Lots of changes to the topography in our community are underway. The intersection of Odell and Muirkirk roads appears to be progressing nicely. Sadly, for many of us, our beautiful Bradford pear street trees are being removed. There are many good reasons to replace these trees. The pear trees do become prone to splitting as they get older and the county is planning to replace them. The replacements will be young trees, not the gracious ones with white spring blossoms that drew my eyes up to the heavens. In Sonnet 73, William Shakespeare refers to that time of year “when yellow leaves or none or few do hang” upon those boughs that shake against the cold, “bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.” I thought about these lines as I observed the ruins of the Bradford pear trees which have lined Bedford’s streets for over 40 years. Right now, many are just bare skeletons with their arms raised to the sky, as if in supplication. Along with the dreary, rainy and chilly weather this week, the bare trees, which had formed graceful arches along our way, make for a gloomy path through the neighborhood. The Sonnet’s theme is one of aging, but to paraphrase: “I love that well which I must leave e’re long.” We bid farewell to our Bradford pears and await the spring and the new beginnings.