For almost thirty years a mulberry tree has been growing in the easement/alley at the rear of our property. I was not particularly attached to it because it cast a shadow over our vegetable garden and at this time of year it dropped unripe berries by the hundreds into our yard where they fermented and created a slippery film on the ground. Nonetheless it provided a roosting place for countless birds and I believe the berries attracted specific birds such as the grey catbird.
I also recall one evening several years ago when I observed what I believe to be a family of five raccoon, two adults and three juveniles, as they made their way through the neighborhood and came to that tree. They then climbed the tree and feasted on the berries.
Yesterday two-thirds of that tree came down during a rain storm. The rest of the tree is probably damaged to the point where it cannot survive and it will also have to be taken down.
What has taken thirty years to grow came down in a few seconds. The space that it filled in those thirty years has now become an open space, a breach if you will that allows our neighbors to the rear to have a clear view of the back of our house, and us of theirs. Not that I worry about that; we have nothing to hide except for modesty’s sake. But I don’t care for the gap left by the falling of the tree. It’s jarring.
Imagine how the people of Joplin, Missouri or Moore, Oklahoma felt to emerge from their tornado shelters to find their world occupied by thousands of such gaps where trees, homes, schools, stores, and other objects once stood.