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Monday, June 25, 2012

An Appeal to the Citizens of Thirsk

Enjoying picturesque Thirsk

One of the highlights of this year's vacation in England was the time we spent in Thirsk.  Originally, I recorded “All Creatures Great and Small” on the VCR for my wife, but then I fell in love with the TV show.  Eventually, this drew me to read the James Herriot books.  His love of the land and its people, which came through so clearly in his writing, in turn drew us to this village in Yorkshire.  Our stay helped us understand why millions visit Thirsk each year.  Sadly, our time there passed much too quickly.

One evening, we decided to watch a movie at Ritz Cinema.  When we arrived in town, I wondered at my wife’s insistence that we get there so early.  After all, the movie would not begin for nearly three hours.  But in this, as in so many other things, her decision proved the wisest course.  For not only did arriving early ensure that we left the hotel before we grew too tired (and too comfortable), but it allowed us to spend more time exploring the town.

Even trees so harshly pruned
burst forth with new life
in lovely Thirsk.

Unlike our first visit, in which we ate our picnic lunch and watched the beating pulse of local life, we had the park mostly to ourselves as we ate our simple dinner.  We enjoyed the comparative quiet, and the cool, evening breeze.  Leaves rustled in the wind, branches swayed or brushed against each other, and ducks settled down for the night.  As the sun’s rays ebbed, the flowers blazed with renewed vitality.

Ducks nestle against roughly pruned trees,
beside the Cod Beck River,
and even beneath this sign
in lovely Thirsk.

As we enjoyed our evening meal, we felt more in tune with this Yorkshire village.  Yet one thing grated on my consciousness like an itch that refused to be soothed.  It had escaped my notice earlier, but now I saw how roughly some of the trees had been pruned.  I’m not a certified arborist, so I can't argue that clothes-pegging is harmful to trees.  I certainly understand that techniques like Crown Raising, Crown Thinning, and Crown Reduction involve significantly more labor.  Yet Thirsk is such a pretty town, set in such a beautiful part of England.  Amid such splendor, it seems a pity that anything should detract from the town’s otherwise picturesque appeal.

If I could make one request to the good people of Thirsk, it would be this: Please reconsider how you prune your trees.

Admiring the natural beauty of Thirsk,
Dragon Dave

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