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Requiem for the eucalyptus

I bought the eucalyptuses when they were still tiny with only a few little leaves for 10 cents each

We had talked about it extensively: how much water eucalyptus suck up. While working for a real estate agent, in the preparatory phase of our emigration, I visited a casa-murada-com-quintal (I belonged to the rústico department) where the future former owner had planted an adjacent eucalyptus forest.


Once there was also a very deep hole in the ground, about which the future former told that it had been completely full with water in the past, but since he had planted eucalyptus on this piece of land, you could see the water level drop. Those trees drink that much.

We could almost see it drop when we stood there at that hole, talking. (A portuguese conversation can be quite lenghty.)

Later, when we were talking about dehydrating the fields (which at that time were still part of the Termas, but which we sold later, because what business do we have with fields, urban idiots as we were) the memory of those eucalyptuses came to mind.

It was now clear that the whole of Portugal is full of eucalyptuses, but it brings the country not much good

It dries out the entire country. Now we were exactly after that: dehydration.  Our country of origin is famous for it. We want to obtain the polder-model, as worthy descendants of Jan Leeghwater, but then with trees instead of windmills.

That is why I bought those seedlings and planted them along the ditch. I accidentally mowed a few while they were still small and were in danger of being choked by the reeds. Despite the unwanted thinning, they were still fairly close to each other.

They were not bothered about that at all.

These eucalyptuses have grown as high as the sky in about 17 years

I had a vague scene in the back of my mind that someday I would hear (while being in heaven) a great-grandchild saying, “Yes, my great-grandmother planted those!” – and then they would have become very beautiful and old and big.

Unfortunately, Fate had something else in mind with those eucalyptuses

Last fall we unexpectedly and unvoluntarily hosted Leslie. Leslie the hurricane. As a result, around 4 eucalyptuses were blown over and fell onto the roof. Fortunately, the damage was limited, but if we can expect more extreme weather due to climate change, it is not so smart to leave Very High Trees too close to your house.


They had done their best, probably in collaboration with son’s guardian angel, because they had fallen exactly on the concrete edge of the roof above his room. They had not been broken down or suddenly dropped; they had slowly fallen. Said the insurance agent.

The past week I felt like Idéfix

photo:  https://www.vivreasainghin.org/2018/10/11/deforestation/idefix-arbres/

Neighbor Josué had arranged someone who would cut them off and take them away. I had a tendency to howl next to the fallen ones – like Idéfix.

I just can’t get used to the view. The air is so bare. Only blue, without any buds and branches.

It was wise. But sometimes wise isn’t fun at all.