Welcome to the Gnat Belt: "I had made my peace with the death of the elms. There are four century-old elms outside Jasperwood, and they're all going down. Dutch-elm disease. G@$#%mnd beetles. It's sad, I said to Gnat. We were watching a man in a cherrypicker chainsaw his way through a limb that sprouted during FDR's presidency. Too bad for the trees. Too bad, she said. But on the good side, now we'll get lots more blue sky. Yeah! I love sky. I pointed the videocam at her and asked: Do you think you'll remember these trees? No, she said. I don't think I will."I'm no tree-hugger. But when we lost two grand old trees in the old neighborhood - a magnificent nine-trunked elm, and a massive ancient oak - I nearly wept. Just because. Ah, James, yer a good daddy, ye are.