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All trees, everywhere, are at the mercy of severe weather. For instance, blizzards will weigh them down so much that they may become curved or deformed for life. Or lightning will strike, cutting a scar from the tip to the base; or sometimes splitting the tree in two, sometimes just blowing bark all over the floor of the woods, leaving open wounds on the tree. Some survive those attacks; some don't. Often trees are damaged by infestations. Trees suffer through droughts. And we have all seen the wrath of tornadoes and hurricanes on television ripping ancient trees like toothpicks and flicking them back to the Earth, gone forever.

I use the wood from our Ponderosa Pines for my Get Creative2 Woodpecker toys shown on my website. When Robert and I harvest wood for firewood or for my toys, it's primarily from downed trees and dead branches. But other times it's from live trees, cut down out of necessity. It is never easy to do this, as we both dearly love our woods; we try to be good stewards of our land, while we have the honor of living here.

I took this video this afternoon after almost finishing trimming and thinning trees on part of our property. I hope it gives you a perspective of what one tiny corner of our wooded world is like. Most of these trees are 15-20 ft. in height. There are holes in the ground around all this area where dozens of the smaller trees (8-10 ft) were dug up over the past two years and donated to an organization in the Black Forest , CO, where fires burned through hundreds and hundreds of acres of beautiful log pole pine trees, destroyed many homes, and took human lives. Hopefully those little trees have thrived, transplanted onto their new properties, and are giving some joy and eventually some old shade to the new owners.

But that process still left us with crowded clusters of trees that were becoming problematic. And so, we headed out, me with my Sawzall to tackle the clusters of trees, and Robert with his chainsaw for the Mother pines' lower branches, giving some necessary trimming cuts and making some tough decisions.

Now we must clean the area - fill those holes left behind last year with some good soil and mulch, pull pieces big enough for firewood, chip the dead branches and spread over the ground, (hope for new growth grasses, no new growth weeds!), trim the pile of removed trees and cut the trunks into pieces for toys...lots of work left. But it's all good. We love our woods, we love our trees.

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