Things send progress sideways

Frustrating, sometimes, that things get in the way of things that are at the top of a list of priorities. Work on the studio hasn’t gone as quickly as I’d planned despite preparing the ground and doing some planting that would have been difficult with the building in place. A lot of things kept me away in this last year and there was some travel, too. Just as the foundations were about to start a magnificent mature Cedar Elm tree that overhung the site – a legacy of an unselfish previous occupier of this little house – suddenly died. It had looked sick for a while but that appeared due to the hot weather in August. By the end of the summer there was no doubt as to its fate. Ulmus crassifolia is a native of the southern central USA and pretty rare in Europe so it’s a significant loss that’s been a big disappointment. The peeling bark has revealed an attack of Dutch Elm Disease, to which it’s said to be very susceptible, but that brought Black, Lesser Spotted and Great Spotted Woodpeckers to the tree. On one day in September all three were there on the same day; a little joy in adversity.  The loss changes the shape of the site entirely and that requires a review of the plans. Going back to the drawing board on a project like this isn’t such a chore, though – I just hope it will be sunny on the deck.

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