Work, mysterious death of a tree & balls of fur

July 27, 2017

Early this morning I was asked by a big landowner to look into the mysterious death of a palm tree. When I arrived at the crime scene, nothing had been touched. As the farm hands had all been told earlier not to go near the area. There was an air of expectancy when I arrived. I could tell from the body language of the estate manager he did not like the idea of someone from elsewhere coming in to do his job.

I walked gingerly towards the tree and first thing I registered was the strong smell of sulphur – this is indicative of advanced biological rot.

From the looks of it – the palm fell on the east to west axis that at first suggested it had been an unfortunate victim of a freak gust of wind….but on closer examination the basal stem of the palm seemed to have snapped off due to rot…the basal material looked discolored despite being perfectly healthy and even productive from its outward appearance….no prior indication that it was even disease before it fell.

I went on to ask of the estate manager how many such palms have fallen in such a manner. The man replied a couple. Another man with an anxious countenance pushed forward and said, ‘quite a few!’ When did it start. I ignored the estate manager. He’s obviously stone walling me and directed my question to this other man. Who even volunteered to show me the records.

It all started about a year ago just after the prolonged drought. After reviewing the maps of the other trees that suffered similar fates – it seems there is no clustering to suggest this is a disease that spreads by way of proximity….it is random. Neither does there appear to be any form of discernable pattern or symmetry as how this disease is if it so spreads either…mmmmh very interesting. We are obviously dealing with a serial killer who is quite determined to hide his modus operandi as to how he goes about bumping off his victims.

I have asked for a detailed post mortem to be done on the deceased tree – it will be chopped into various cross sections along its entire length and I will examine it further to find out what is really the cause of this unexpected death – from what I have been able to work out so far it seems everything and anything is possible….I would need more time to look into this further…what a delightful mystery.

On the work front. Everything seems to be progressing as planned. The dry weather makes it possible to push ahead with very little resistance. We have started work at the outer edges and will move in slowly…earth works for replanting is like solving a jig saw puzzle one has to always have the end in mind from the beginning. Otherwise the sequence of work will all get jumbled and everyone will end up clashing only for the work to lose momentum and grind to a halt. This is the challenge…it is like blitzkrieg (lighting war) everything must be staged, planned so that the logistics and pace of work all converge at one point like a laser beam.

I’ve told the men to work only on the outer edges and to move in very slowly…the picture shows only 5% of the completed area, new top soil at the edge have been dredged up and a bulldozer has created a new layer…the old soil that is depleted of nutrients is pushed to the extreme edge where they will be renutrified in two years time as the cellulose material slowly breaks down …if everything is done to this level of quality and finish….I would be very relieved and satisfied.

The pressure to perform is something that weighs on me constantly. The pressure is relentless. There are times when I want to talk to some one…anyone. But since I don’t nearly have the latitude of luxury to show weakness, uncertainty or even come across as fickle minded. I find myself talking to my puppies instead….they seem to be good listeners.

It’s a form of DIY release I guess…

Talking about the puppies….they all seem to be transitioning marvellously from milk to pellets. A couple of them such as Ebby and Tenzing have grown to be so fat and round. They seem to prefer to roll than to walk. I may need to put these two nom nom machines on a restrictive diet to prevent them from getting obese.

Tenzing is so fat and round these days…he can no longer climb trees. As for Ebby she is so circular that whenever she gets into fights with other puppies. She will even make herself into a ball and roll knocking them down like Bowling pins…this is not the correct way. I will have to put these two foodies on a diet to slim them down.

As for Shadow. He seems to be finally get the hang of how to eat communally. He has figured out that if he puts all four legs into the feeding zone – then no one can possibly squeeze him out.

When it comes to pups who seem to be late bloomers like Shadow it is important not to interfere too much….and just allow them to find their line in life naturally. This is especially hard for me to do – as the natural instinct of the mentor is to always step in when things get a bit rough….but learning to let go is also an art by itself….as one has to trust the idea, everything will eventually work out for the best.

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