The Value of a Tree


It is another wonderful Wednesday.  The oppressive heat and humidity of summer seems to be behind us, and the warm days of early fall are ahead of us.  In fact, the current temperatures here in the southern tip of the great state of Ohio is more like early September rather than October.  Very pleasant indeed!

It is cool enough to get out and go hiking or bicycling along tree-lined road.  There are no leaves to rake, yet. There are bulbs to be planted and a few other chores (if you have a yard), but the biggest fall chore is raking the leaves.

Some people find raking leaves so distasteful that they cut down every tree they can, and then fuss when the neighbors leaves blow onto their property.

The U.S. Forest Service tells us, “Urban forests are dynamic ecosystems that provide critical benefits to people and wildlife. They help to filter air and water, control storm water, conserve energy, and provide animal habitat and shade. They add form, structure, and beauty to urban design. By reducing noise and providing places to recreate, urban forests strengthen social cohesion, spur community revitalization, and add economic value to our communities.”

The Forest Service estimates the value of the environmental service of a tree at $2,500.  This amount is more than three times the cost of maintaining a tree.  The shade from a tree can keep your house cooler in the summer, protect is from cold winds, and provide a rich mulch for your other plantings.

Would you rather pay the money for heating and cooling, instead of raking?  I have some good news.  You don’t have to rake.  Just run your mulching lawn mower over the leaves and let them be.  They will nourish your lawn as they decompose.

Need another reason to keep a tree?  Birds!  Not only do birds provide a pleasant background music, they eat bugs.  Plus, you can enjoy the shade of the tree while watching the birds.

We have been fortunate to live in areas with trees, parks, forests.  We have been heartbroken when we have moved, and the beautiful trees we have planted were cut down as a nuisance.  I think those people would have been happier in a high-rise.


Lunch Maybe

Our modern lifestyle is just too busy.

Huntington, West Virginia is nice sized city with plenty of places to eat, and beyond Huntington there are many more places to eat,  so that is not the difficultly in getting my Creative Cluster (CC) together.

Brittany Johnson and her dog Lacy found a place to eat.  In fact, I think there are at least a half a dozen places (maybe more) to eat at in and around Pullman Square.  This is one of the things that is attractive about a city, one of the reasons people young and old are migrating from the suburbs to the city.  With the many gathering places, movies and other entertainment all within walking distance, we are considering a move to a city for our retirement.

Many cities also have a college or university.  In Huntington, West Virginia that college is Marshall University.  Football, basketball, music and art programs are readily available, and some of these forms of entertainment are completely free.  There is also the option for continuing education, and if you are so inclined earning a degree.

I live a short hop across the river from this pleasant city.  Pullman Square isn’t the most convenient meeting place for all members of our CC, but we have driven further to get together in the past.

It started with an e-mail about getting together the week of August 8.  After a week of negotiations, we end up with this:
So far it looks like:

Eileen S      any day    either restaurant

Eileen C   prefer   Thurs. Fri     Ruby Tuesday

Dolores  leaving Thurs     Wed looks like it is only option Salad place
   Ruby Tuesday ?

April     Friday best

Carol Ma   Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Carol Mo  ?

Kim    ?

As it turns out, Kim has time restrictions and would like to move the meeting to Saturday or an evening.

Knowing I was going to be in Pullman Square, I put forward an invite that anyone in the group could join me if they were available, and nobody was, although I did get a call from one person.

A week and a half of e-mails and we still don’t have a date, but maybe an evening later in the month would work?   As soon as school starts things are difficult for Kim.

I miss our CC meetings.  Participation got me writing again after an extended writer’s block.  The CC encouraged me to share my work with others.  Plus, I got to know and appreciate the talents of each person in the group.

I hope we can work something out.  Dessert maybe?

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