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Out of death, life, and then not ...

When we moved into our house 11 years ago we wondered if the sickly dogwood in our garden was going to make it. Apparently someone had rototilled around it and had damaged some of its roots in the process. It was quite scraggly looking.

But every spring our dogwood produced its classic blossoms, green leaves, and red berries. It even seemed to grow more robustly for a few years.

A couple of springs ago I was struck by a particular image as I gazed at the tree. On one branch I noticed some newly formed white "petals" (actually bracts)that seemed to be emerging from a small cluster of dried, brown leaves that had hung on from the previous fall. Life emerging out of death. Christians have claimed the dogwood as one of their symbols of resurrection. I am looking at leaf regeneration naturalistically, which is so much more real to me. I decide I must photograph this, so I take a couple of close-ups.

The pictures did not turn out for some reason. I told myself I would try again this spring. So when our dogwood blossomed I looked around for the same juxtaposition of life and death. I could not find any good examples except perhaps for a cluster or two near the very top of the tree, too far from the ground to photograph. Blossoming came and went, and I told myself I would have to wait for next year.

Two days ago my wife told me that she had discussed the tree with some landscape people she had hired to trim our bushes. They all agreed that the tree was rapidly dying due to some kind of disease and not worth saving. Yesterday as I was refinishing our dining room floor (see yesterday's LJ entry) the landscape people showed up with a chainsaw and chipper. Within 10 minutes the tree was gone. No more life regeneration from this one.