It is sad to see a tree that size succumb to the elements, especially since our woods doesn't have that many big trees in it. I am not sure about the age of our woods. I want to say that it has been growing for forty years, but that is a guess, or a number remembered from a casual conversation with the previous owners.
One of the things that concerns me about some of the maple trees in our woods is that their trunks look like this:
Like they are soaking wet, but it isn't raining. In the summer, they look drier, as if they were charred in a fire. I assumed it was fungal, but a search on the Web suggests that it might be a "bacterial wetwood infection." Sounds dire, and it is. There is no cure for it.
Well, at least the tree will help keep us warm next winter. John (with help from Jack--get ready Jack!) will cut it up for firewood. The pieces that are too large or too small will rot back into the ground, with help from gorgeous decomposers like these already at work:
And those leftovers will nourish the saplings nearby.
I am at my best, I feel, when one thing is changing into another. And so, I am happy now, as Sleet turns to Bluster, as the moon begins to wane after a spectacular fullness, as the ground swells with moisture, as fallen trees lie in wait. Time is circular after all. Round and round we go.