I used to go on Google Earth and trace roads and paths, and Virginia zoomed out so far is so green and lush with trees. Today I walked around my neighborhood and thought, how many trees used to take up the space where these paved roads are? Probably thousands just within my one neighborhood. The road suddenly felt huge when I imagined it dense with trees. I wonder how much carbon dioxide we produce in just this collection of houses, and I wonder how much carbon dioxide stayed in the air from the loss of those thousands of trees. How much impact does one neighborhood have?

Another thing I imagined dense with trees: lawns. As I walked I heard the typical suburban sounds of lawn mowers and leaf blowers. I just never understood lawns. It’s so much work, for what? The smell of the lawn mower was rancid as I passed it. Later I passed a man blowing fallen leaves into the sewer. I never understood getting rid of leaves either. Trees drop their leaves to give nutrients to the soil around them during the winter. And you’re depriving the tree of these nutrients so that we can see your nasty grass lawn better? Humans are so strange, and it made me a little annoyed especially in the context of imagining all the trees chopped down for this neighborhood. The least we could do in return is respect the earth we take up.

That said, I am lucky to have quite a few trees and natural areas in my neighborhood. Some of the trees are big and towering, and I wonder how old they are. Did they survive the initial clearing of forest? Or were they brought in after the wiping away of every bit of life? It seems kind of funny to cut down all the trees only to bring them back in. I guess it’s all about aesthetic though. Humans are strange.

Here’s a pic of a pretty (I assume) hawk feather I found coming back from the walk. It’s nice to know that some creatures can still survive here.

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