The last tree in the old orchard is gone now, cut down and chopped into wood for the stove. It toppled a few years ago in an ice storm, and bore fruit for a couple of years. Still connected to the ground but lying prone, the tree has harbored countless birds, providing shelter for their nests and their young.
Now all that's left is the orchard on the other side of our old farmhouse, the one I've always called the Young Orchard. The trees were small when we moved in, and I could see over them from the windows in the kitchen, and through them to the huge dairy barn next door. Now they're tall and shade the grass underneath, and I hang bird feeders from their branches so I can photograph birds from the bathroom window.