Year of the Mighty Axe

My true home is my Idahome, and every year for Christmas we cut down a tree in our back yard. The Christmas of 2014 was special because I’d brought my then-girlfriend (now wife) Lorissa to my family’s Christmas celebration for the first time. But more important than that: my brother and I had a hatchet, and the desire to be manly men.

There’s no other proper way to cut down a tree than with an axe. Unfortunately, we’d been played for fools every Christmas until then, having been given weak saws, but not this year! This year we had the Mighty Axe, and no tree could stand in our way.

We trudged through dangerous woods in search of a perfectly imperfect tree to call our own, hoping, just hoping that we wouldn’t have to go searching for miles around. As we searched, we carefully avoided the crazy man with a rifle on the property above us. We dodged the rusty barbed wire lying in random places. We gave wide berth to the animal droppings scattered about. We were close to home, yet so far from it; we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves the whole time.

We roamed and roamed, investigating potential trees, rejecting all of them — until we found the one. It was a beautiful tree, full on most of its sides, with that deep pine green on all branches. Its imperfection gave it an air of realness, the kind of “real Christmas tree” realness you can’t find at the Christmas tree farm. Those trees are too perfect, too manicured to be real.

UnknownMy brother and I cleared the shrubbery around the base of the tree then got on all fours, taking turns giving blows to the trunk to separate it from its only home.

My brother and I are amateur lumberjacks, so the job took its due time, but we finished without incident. The tree fell, and it was ours. I felt immense satisfaction as I grabbed the trunk end, and my brother the top. We trekked back to the house, ready to place the tree in its new home.

Adam Burkhalter, Software Development Engineering in Test (SDET)

Who knew?

  1. I fell from a plane intentionally.
  2. I found a fossil of a leaf in a random riverbed.
  3. I seriously considered pursuing rocket science after high school.

I like to shoot: I enjoy taking closeup pictures of objects with interesting textures in order to bring often-overlooked detail to life. I use a Sony RX 100 for the majority of my photos, as it’s easy to use, but unlike a smartphone camera, which is also easy to use, the Sony gives me the ability to manually adjust the aperture.

My Mylio setup: Five devices managing 5,000 images.


Posted by
Adam Burkhalter
Adam Burkhalter is recently graduated from the University of Washington and is recently a married man. Adam desires to road trip across the US and make relationships that last a lifetime.

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