the sudden change of Maine weather. They snap.
And not just man for their greatest worry for dismal destruction demise. Woodpeckers can do a number on them. So can beetles, bugs, insects besides birds that peck. And vehicles, recreational vehicles piloted by careless or inebriated operators that don’t tread lightly. Not good stewards. That may not understand Maine land use is a privilege not a right. Young Maine tree plantations have this worry with snow sledders, ATV four wheelers in too big a hurry and suddenly off the marked trail in the thick of things.
I have known this giant Maine pine tree since 1986.
Listened, watched, taken pictures of birds and other wildlife that use her for refuge cover. For twenty seven years this gorgeous tree has stood guard on a point of land on Drews Lake. Giving a pleasurable whisper in its pine needles during gentle breezes. And pushing back against winds that rock, shock, pick up speed across an open lake. Lightning has hit awfully close to it.
Parked like a deer in the headlights. A sitting duck or lone bowling pin pine in the pathway of North Westerly and Easterly winds. Attacked from all sides year round. But still grows taller, wider, fuller. Like people that have too much woe but prosper, persevere, flourish all the more just the same. The pine has witnessed boaters, kayakers, swimmers, ice and water fishing expeditions. Watched firework displays from around the lake from it’s eagle’s eye location. Listened to Maine loons.
Last night the annual pick up sticks around the Maine lake home spring ritual yielded larger around branches, limbs. The wind this winter in Maine was a few miles per hour faster, stronger, memorable. Trees can show you without words being spoken, exchanged. Roof shingles, house trim and windows also felt the pain. Showed area results of wind’s hammering, especially in the month of January.
This lonesome pine misses the kids who played in sight, around it and out on the water of a Maine lake.
They have left the nest, visit from time to time but on with their lives unfolding elsewhere. I stooped, picked up and latched on to the biggest lost limbs, branches I have ever seen from this gentle giant this spring. Usually the smaller birches, maples, mountain ash, beech, butternut and one token oak are the limb, branch losers. Not the stately old pine. This year was different.
But not one to ever complain and knowing the test of time, the meaning of patience. Forced to stand in one place. In the corner of the Maine land lot. But not because of anything naughty, not being disciplined for any wrong doing. Trees other than in Dorothy’s world far away from Kansas that moved, threw apples. Or the wise, elderly forest ones Bilbo Baggins and his friends encountered on adventures are not typical timber.
I have to ask my friend the lover of woodlots, forestry stands Bob Mathews or Donnie Collins how old this lone pine really is. The lighthouse tall visible guide for boaters to avoid the reef of rocks jutting out from the passage of the little to the big lake at Drews. When you cut the corner or need a guide as daylight fails and moonlight logs on. Punches the time clock to take over for a day in Maine on the waterfront. She has seen her share of sunrises, sunsets and we all know no two are alike. Come share a few. Climb in a hammock, sit on an open deck or in the bow of a boat, canoe, kayak.
Maine, big state, folks appreciate, are more aware of what beauty is around them in the Pine Tree State. Learn more about our types of trees in Maine.