Here on the south west corner of British Columbia, we are blessed with mild wet winters which in turn means we are blessed with enormous trees. The air is washed clean by the rains and filtered by the trees themselves. I'm amazed that the city's pollution actually makes the trees grow bigger.
We've had a long love-hate relationship with this enormous tree in the front of our yard. We love its cooling shade on hot summer mornings, the privacy from neighbours across the street, and its prickly and tough character. We don't know if it's a cedar or a cypress, never having been able to clearly identify it. When it's a young tree it has attractive thick branches of grey-green prickly needles. When it gets older like this one, the inner needles dry up at summer's end into masses of rust coloured patches ready to break up on windy days for months after. Constant messes in the yard, deck, flowerbeds and eavestroughs keep us busier than we like sometimes. Immense roots are surfacing in the lawn and cracking the restraining wall by the driveway - reasons for the hate part of our relationship.
But we do love the summer morning sun filtering through the branches, thinned out to give us some view. It's haven and battleground for lively squirrels, crows and bluejays. That tree and we continue to live with each other like some grouchy elders in an uneasy kind of peace.
(This is my submission for the Third Festival of the Trees. Go check it out and consider joining in.)