Text and Photographs By

Bob Paty

A tree grows in my front yard. I feel a bond to that tree, perhaps I see a lot of myself in the tree. The tree is older now, and like myself is somewhat bent and not as shapely as in years past. Like my hair, the leaves that were so thick years ago, now are much thinner.

The tree was quite handsome in its younger days (my wife probably thought I was handsome too, at least that's what she told me.) Some say it was a beautiful tree in its youth, but I don't see how anybody could consider a chinaberry tree that sheds its leaves, exposing bare branches and deposits berries all over the driveway could be called beautiful.

Downy Woodpecker

The Redbellied Woodpeckers Are The
Unlucky Occupants Of My Tree

During its time numerous storms and a hurricane have wrenched away a number of the tree's limbs and branches. Before losing so many of its branches it was a wonderful source of shade. Visitors could park their cars in my driveway with the assurance that the tree would keep their car cool, providing shade from the hot afternoon sun.

A late evening storm that the tree endured, was almost its demise, but not in the way you might think. My son had parked his car under an overhanging limb of the chinaberry tree. He left with a friend for the evening, intending to return in the morning for his car.

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