One of the selling points of this particular development is that is it is the oldest condo development in the state, therefore, the landscaping is mature.
A great example of this are the trees scattered throughout the grounds. A couple of units east of my place, there is a majestic maple tree in the grassy space between my building and the one across the way. The tree towers over our two story building. In the spring, there is a great view of its helicopter-like seed pods floating to the ground from my living room.
We've had incredible straight line winds this summer, as various fronts pass through with sharp changes in atmospheric pressure. These winds always seem to come from the west-to-south corridor. The tree tosses quite a bit, but bends rather than breaks.
Last night we had a short, but violent storm. We actually didn't bear the brunt of it; places north had small funnel clouds, golf-to-baseball sized hail and even stronger winds.
The change in pressure did me in. I've been working on a massive headache all weekend. Tylenol barely touches it, but does a great job upsetting my stomach. This morning, I woke up with the worst headache of my life, plus a rather violently upset stomach. Ack. Called in, went back to bed.
Only to be woken about an hour and a half ago by the dulcet sounds of...a chain saw.
I had checked this morning, before going back to bed - the tree was still standing, there were no branches on the ground, it hadn't been struck by lightning.
It appears, from the length of time they have been working and the manner in which they are going about it, the goal is to take the tree entirely down. I'm a bit in shock. I know the neighbor across the way (in front of whose unit the tree sits) hates it for the messy seed pods. All of us have to deal with the shower of leaves in the fall. But surely, if they were worried about parts coming down, a good trimming would take care of it?
If it does come down, it will be doubly expensive for me. Not only will I help pay for the removal through the association fees, I will have to buy curtains for the huge, irregularly shaped (read: need to order custom) windows above the patio doors. When the place was painted two years ago, I took down (and tossed out - they were in bad, bad shape) the sheers that covered those upper windows. There is great light until about mid morning, when the sun moves behind the maple tree. Without the tree to shade things, the sun will come in those windows blazingly hot until at least noon - longer during the summer. In addition to the need to buy curtains, I can expect my air conditioning bill to go up until I actually get some.
Then there are the displaced birds (the squirrels, nasty tree-rats, can go hang). We have a fairly wide variety of songbirds nesting in the area, including in that maple. Makes me kind of glad I didn't put up a feeder this year, if they all go elsewhere.
Given the dysfunctional state of our HOA board, and their less than amicable relationship with some of the homeowners, I'm not quite sure what to think about this. Was there actual damage I didn't see? Was the removal planned ahead of time, due to interior damage? If it was scheduled ahead of time, why couldn't the board be bothered to give us some sort of notice? (oh wait - duh, I know the answer to that one)
Meantime, my head is about to fall off or explode, or both, thanks to the noise. There's no telling how long this will go on, and the two guys who are working on it don't have any sense of urgency at all.
If you need me, I'll be the one curled up in the fetal position in the corner furthest away from that side of the condo, a pillow or two over my ears and a blanket over my head.
Update: Well, it's still standing, but everything within twenty feet of the ground has been stripped away. They also butchered a much smaller tree closer to my unit - truly a little thing, and they way they trimmed it, it will either die off, or fall over because it is so lopsided now. The guys are in the process of spreading all sort of dirt under the maple - wheelbarrows full in an awfully wide swath. A lot of good it's doing - the wind is blowing at a steady sixteen miles per hour, and most of the dirt is just flying all over. I'm afraid that if I poke my head out to get the mail, I'll have an asthma attack. One can only hope they will at least wet it down before they leave. One would also assume they intend to sow grass seed.