Over the weekend, I tried to take a few photos that show what the damage left by “Snowtober” looks like around my cabin. I’m not really happy with any of the photos but these will have to do. The real problem, I suspect, is that when I look around I can see the tops of trees and large branches on the ground everywhere, but when I take a photo you can only see a small portion of my view.
And it’s not just around my own cabin that’s damaged. Literally everywhere I go, I can see pale wood exposed and branches down where trees are broken. I stood in one spot at the top of the mountain yesterday and soon counted 16 trees with visible breaks. It’s going to take a long time before the forest looks “normal” again.
Small birds and animals will likely appreciate the sudden appearance of more cover. The downside of that is that the predators are probably going to be less successful in their hunting for a while. They aren’t going to have clear views and they’re going to have a lot of cover to search through to find anything uncautious enough to allow them to approach close enough for a kill.
Eventually, the branches will rot and create more soil for the woods. Rotting takes a long time, though. Perhaps 15 years ago, I was forced to cut down a large oak tree that loomed ominously over the cabin. I’d avoided taking down that beautiful, 125-year old tree for a few years, but a winter blizzard where the oak leaned precipitously during the gale-force winds that accompanied the storm finally convinced me I had no choice. The stump from that oak is still standing, if no longer as dense as it was originally.
The smaller branches and treetops from this storm will likely rot faster than a huge stump, but it still won’t be fast. I’ll be looking at this damage for years.