I have always loved trees. As a child in the city, I would lie on my back in the park, looking up at the tree branches overhead. I would arrange my view so that I could not see any buildings and imagine that I was in the countryside. Our creek valley world is so different.

Everywhere I look, I see trees, towering sycamore, fast-growing locust, slender pawpaw, Osage orange with their curious green fruit, beautiful maple whose sap we boil down into syrup and the tall, graceful walnut, whose nuts we gather for fine dining.

When it came time to build our log home, across the driveway from our little cabin, we chose the perfect spot, nestled back into the hillside.

We planned the house so that the ground floor is surrounded by the hillside’s earth, keeping it wonderfully cool in the summer and easily warmed by the woodstove in the winter, and the house is in the perfect aesthetic location. From the front porch, we can sit back and enjoy a view of the creek valley below, no matter what the season.

We did take down a few of the hillside trees in order to build the house, but only a few. We considered our options and decided to leave four lovely walnut trees, each at least 75 feet tall, that stood gracefully on the up-creek side of our home. One of them actually leaned over toward the house in a beautiful arc. When I stood in the driveway, they looked amazingly tall, as they grew farther up the hillside.

We were so excited when we moved from our little cabin, carrying our toothbrushes across the driveway on an early September day. How thrilled we were to wake up in the loft, the sunlight pouring in through the dormer windows and warming the beautiful wooden beams over our heads.

After two years of building our home, our dream of log home living really had come true. Then October came. We happily fell asleep one night, but we did not sleep long. Outside a wind began to blow up the creek valley, and with the wind, a war began to rage right over our heads.

We were awakened by what sounded like bombs exploding on the metal roof. We both sat bolt upright in bed. Walnut hulls from those four trees were crashing down on our dreams. The nightly barrage lasted for about two weeks, sometimes worse than others, and even though I knew what was happening, I would still startle with the ricocheting bursts.

The onslaught thankfully came to an end, and a year passed, and I forgot about walnut war.

It was quite obviously no different the following fall. Again, we survived the assault, and again forgot all about it for another year, but this fall, as the walnuts began to crash down once again, we decided to take action. The four lovely trees were going to come down. This really was a battle in which we had strategic choices, and in which we knew could prevail.

One of the trees actually overhung the house, and all four trees stood right beside the ancient stone wall that runs up the hillside beside our home.

We did not want to drop a tree on the house or wall, so we decided to call a young tree cutting fellow from a neighboring county who came to help us with the actual felling. Once the trees were safely down, the work was all ours, and so, for the past several days, Greg and I have been cutting and stacking the beautiful, heavy walnut wood.

I certainly plan to save some for projects. I hope to turn some into bowls on Greg’s lathe and some I will plane into boards and then make small wooden boxes, and what we do not save, we will happily split and burn.

We ran the smaller branches through our chipper, and this sweet-smelling walnut mulch I will spread across the ground in my greenhouse, to inhibit weeds.

As I sit here writing, I can hear Greg’s chainsaw. I know it is time to join him and get to work, and I also know that at the end of this last day of cutting and stacking, that we will climb into bed, pull up the covers and sleep ever so soundly. No crashing walnut hulls will interrupt our dreams.

Yes, this was a battle in which we had choices, and yes, I do believe that we just might have won.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at straightcreekvalleyfarm.com.