Monday, October 23 2006
The other day I discovered the remains of a big Black Cherry tree already cut into manageable chunks in a brushy patch on our side of the road, across from our mailbox at the corner formed between Dug Hill Road and "the Farm Road". Unfortunately, the tree had been lying on the ground since before we moved into our house four years ago. Unlike chestnut, walnut, and White Oak, cherry is not rot-resistant. The pieces were punky in places and somewhat waterlogged from recent rains. Using a little hand cart, I hauled them back to the garage, where I immediately split them into quarters. The tree had obviously grown up exposed to sunlight and its trunk was thick and full of knots from many large low branches. Normally a piece of wood like that is nearly impossible to split, but these were so weakened by rot that I didn't have much problem. Inside I found a hibernating colony of large black ants. They stumbled out like drunks from a tavern fire, lethargic in the October chill and dazed by the unexpected daylight. They'd taken up residence in an extensive network of tunnels chewed through the wood borer grubs. These tunnels looked almost exactly like the kind I'd seen in the header beam over the second guestroom's window, which had been exposed to ten years of rainwater seeping beneath the laundry room door.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next