Thursday, February 18, 2010

Natural Causes

(Photo Credit: Moose, 2/18/10)

And sometimes nature cleaves a poor little sapling right in twain, doesn't it, Ms. Dickinson?

It's a small thing, when you consider the scale of damages wrought by the Blizzard(s) of 2010 in the Washington area, but, still, there is mourning in Roxie's World for the sweet Japanese maple that was planted just a couple of years ago out by the pond in the ridiculously large backyard. The moms doted on that pretty, slow-growing tree and looked forward to watching it quietly assert itself in front of the crepe myrtles that anchor that part of the garden. It's hard to imagine that a young tree can survive such a deep wound, despite what Dickinson says, in the poem quoted above, about a plant's capacity to recover from the searings and scalpings of nature. "Her Green People recollect it," Dickinson writes, the "it" referring presumably to the assault upon the plant, "When they do not die -- ." Spring will come again and with it new growth. Even if an individual tree dies, its remains will eventually crumble into the ground, enrich the soil, and nurture the growth of other plants.

That is a thought worth keeping in mind, perhaps, as the long, slow process of melting gets underway and we wait impatiently in the cold to feel the warm, green ground beneath our feet again.

Peace out, my darling Green People. May all that is damaged in your world sprout into something beautiful.

Postscript for the Literal: Need some advice on how to care for plants damaged by the storm? Click here.


  1. June Star3:11 PM EST

    "Postscript for the Literal" would make a good poem title.

    I was out myself after the second storm, brooming off two dogwoods that were leaning dangerously with the weight of the snow. Both are upright again and looking hale. There are some bushes buried so deeply, though, that we have no idea what will happen to them in the spring. Your postscript may come in quite handy.

  2. We are here to serve the needs of our readers, June Star, be they horticultural or existential. ;-) The crepe myrtles seem fine. Moose is planning a trip out to the South 40 (aka Jurassic Park) to check on the status of the Leyland cypresses when the snow has melted down more. Our bushes are all still buried, too. No idea how they have fared, but, well, out of sight, out of mind.

  3. 5 trees around my building were lost from the storm. One is cracked in half and the other four are now kindling.

    Frost kills. Be warm to others.

  4. June Star1:07 PM EST

    Dear Moose and Goose,

    Advice from the Man Formerly Known as Mick:

    Wrap the trunk of the sapling where the split occurs and tie it. He thinks it should repair itself.



  5. That is most excellent news, June Star, but what does the Man Formerly Known as MICHAEL (for he shall ever be known as MIC around here) recommend for the wrapping and the tying? Masking tape and string -- or something a little butchier? We don't know nothing about saving no trees, you know, being Darwinists when it comes to gardening. We will need his expert assistance, I think.


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