On Friday, I posted a bit about trees, vines, and tree management. This is on my mind right now for a couple of reasons.
First, if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, New England would be just full of visitors right now who had come to see the fall foliage. While the were here, they would do some other New England things: maybe have a lobster roll, or buy some real maple syrup (or many other things made with maple syrup or sugar) to bring home, or maybe visit one of our farms or mazes.
We are lucky if local people are doing those things now. It’s just one of the ways the world has changed at the moment.
Abother reason trees are on my mind is that so many were damaged by our tropical storm in early August. Many people are still cleaning up tree damage from that storm. In my particular part of the state, as the worst of the storm went by, we had a tornado warning. Tornadoes did touch down elsewhere, but here they did not. However, trees were ripped off 20-30′ in the air and hurled some distance.
Do not underestimate the words “tropical storm.” A tropical storm can cause an amazing amount of damage, particularly if a large tree uproots on your house.
Finally, after all the chainsawing and woodchipping of the last 2 months, it is heartening to see several neighbors planting trees. One neighbor has planted 4 and another has 7 on his lawn waiting to be planted.
The neighbor with the 7 trees has already planted 2 new ones. And don’t think that this is a neighbor who escaped the tropical storm with no damage. He was one of the ones that had a tree on his roof! So it’s heartwarming to me to see that he is replacing lost trees.
A few of my neighbors have reacted to falling trees–or even falling tree limbs–over the years by cutting down every last tree on their properties. That is just the sort of thing that makes me crazy.
Life is full of risks. And so long as we do what we can to properly manage those we can control, it is pleasurable. Those same neighbors that cut down all the trees didn’t stop driving or flying. It would have been far easier for them just to prune their trees. But no one ever said everyone is logical!
Trees have taken on new meaning for some of us here, but for very different reasons. The Conference Center that I work at part of the week can not operate without groups, so seems to be abandoned. Most of us are unemployed. I continue to work because the forest continues to grow. The fire season will end for the year soon, but we are removing overgrown trees that are too close to buildings as fast as we can. The unused lodges were used by firefighters and then by volunteers who came to help those who lost their homes. The unused cabins are being rented to some of those who lost their homes.
We here in the East just watch in horror and sympathy–which can’t begin to really describe what many of us are feeling, I am sure. The devastation is horrific and of course the fact that it’s happened in the middle of this pandemic only makes it so much worse.
I saw a quote by a woman in Louisiana that has stuck with me. She said that the virus made her an orphan and the hurricane made her homeless. I imagine there is some of that going on out there as well. There are literally no words for losses so great.