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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Wednesday March 05, 2003
04:34 AM

Tree (no perl)

[ #10902 ]

Our neighbours behind have a tree. It's a large poplar, that looks like a big duster or tickling stick. A strange and unusual tree on a hill populated mostly by ancient oaks and new spruces.

At night the tree sways in the wind, and its leaves rustle and its thin branches brush against each other like people walking down a crowded street. It reflects the light from the nearby street light - causing it to glow an eery orange colour pointing up into the sky towards the stars.

I used to watch this tree before falling to sleep, and it would give me peace. I say "used to", because on Monday night I went to bed and it was gone.

A large stump remained. Solid, unmoving. And I felt an empty hole where that tree once was.

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  • Poplar trees are notorious for blowing over after they reach a certain height, as they have very shallow roots. Much better to cut it down than have it make an unscheduled appearance in your roof!
  • I love trees. I remember at my childhood home in Alabama (US) we had a massive oak in the middle of the yard. It provided shade for a large portion of the yard and a little bit of the house. I bet even now I couldn't get my arms even close to half way around it. It wasn't very good for climbing because it was SO big, but I loved it all the same.

    My parents last house in North Carolina was even better for trees, at least until Hurricane Hugo came to town. Our little neighborhood was devastated by Hugo. IIRC

    "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
  • Poplar trees used to be popular as wind-breaks in the midwest. We had a row of poplars in back of the first house I lived in. The rustling noise they made when the wind blew provided a nice pink noise, drowning out traffic, barking dogs, and so on. Sadly, poplars don't last, but they grow big enough to do a lot of damage when they fall over.

    I found the house in a satellite picture. The poplars are gone, but the Cherry tree I watched my Dad plant when I was 4 is visible from space.

    • the Cherry tree I watched my Dad plant when I was 4 is visible from space.

      Cool. Do you have a URL for the satellite picture?

      • =1

        The tree is nearly in the center, but you have to know what you're looking for.

  • I know exactly what you mean. Our next door neighbour had a 20ft Mesquite [] until just recently. Some of the branches had grown over our back wall and I had gotten so used to the tree being there that I was quite disappointed when they got rid of it. It was almost as if it was one of my own trees. I remember saying to my wife "hey, where did our tree go" with a grin on my face :-)