A few weeks ago I posted the photo below on Facebook and asked for ideas about what to do with the trunk of an enormous pine tree that had pined away.
Many people responded: make it into a table, or benches, a totem, planters, bird houses or toothpicks (hard to imagine how many of those there would be!), an art display: Twenty Ways to Commemorate a Fallen Pine. (Thanks, Janet. I loved that idea.)
But that’s not what has happened.
Once we removed the branches we could see the shape of the tree trunk. My son-in-law was the first to spot it. Walking along the top of the trunk with his son, he said it looked like a crocodile or a lizard. He pointed to the knotholes. See the eyes?
He said it would make a great play structure and immediately I could imagine grandchildren climbing all over it and using it for games only they could imagine.
The problem was how to move one very big tree trunk from the farmhouse, which we rent out, to our house about a kilometre away. The trunk was long. And heavy. Yes, we could cut it into pieces but much of the attraction came from the sheer size of the thing. Could we possibly move it in one piece?
As it turns out, yes, we could. And yes, we did.
First, though, a certain amount of head scratching was required.
Luckily, living in the country, equipment that can lift heavy loads isn’t hard to find.
So with Bruce lifting the heavy end with his excavator, and Jacques lifting the lighter end with his tractor, the journey began.
Across the lawn behind the farmhouse …
… and along the rocky road that cuts off a corner …
… then onto the public road that leads to our house.
Jacques and Bruce drove slowly. Even so, the tree trunk swayed precariously as they moved down the hill, along a road with lots of dips and bumps. (The road is scheduled to be remade entirely a few months from now. I’m not looking forward to that.)
Our driveway is at the bottom of the hill. I thought they’d have trouble making the sharp turn, but these men are skillful and know exactly what their equipment can do.
The trunk made its way down the driveway …
… across the lawn (aka The Big Meadow) …
… to its new home on the bank above Lake Massawippi. The whole process took about 60 minutes, not including the head scratching.
Jacques immediately tried it out.
The trunk will ooze sap for some time but it will dry out eventually.
I may cut steps into the right-hand end of the trunk, or shape it like the nose of a crocodile. I may paint the knotholes into eyes or add a snaggletooth to make the croc smile. I may let the sawn circles where branches were removed go grey or I may polish and seal them with shellac.
Or I may just leave well enough alone. But whatever I do (and I welcome ideas, the crazier the better), this creature needs a name.