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They are felling the trees! After four years of enjoying the orchard in the back of my house, of watching the year-long dance of changing leaves and growing fruit, the owners of the orchard sold their property to a developer, and the trees are being bulldozed. The orchard will be gone, and houses will be built along a new street. All day long I’ve heard the roar and grinding of the big machines as they eat away at the orchard. In the evening I took the dog out for a walk and went past the scene of destruction. A wide band of earth had been stripped. All that remained of the trees was a pile of wood chips over six feet tall. Leaves littered the ground, their pale green underbellies turned upward. Rotting fruit was scattered along the deep gashes made by the machinery. It reminded me of a scene from The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis, where a dryad comes to King Tirian and warns him that the Calormenes are felling the trees. I understand that the couple is elderly and can’t take care of the orchard anymore, and the money will allow them to retire. Families will have homes to live in. But I wish someone who loved trees had bought the property. Those were the best peaches I’ve ever eaten. The trees gave me something of beauty and tranquility to look out at as I wrote. The graceful deer who drifted through in the winter, searching for food in the snow beneath the bare branches, will not come again. The trees are dead. It breaks my heart.

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