The electric utility guy came to visit today. Hard hat man in a bright jacket. He eyed the fat cottonwood that's precariously close to a transformer.
That wasn’t her choice. The tree and forest were there before the land was divided up. And that’s only one in a series of abuses, and relatively minor. The whole Bosque was cut for firewood - multiple times. Now people treasure the cottonwood around here, right? Right?
So many places are named for it including Spanish: El Alamo, Alamogordo, Alameda....
I suppose it once must have seemed there were too many to count. Trees didn’t matter. The street, utility lines and houses were worth more than the forest. Profit-wise. Sort of a way of honoring the dead. Naming things for them.
Some big monster trees remain on the ditch banks and edges of fields - places the chainsaws haven't reached for whatever reason. Or they are prized yardfeatures whose soft wood must be monitored and radically trimmed lest heavy branches crash onto cars and rooftops.
The big mother tree survives on the liminal edge between this subdivision and that. She attracts attention only from admirers, with the possible exception of the electric utility guy. She is guarded by neighbors who watch, including noisy crows.
The kind of tree that makes you want to be a better human.