Saturday, September 30

Chopping off the trees & robbing the bats

Next to my house there is a little square with beautiful ancient ficus trees, huge ones.
On old aerial photographs of Jaffa, made by the British in the twenties, it's always easy to recognise my street, because of those trees, they were mature already in those far away days.
They were home to many birds as well as numerous small fruit-bats flying out at night.
They provided shadow as well as a green feeling: When sitting on my rooftop balcony, i felt as if in a wood, while looking in the direction of the trees, seeing only green, as if in a forest.

Last thursday they turned up, the guys with the big saws.
I live close to the sea and during winter the winds can get very strong. Thus, every few years the trees are pruned a little. However, what happened last thursday wasn't "a little pruning", like they used to do.

Suddenly i have a "skyline", seeing other rooftops, balconies, drying laundry and solar waterheaters. The trees have been cut down to about 1/3 of their original size, both in height and general size. Barely a few branches have been left.
In true "Jaffa style" the cut-off branches have been left in the street, and no one , so far, has picked them up.
As sad reminder of what was home to many bats and birds, a nice view and a green feeling. I hope enough of the trees has been left so they can grow back to their original size once more.

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