Tracie L. Rodgers Children's Book Author and Lover of Wildlife

Beauty in Brokenness


On Wednesday, the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day 2020 (April 22.2020), we were expected to have 2 rounds of storms with high winds, hail and possible tornadoes. We only experienced high winds on the 1st round of storms. Although, with those high winds caused our old faithful Bradford Pear tree to split in half. Part of the tree was leaning on our house. If the house was not there this large limb would have fallen to the ground. We immediately called a Tree Arborist to help us brace the tree and help trim the limb that was splitting. We were also worried that with the 2nd round of storms could cause the tree more stress and the other half to split.

Our heart and intentions were to save the tree and make it last as long as possible. It is bird’s favorite tree and the home for our Sweet Sammie the Squirrel and her precious family. This tree is a very special tree to us and all our backyard wildlife friends.

We found a Tree Arborist to come out immediately and brace the tree with a rope of support until they was able to trim the broken limb on Friday, April 24th (National Arbor Day 2020). We were hoping that the 2nd storm to hit our area would pass us to give us more time to help our Bradford Pear tree. Fortunately, the 2nd storm didn’t arrive and we were so relieved. The Tree Arborist had said he would be back in about 10 days to brace and seal the tree. The 10 days allowed time for the tree limb that was removed to dry so that everything would set properly.

As days passed we started noticing one of the middle limbs on our Bradford Pear tree starting to really move with the wind passing through. We became concerned as it is one of the limbs that supports Sammie’s house. On Tuesday, April 28, 2020 we had another round of spring storms to hit our area. We made a proactive decision to move Sammie’s house to another tree so that she and her family were not caught in the house if the storm took down those limbs that supported her house. We go out that evening around 6:00PM and move Sammie’s house to another tree that is stable and secure. I am thinking the whole time that I hope that she finds her home and knows we love her and her family. The thunderstorm arrives around 11:00PM and I was outside in our driveway watching the beautiful lightning show from the west. All of the sudden, the Bradford Pear tree limbs broke and fell to the ground. It sounded like firecrackers going off right in our own backyard. I ran back inside the house to tell my husband that I thought the Bradford Pear tree is down and we both go outside to our backyard and sure enough the Bradford Pear’s tree limbs that supported Sammie’s house fell to the ground. We were utter shock that we saved Sammie’s house and possibly saved her entire family from getting caught in their tree during the storm. And also that we were losing our Bradford Pear tree. I was so relieved that I could lay my head down to sleep knowing that Sammie and her family were not in that tree because we had already moved her house and we knew that she didn’t have an active natural dreys in that tree as she has been building them in other trees.

The next day was truly remarkable. We had a full day to mourn and honor our beautiful Bradford Pear tree (on Wednesday, April 29, 2020) before the Tree Arborist was set to come out (on Thursday, April 30, 2020) to remove the remains of the tree and cut it down to the ground. It was so fascinating to watch the birds immediately land on the broken limbs. It appeared they were all flying in to show their love and support for their favorite tree. It was a beautiful day…full of honor for a lost comrade. It was truly amazing to see wildlife and nature up close and in action like this.

I sat outside all morning to be with our Bradford Pear tree, our Sweet Sammie and all our wildlife friends. I was relieved again that I was able to see that Sammie found her house we had moved. She also starting building another natural drey in nearby tree. She had a full day prepping both dreys, she took a moment to grieve the Bradford Pear tree that was once where she raised her family, she enjoyed a drink of water and a moment to be with us. It was truly amazing to that I got to spend these moments with Sammie. She is such a beautiful squirrel, an awesome mama and my special wildlife friend. I am so honored and blessed by her.

I have tons of pictures of priceless moments with our wildlife friends and this beautiful Bradford Pear tree in the last days here on earth. It is a huge loss for our backyard. We look forward to planting a new and different (and native) tree for our wildlife friends to enjoy once again.

That is KAPOW! Tracie



About the author


Tracie L. Rodgers lives in North Texas with her husband, Jeff. Her passion is writing children’s books and sharing her love of nature and wildlife with the world.

By Tracie
Tracie L. Rodgers Children's Book Author and Lover of Wildlife