No Christmas Cheer Here

One of the nearby assuredly festively-decorated houses isn’t this Christmas season. You can get a sense of what’s typical from the profile of Queenie, who joined my “Cats of University Heights” series in December 2021. Sadly, she vanished last month, and her owner assumes coyote.

Sad as that may seem, the family suffered another emotional assault a month earlier, when the homeowner came home to find that the four towering palms outside her house had been marked for removal (e.g. clearcutting). Reportedly, San Diego Gas and Electric ordered the curbside destruction.

She posted to Nextdoor, on Oct. 19, 2022, asking anyone for advice, explaining:

My dad planted them when my parents bought the property in 1980. I come home today and this crew has one cut down and said the three others are slated for cut down!! I am sick to my stomach with the thought of them. They are home to a crow family we have had for years…

I am hoping it was a miscommunication and it’s just the one. The one on the far end I can understand—it was very close to the power lines but the other three aren’t near any. Just makes me so upset. My dad died 17 years ago and I don’t have too much remaining of him here. We finally tore down his old workshop just a month ago which was so hard for me. 😭😭 I have never known this place without the trees!

She and her husband contacted people with the city and the utility, and some hope of saving the other palms remained. On October 22, my wife and I walked by to see if the trees survived. Another had been chopped down; we were sick to see the second stump. Later that afternoon, or perhaps the next, we returned to find a cutting crew in full deforestation action. All four are gone now.

If the family feels less cheery this year, I can understand. How many more losses of loved living things can they possibly endure? My heart silently reaches out to them anytime I walk past their home.

The Featured Image, captured using Leica Q2, is from 10-22, when two trees still reached upwards. Not to be nasty, but having no emotional skin in the game, I can be: May the SDGE employee(s) responsible for ordering the chop downs find nothing more than wood chips in the Christmas stocking.

Photo vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/160 sec, 28mm; 9:28 a.m. PDT.