To the editor:
Spring rains kept Ben Clifford with his huge orange truck at bay. Our rotting Water Maple has been threatening to take out our old Kentucky farm house roof and electrical line.
We hired Ben to remove the tree a couple of months ago, but it had been too wet to get the job done and when it did finally dry out, there was corn to plant and tobacco to set.
Last week one gigantic section of the tree rotted away from the main trunk and wedged next to another limb and was waiting for a strong wind do some serious damage. I was instructed to not walk under that tree. It had become a widow/widower maker so we pleaded with Ben to expedite his arrival.
Ben and his lovely daughter, Shelby, arrived to save the day. From his bucket, Ben called down for me to bring my camera. In the crotch of the rotted tree was a mama raccoon with three nursing baby raccoons. My one rule is to never kill a nursing mother of anything including mice. Several years ago we found a mouse in the closet under the stairs with her baby mice. We relocated the little family outside. The babies continued to nurse during the move.
The good news is, Ben did manage to remove the huge dead section that was going to fall and was able to spare the mama and her nursing young. The bad news is Ben will have to come back another day to take out the rest of the tree.