A Spooky Tree Story

Early this year one of our tall, long-leaf pines started dying from the top down. It’s now totally dead and dropping branches. Hopefully the home owner will send someone to cut it down, but that’s another story. This story is spooky.
Every night, after dark, I put my dog outside and I hang out with her. The yard is not fenced in and we have wild animals in the neighborhood, so even chained up, I don’t want to leave her alone. Each night I hear, coming from the dead tree area, a very steady “crunch…crunch.” There is never anything there. I walk near the tree (which isn’t too close since it’s outside the flood light’s reach. There is nothing there.
Recently, during the day, I can hear the same “crunch…crunch” coming from the tree. I thought maybe it’s something beyond the tree in the bushes because it seems to stop when I approach. Ooooo…spooky!
Today, after noticing more fallen branches from above and calling the rental office, I walked slowly in the direction of the tree because I could hear very loudly “crunch…crunch.”
My eyes noticed small orange bulging holes circling the tree’s trunk at varying heights. Hard to describe, believe me, it looked spooky! (and gross, too)
Although I’ve never seen the creatures I’m guessing they’re Southern Pine Beetles. “Crunch…crunch.” The sound is really spooky.
Hope the tree people come soon and take them all away.

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