I have told you about Laurelhurst Park, the lovely old park in our neighborhood. It was created about 113 years ago when the neighborhood was developed from dairy farms and pastures. The park is land that was a gulch, or ravine, and too prone to flooding to build on, so they made it a park. Good call, city planners.
Since there were no trees here when the park was developed, all the trees were planted at the same time, so most of them are the same age: 113 years! These great trees give the park a sense of history and permanence, peace and mystery.
But yesterday we had a strong reminder that even in this permanence, there is change. Auntie Bridgett and I were walking in the park, enjoying the shade, the summer campers, the birdsong, and the happy dog joy that was everywhere. From across a clearing we heard a large CRASH, and within a few minutes, an ever larger CRASH! It was so loud in the peaceful park, we were all stunned. It sounded (and I know this sounds silly) like a giant monster had stumbled into the park and was ripping up trees.
I ran towards the sound, wanting to see what it was. A huge tree by the west end of Firwood Lake
had lost one smallish limb, then a giant limb. They had grown too heavy with new growth, and without the slightest provocation of wind or weather, crashed to the ground. It was sad, like seeing a peaceful giant, still in his prime, dead on the ground.
People came from all over the park to see and take pictures. One fellow knew who to call and soon some maintenance guys came on Cushman carts to put up Caution tape, in case more limbs fell.
We stood (at a safe distance, because Auntie Bridgett worries) feeling sad at the death of the beautiful branch, appreciating the life forces at work. Trees are living, changing beings, and to expect them to stand tall all the time is unrealistic. We all lose a limb every now and then. don’t we? I keep learning new things.