Listen to the text and below the short piece is a slideshow showing the process of tree to boards.
The insects come now, or never leave. And all the sap in the world can’t save our old ones. In summer, hundreds of summers ago, we threw butterscotch- that warm pudding fragrance emanating from our bark into the woods, but now we don’t seem so wondrous or plump-full of butterscotch when we are standing dead. The line that kept us from falling has shifted to less water, less winter no quick-hot renewing fires, and too many crawlers, borers, chewers and all this sap cannot drown them out. We the tallest, the greatest circumference of this valley, we are taken, beetle-felled. Our butterscotch fades. Our green needles have thinned to brown. Our bark pulls away. Skin pockmarked round death craters have reached our core untangling us from this valley’s web and carbon releases, but slowly... We will fall, as a duck falls. Felled by the cutter of down. Not by the pellet but by the saw. And as we fall, she holds her breath. Watching the tipping, descending to three o’clock-- six o’clock-- Thud! --ground absorbs the long pole, branches trembling upon impact a thousand vibrating wings go still. She breathes again, when the fall is complete. The men move in and begin de-branching, and drag the log pole, readying it for the sawmill. We become Ponderosa pine boards. Shelves in the greenhouse-- shelves in the bathroom-- flooring in the outhouse-- frames for oil paintings-- benches-- stools-- wood for the farm table.