Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Memorial to the Trees

We are still without power. Fourth day. Mommy Nature came through our neighborhood and lifted ancient trees throwing root balls and sections of sidewalk up onto lawns and across streets. She threw other trees over power lines and into houses.
Crowds of neighbors stand in clumps, talking. They wear shorts and t-shirts. If they were all in black it would be like witnessing a crowded funeral home during visitation hours. The bodies of beloved trees laid out across their lawns. There is sorrow.
We walked the block taking pictures so I could show you, memorializing the trees. We pass people walking. Their faces grim, hurting. “Hi, how are you?” “Sad.” There is sorrow.
In “The Wild Trees” Richard Preston writes about a named redwood, Telperion, that fell in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It's root mass was about 30 feet in the air. It's trunk 16 feet in diameter. It was longer than a football field. People brought it flowers and laid them beside it’s prostrate trunk. 
I think it was a thousand year old tree. Think what it had lived through. Some of the trees that came down in our neighborhood could have been a hundred years old. Acorns in 1911.

Big old trees clean the air. They keep us alive. We should honor them.

The tree is cut up but the roof is smashed

This neighbor lost 15 trees

This pine is draped across two yards.

Today there were 5 new telephone poles at the side of Ridge Road,
that tells me that we will be without power still longer.  

When we take our morning walks down these shady streets, now the sun will break through and scorch the sidewalks and blister the hostas and other shade loving plants in the gardens.
Kim (my pal since we were seven) told me that she wasn’t home when the storm hit, but her neighbor said that the temperature dropped 20 degrees and the sky turned pea green. Then the hail crashed against the windows. Note: This is third hand information.
Just last week my daughter, Sue and I were saying how lucky we were to live here In Southeast Michigan. We have never had a hurricane wash across the land. Earthquakes? There have been tremors only twice in my memory. We have never had 120 degree weather, although, it got pretty damn hot in July as evidenced by a past post. And tornadoes are actually pretty rare here.
Last year other old trees were toppled in the same area that received the most damage this weekend. Lynn, my immunologist’s nurse, lives a couple blocks away. Her son’s car was flattened by a falling tree in last years storm. Once again her block has been drastically pruned.

But what about places with much more damage than we have? What about the flooded towns and washed out roads in Vermont and all along the Eastern coast?
House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, said in the wake of Hurricane Irene, that any aid should require equal cuts in spending. You know he’s aiming his gun at Social Security and Medicare. In other words the bribe is “We’ll create disasters for old people, before we’ll help with disaster relief from Irene”. He has since recanted his taped interview, and says he never said what he actually said on tape.
What ever happened to “Compassionate Conservatives”? I guess that was just a slogan they don’t use anymore.

Since posting, I've learned that insurance DOES NOT cover fallen trees. It only covers the car or house that gets whacked. The city as applied for disaster relief.


  1. So sorry you're not eating ice cream on the porch. I'm surprised we didn't get it just a few feet north of you and plenty of old growth trees. Of course during an ice storm a few years back I did enjoy a 430A involuntary skylight in my bedroom. Branch missed my head by about 5 feet. Morning! I love my trees. Even when I don't.

  2. Much of my life has been a long love affair with trees. Growing up on a lake in Connecticut, they hovered near our home and protected us from the sun in the long summers. In Maryland, my home had been built in 1895 and the oaks and walnut trees planted themselves at the same time. Moving to Royal Oak just before 9/11, I've planted 3 maples, 2 Baltimore Pears and several abrovitaes.

    I too mourn the deaths of all these wonderful old trees. All life must be celebrated-----ours and trees!!


  3. Kim, I'm so glad that branch missed your head. You need it!

  4. Ann, Yes, keep celebrating life and trees.


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