At La Chaise we are surrounded by some 18 hectares of mixed woodland of which only five are cultivated, cleared and cossetted firs. These five also host a wild boar motel with mud bath and regular supplies of maize. The rest get on as best they can, dying, losing branches, succumbing to rot,blight and wild weather.
|This is what happened to twin millenial oaks after typhoon 'Miguel' passed through in June this year.
The most recent, most impressive woodland disaster in the Dordogne was at the turn of the millenium. One of our greatest and probably oldes oaks was felled - but tactfully fell onto a path rather than a roof. Its stump was more than two metres in diameter.
Now we are looking to cut the older oaks again but are very aware than many people may disapprove.
But to be realistic, a two hundred year old oak has a head that stunts the growth of any saplings, from its own acorns or those of other species. All of us, human, animal must make way for the young.
And sometimes the young are nurtured by the very old.
|Youth being nurtured by an ancestor.
And as the small ones grow, the old left standing continue to breathe. As the sun sets slowly in the west and the wind drops, wisps of vapour, the breath of the trees, is visible on the skyline across our valley.