Thursday, January 18, 2007

There is Unrest in the Forest

There is trouble with the Trees.

Watch out ye oaks and maples.

The firs can't handle the breeze.

Back in December, we were hit with a pretty big windstorm right after a period of heavy rain. Several trees went down right in our neighborhood and hundreds of thousands lost power up and down the coast. Especially hard hit was the Tualatin Hills Nature Park where I like to spend my lunch time burning a few calories. The pictures above are just a small sample of the blowdown that still has over half the trails closed there.

Unfortunately, most of my pictures of the root system of the Douglas Firs came out blurry. The pictures above barely show that these towering trees, which can reach heights of well over 200 feet (~60m), have a very shallow root system. Supersaturated soil coupled with 60 mph (100 kph) winds became a nemesis for lone fir trees in our area in December of 2006.

The saddest losses were some very old Western Red Cedars. The shavings from the chain saw smelled like Chief Lelooska's lodge (definitely an interesting childhood memory). Nonetheless, this is the nature of, well, Nature.

For those who recognized the poetic reference above, here is the video from Canadian rock group Rush

There were other beauties in the nature park on this day of melting snow. Here are some licorice ferns growing on the side of a tilting but alive oak tree.

A raccoon must live with snow. Here are some tracks.

Here is a frozen pond mirroring the leaden skies.

There is no rest for our state flower, the Oregon Grape. This evergreen perennial shows up starkly against the snow.

with one last nod to the Rush's lyrics.

...and the trees were all kept equal by hatchet, axe, and saw.


ladybug said...

Thanks for the pics-especiallys since I've walked several trails..

I always like seeing the Licorice Ferns, they're just fun.

It'll be interesting to see what it looks like come spring w/the birds & blooms and whatnot!

Seymour said...

It'll look alot the same, but different.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Ah...sweet memories...flowing very quickly by...REMINDING ME...and giving me a reason why...

Chief Lelooska's lodge. I still remember it well.

Loved the video! (I didn't know Alex used a Gibson ES-335 hollowbody on that song!)

Strong wind and forests seldom mix. I remember when a really bad typhoon hit in our area about ten years ago and knocked down a whole bunch of large, ancient gold trees at Kashima Shrine. It could make one cry.