It’s raining today. Pouring! And, it is expected all day long.
This will be a rest day. No cycling. Warm, sunny, summer-like weather is forecast for the rest of the week, the rest of my time at the cottage. Today, I will clean and lube the bike one more time in preparation for 3-4 more rides on the quiet country roads.
Yesterday, I had the trees trimmed. The red maple, pine, cedar, silver birch and spruce trees on the property have never been pruned. As I kid, I remember planting these trees with my father. We collected young, small trees growing on sides of the country roads; trees destined to be cut down like grass to keep the ditches clear.
The property was originally pasture land when my father first purchased. There were no trees, just long grass. My mother and father, like the other new cottagers planted trees and shrubs along their property lines. Marked their property lines. Outlining what what theirs. And, what wasn’t. Over the past 60 years, these trees have matured. They are 50-60 feet tall. All indigenous to the area. All thriving in this varied climate.
Some of the cottagers have pruned and cajoled their trees. Cleared them in some cases and manicured their property like a suburban home. Not my family. Not me. We have let these trees grow and given them the space they needed to flourish. Now the property is very private. The cottage cannot be seen from the back road. The cottages on each side cannot be seen. When I look out the front windows, all I see are trees and water. This property has grown into an exquisite refuge. My private getaway.
The trees were overgrown. You could barely navigate a small car into the driveway. Pickup trucks were too high. You couldn’t walk under the cedars when approaching the back porch. And, I could not see the water from the dining room window.
I hired a local arborist to do a little trimming. He arrived yesterday at 9 am with a plethora of tools (chain saws, a variety of hand saws, climbing gear and a chipper) and was finished by noon. I liked the way he worked. He was careful to maintain the privacy and only cut what he needed. And, the best part, he gave me a lesson on trees. I learned about the various species, how old each tree was, how healthy they all are, how to care for them and how to properly trim them. He understood the importance of these trees to me and my family. The tag line on the back of his business card reads “Caring for you and your trees”. He said to meet that his job is to preserve these trees for the generations to come. He understands.
I didn’t ride. I was too busy watching the tree pruning and, afterward when it was all done, admiring the difference the effort made. It opened up the cottage from inside. I have an unobstructed view of the water from all of the front windows. Pickup trucks can get in but I still have privacy from the road.
This was a job well done.