One of the side-effects of living alongside a forest is that, unless a conscious effort is made to the contrary, individual trees become personally familiar. For me at least such familiarity breeds contemplation rather than contempt. The difficulty for me is that this forest is a managed commercial enterprise and therefore, ultimately, the trees are a harvestable commodity.
In other words, those nice trees are cut down.
In rural areas such as this the forestry provides some valuable employment and also a source of sustainable timber. However as someone who lives alongside the forest and has become intimately familiar with my little piece of it the sound of harvesting operations is one I dread. We all need timber, but the removal of trees I have been walking my dogs among twice a day for the last few years is tough to accept.
This is a hard one to balance in my mind. I need firewood to keep me warm and timber to build with. I’ve also been known to almost hyperventilate as I stand by a pile of freshly-cut larch or pine and drink in the fragrance; I’ve been a pine-sap junkie since childhood. Yet I just don’t want to see those larches or Scots pines gone. The sitka I don’t really fuss about, but larch and Scots is something else.
So that is what the images below were intended to convey – that although the trees may be fabulous as neighbours the harsh reality is that they are merely a commercial crop. Everywhere I look the hand of Man is never far away.