Monday, June 06, 2011


My blogging has been a bit quieter than usual this week. Perhaps after weeks of rain, storms and tornados I’m just not used to silence around the mountain again. I keep expecting something big and flashy to happen and it hasn’t.

I’m glad nothing major has happened this week, but I find I’ve lost my habit of looking for smaller things. It’s hard to write about smaller things when a tornado comes through. And yet after the tornado and all the rest are gone, those smaller things are suddenly harder to focus on again. My eye skips over the tiny flowers, searching the sky for the next storm. I need to get back in the habit of observing the everyday again.

And then this damaged American beech tree caught my eye. The tree wasn’t damaged by the tornado. I don’t know what happened to it. At the moment it is still alive but its long-term survival is in doubt. I was simply attracted by the textures on the tree, and then I looked closer. Even where the bark isn’t completely split, I can see the beginning cracks of another split. Even the interior wood is cracked.

To my eye, the damage to this tree does not appear to be recent, though I can’t tell how old it might be—last year, before the winter, if I had to guess. How much longer can a tree with this much damage survive? It could, perhaps, last another few years, but with this much interior wood exposed, I don’t think this is a tree that will last over the long term. Even without a tornado or another storm, not all trees in a forest survive to great size. Not all dramas are big ones.

No comments: