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On my way to the gym today, I passed the Library (full of cars = good sign). the Post Office and the Police Station.  As the road widened slightly, I notice some fallen trees.  Most were pretty big trees, pines, that were maybe 5ft. and above.  They grew on the sides of the overpass hill.  As I moved along, I kept noticing that all the trees – on both sides of the road – were cut down – their small raggedy stumps standing up out of the earth.  The hills on both sides of the road had trees and even the top of the hill had fallen trees.  The only trees left standing were magnolia trees.  The cut-trees, loblolly pines, are common to this area.

My guess is that the road is being widened. Those trees were so healthy, so green with large needles – I felt sad seeing them on the ground with their sad stumps beside them.  To me, those trees held up that terraced wall on either side of the road – with their being removed, the soil is just going to slide away.  And I guess I enjoyed seeing those trees on the way down that road – I recalled the quote from Lord of the Rings, “Some of those trees were my friends…”

Last year, a large part of a forest was cut down to make way for a new mall in Athens.  It was near my grocery store and every time I went, I saw more dead trees and moved earth – you wouldn’t even know today that there was a forest and stream on those acres.  The stream is now tamed, piped and buried underneath mounds of dirt and clay.  They even planted grass on top and now are working on putting in paved roads.  The first building will be a 16-movie theater complex – where maybe they can show nature films of trees and streams.

Today is also the day I am putting away my artificial Xmas tree for next year. 

I might even go out this afternoon and touch the needles on my loblolly pines I planted in my front yard – just to say, “Hey.”