RIP Sam and Dave

Posted on: 13th November, 2017

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

It’s been over a week and I still can’t bear to go outside. I had a quick tour the day after Ophelia hit, but I think that I was in such shock that I couldn’t let the destruction sink in all at once. I get glimpses out the window, or when I round the bend in the road and see the twisted stumps where Sam and Dave, our majestic Scots pines should be. Each time it just takes my breath away.

The property looks as if an alien spaceship hit us with three laser blasts; two to the left of the house along the drive, and one to the right. Along these three alleys of annihilation trees lie uprooted, exploded and snapped like matchsticks. My daughter noted that it reminded her of the Battle of Bastogne in Saving Private Ryan. In some places the pile of debris is over three metres high. They were mostly tall pines: Norwegian spruce, noble firs, Lalandii, a few ash and, of course Sam and Dave. Strangely, many apples stayed on the trees though the orchard is littered with windfalls. The vegetable patch is bent backwards and blackened, as if an evil breath had blown over it. The fruit cage we put up this year is squashed under a large pine. The front vegetable patch is buried under trunks and branches. The house itself was spared apart from a small leak in the roof. No cars were damaged though three were parked in the yard, which now sports a ten foot hole where a tree was uprooted. In fact though we lost dozens of trees, not one branch came down on any roads or buildings. I should be grateful.

I still haven’t been down the field to see Sam and Dave up close. Sam was snapped cleanly and went first. Dave looks like the crown ripped off, twisting the trunk upside down like a gnarled cane. Judging by their size they were both at least one hundred and fifty years old. They have been the view, the landmark, the living symbol of the House. They were a part of the family. Some times at sunset the light bathed Sam and Dave with burnished gold and dark shadows that turned the view into a magically bucolic landscape. We would often stop what we were doing and go to the porch to enjoy the transformation. It only ever lasted for a few minutes, but it always filled me with delight. Other times, when the sky was streaked with purple and red, Sam and Dave’s arching crowns made it look like we lived above the African savannah . Their giant silhouettes dominated the night sky. Some nights a nail pairing moon and bright Venus were caught between the two trees. At those times the view looked Japanese. One could easily imagine the outline of Mount Fuji on the horizon. . I can’t remember when we started calling them Sam and Dave, but I remember why. Sometimes, when the moon was full and the wind up, the moonlight would spotlight the trees as they did their synchronised dance, and I could easily imagine them singing “Hang on…I’m coming”  or “I’m a Soul Man”.

It will be hard to come to terms that they are gone. Today, I took the first steps and talked to a tree surgeon about clearing the wreckage Ophelia left behind. We’ll start with the dangerous trees that are leaning along the drive. Then we’ll move on to the battle zone out the back. We didn’t talk about clearing the Scots pines. I’m getting there, but I’m not ready yet.

Latest News Articles:

Christmas on the beat
Clonakilty town aims to get snowed under with the return of the Clonakilty Christmas Express
On call for Christmas
Have your say in shaping the future of Clonakilty
Dursey Island project passes first phase in Failte Ireland’s Grant Scheme
Minister Ring visits superb rural initiatives in West Cork
West Cork farms celebrated at Milk Awards
Issue of childcare a major concern for 72 per cent of female entrepreneurs
Rain, slurry deadlines and housing
Celtic Ross Hotel awarded AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence

Join us on Facebook

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
... See MoreSee Less

15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

TRADING THROUGH BREXIT - BREXIT BRIEFING SERIES LAUNCHED
Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Simon Coveney T.D. is hosting a number of Brexit Breakfast Briefings in Cork in the coming weeks. The first in the series takes place on Monday, 4 December at the Carrigaline Court Hotel at 7:30am until 9am. Business owners, retailers and those involved in tourism in the region are invited to attend the free briefing, which will see Minister Coveney providing an update on Brexit negotiations, his insights and also practical ways to begin preparing for Brexit.

The Brexit Breakfast information events are free of charge and all are welcome to attend, however registration is required by emailing simon.coveney@oir.ie or call 021 4374200
... See MoreSee Less

27th November, 2017  ·  

Keep an eye out for Croíúil Trad group
from Rosscarbery and the Munster Champions U-12 Ceili Band from Bandon, both performing on next weekend's The Late Late Toy Show, airing on Friday, December 1 on RTÉ One at 9.35pm.
... See MoreSee Less

27th November, 2017  ·  

Meet Santa and his elves, penguins and polar bears at Leapland, which returns to Leap Village on December 2. A magical experience for little ones who can visit from Mon-Fri 5pm-8pm and Sat-Sun 12pm-8pm. Call 087 7427016 for enquiries. ... See MoreSee Less

21st November, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top