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AUGUST 2, 2010

Last week, beginning July 26th, through Friday, July 30th, the 4-acre field next to our home here in Rhinebeck, was assaulted by huge chopping, digging and ripping machinery carried about the terrain on gigantic treaded tires. Muscular determined men wielding chain saws wove in and out among the machines, seeking out the trees marked with bright red spray painted Xs. We've known for years that one day these machines would arrive, but the economy and other factors has kept the builders at bay for more than a quarter of a century. Now the  time has come and the overgrown property that has been a home for songsbirds, wild turkeys, rabbits, deer, pileated woodpeckers, groundhogs and probably millions of insects and other small creatures.

Huge trees are coming down, too, A few remain along our property line, but even most of those sat on the builder's side of the property line and are gone. A lucky few remain in the field, scattered here and there. Ironically, we live on Locust Grove Road, but most locust trees are now gone, many of them very old. The property has been devastated.

We are heartbroken, but we realize that our property was, long ago, heavily forested, so we can't really get too high on our horses about this. However, we do feel compassion for all the creatures who have survived the onslaught and must now find new habitat. Last night, I saw two adult deer and three spotted fawns enter the field. They nervously wandered past jagged stumps and sawdust looking for food.

At some point during each day last week, I shot footage of the men and machinery. I edited it down into a short movie--a small homage to a small parcel in a small New York village that has been changed forever.

For the high resolution version, go to my Mac MobileMe gallery:

Or visit the YouTube version here: