Last week was our most active in a while, week 2 of lockdown, shops shut – even Bunnings. Yesterday I mentioned to Pat over coffee on our recently restored verandah, that we should be halfway through by now and he shook his head with a smile, ‘No, Jenny, it’s only been two weeks.’ That’s probably why it was our most active. The urge to get out – anywhere – is strong when the choice is so limited. We walked and cycled, took advantage of the sunshine to work outside, mulching fallen limbs with leafy crowns and nuisance sticks and rose prunings that previously we piled onto a bonfire. The mulcher has been like an extra person in the garden and the bush area, quickly converting rubbishy bits into perfect mulch. It is immensely satisfying. We leave the dead trees for habitat and the trunks where they fall.
The exception to that was the dead tree giant at the bottom of the driveway. We had been driving in and out around it for years and the trunk fell inconveniently across one side, blocking the entrance. A complication was that the resident bees decided they would stay and repair the damage to their home. They don’t like chainsaws much. We left it for months, waiting for winter when the bees would be less inclined to be out and about. Pat sawed it quickly and towed their half onto the grassy side. We can see the brand new yellow honeycomb in one end, like two plates in a rack. We had already planted half a dozen new natives in that area and the tree managed to avoid all of them in its fall. As the daughter of a forester, I have an affinity for trees, delighted with the recent books regarding communication between trees and I like to think the tree fell where it did to avoid crushing the new young ones.