Making a Difference

There are few things as satisfying to the psyche as an hour outside with a chainsaw.

Gardening can require hours of painstaking work with no evident result. Where there were weeds, there is now bare soil. Where there was a sprawling tomato plant, there is a neatly tied up vine. Where there were potato plants infested with potato bugs, now the bugs have been picked off and the leaves are clean. Who will notice?

But with a chainsaw, you can make a difference,. You can reshape the landscape. Take down a tree and people will see the difference.

I went out this afternoon thinking I should work with the weedeater, but I hate it. It’s noisy and the vibration can leave you without feeling in your hands. I noticed a Russian olive that was overgrown and decided the chainsaw was needed. Then there was a pine tree that had grown scruffy and served no obvious purpose. Then there were some low branches on the pine tree at the corner of our driveway that get weighted down with snow in the winter and obstruct the driveway. Then there were some woody shrubs keeping the sun from some future Christmas trees. I can always find something to work on with a chainsaw and at the end of an hour the world has a different look. Views have been opened up, bushes have been given more room, plants get more sun.

Mind you, I’m not talking about removing the Amazon jungle and changing the balance of nature. There is far more leafage in Connecticut now than there was a hundred years ago. When I take down a tree, I create room for more. And when I use the resultant cord wood to heat the house, I reduce our need for imported oil. I get some exercise and the environment is enhanced. I’ve made a difference!

Of course, the lopped off branches and downed trees need to be cleaned up, but that’s another subject!

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