Greater Portland, Maine has been growing rapidly which includes my town of Scarborough. With “development” comes destruction. Since I purchased my house nine years ago this month I have witnessed many changes in my immediate neighborhood. Where there was once a large open field and woods is now a housing development. The majority of older homes that have sold within the past couple of years went under contract within days, were gutted then renovated before being flipped. Abutting my neighbors across the street was some clear cutting due to a parking lot expansion for a new medical building so that they now have a view of a parking lot!
This is one of the reasons why my own two acres of woods in my backyard have been extra special to me. It’s also why when I came home from running some errands I was heartbroken and shocked when I saw what had happened in less than a day.
On Tuesday I had heard the sound of trees being cut down, but I couldn’t see anything when I looked out into my woods. I even went to the edge of my property line and saw nothing–it was in the distance. I shrugged it off.
On Wednesday when I returned home just before noon, Wishy jumped up and down when he saw me. I thought that was so cute, and then I looked up. It was a misty day and the light seemed so weird and different than ever before. It was then that I realized that a chunk of distant woods was missing!
I panicked, got into my car and drove to the access road where my property line ends.
Acres have been clear cut by a logging company within 25 feet of my property line.
This is how it looked before, courtesy of Google maps. My woods are to the right of here. Although I’m an abutter I was never notified. I learned that my town has no such requirement. Sadly courtesy didn’t rule over that decision, either. The land has been cleared for a future unknown development (as in even the town states they do not know). I have no answers other than that what they did was legal.
That open space behind my trees as viewed from my backyard is where the clearing took place. At night, instead of beautiful darkness and the illusion of being far away from it all, the lights from a distant parking lot can be seen. And soon, there will be something built in that clearing.
I know I was lucky to enjoy nine years of it being untouched. When the foliage is in bloom it should help. I hope the deer still come visit. It was just so unexpected and has made me very sad.
So this morning, when I checked my mail, I had another unexpected surprise. This one was also clear cut, yet beautiful!
My sweet cousin sent me this lovely engraved decorative art of trees. It was made by my late grandfather about fifty or more years ago. He used to do piece work hand engraving for Tiffany in New York City during the 1960s.
Shown is a pendant (not Tiffany) that he had engraved for me when I was six years old.
My cousin knew how much I loved the little trees, and we had not talked before the clearcutting. The timing was an amazing coincidence. I lost some trees and now some “new” ones arrived from what feels like “above.” I have placed them on my window that overlooks the new view. I didn’t think anything could make me feel better but this really has.