Today we wondered what we would find at Stick World. As suspected, the sticks were no longer, the giant tree indeed dismembered, most of the sticks and branches long carted away, large sections of trunk remaining in the parking lot, three men with chain saws and a truck there to cut and haul them off. The worker on the way to the park was quiet, we approached, looked, marveled at the diameter of the trunk, suspected, but could not prove, that the trunk diameter sideways on the ground was taller than our tallest two. We saw also that the living portion of the tree, which had split down the middle, two separate trunks, on split off and crashed for us to explore yesterday, the other left standing by nature cut down by the tree removal guys, only a fifteen foot or so section left standing today, denuded.

On the walk home we found the workers chatty when we stopped to ask questions. Turns out the tree was what the worker called a weed, a sumac grown for seventy years he estimated as he showed us the rings on the trunk, too far away for the kids to see, but real to me. The kids had coincidentally collected the leaves and flowers of a sumac from the overgrown edge of the apartment parking lot and were holding them as we talked. At home I had Sarah collect them, not sure if sumac is an ok plant to hold, my memory of sumac as a kid was that we called it poison sumac, it growing all along the railroad tracks at the back of the field behind our house, red flowers blooming in summer, big leaves of overgrowth blocking the kids’ path to the train.

Halfway up the hill after talking with the workers, we saw sumac growing along the fence. Kids sat and posed with it while I took pictures. Fun for us to explore this giant tree, a sumac like no other I had ever seen, nor the workers, and then the baby version. The kids buried themselves in the leaves, pleased to pose with their new friend.

Big morning of documentation, me, Sarah, Isabel and one five taking pictures of all sorts of things. My afternoon’s work will be to try and learn how to post the photos in an album for families to view. May be more photos than any of us wants to see, letting go of control of the camera as I did, you never know what might happen.