Ice and Wind: Mother Nature Speaks (Again)
It is ironic that exactly eight years later, I am composing
another blog about some of those same trees. The 2008 ice storm
brought down parts of pine and deciduous trees. John and I made
art out of 200 logs by priming and painting the tops, then arranging
them into colorful stacks and meandering rows. They are beautiful,
especially in autumn when plants die back and circles of blue,
peach, purple and red rest in our field until the snow buries
them. True, they are slowly rotting and will someday collapse
and disappear, but until they do, we love seeing them.
The morning of March 2nd was another story. High winds swirled
around us, twisting the brittle pine trees trunks. As
I sat at the computer, a loud crack sounded and the house shook.
The torque of the wind had snapped an 80-foot pine tree and
sent it through the garage roof. The formidable treetop thudded
onto our deck. If John had stepped out onto the deck 3 seconds
earlier, he would have been killed. We were very lucky that
Fast forward to our decision to take down 19 pine trees, several
of which were either diseased or dead and scheduled for future
removal. The toppled tree was one of the healthy ones. It was
not an easy decision to make. The planet needs more trees, not
fewer. We were unhappy to do it and are now planting new trees
and shrubs (no pines included).
The fresh stumps both admonished and beckoned me. At first,
I thought to respond again by painting each flat surface. However,
the beauty of each stump required something different to honor
the patterns created by their irregular growth rings. I filled
water bottles with brown stain, then red paint and moved from
one to another, squirting patterns on their patterns.
It was a sad ritual, even as a happy energy pulsed through
my veins because I was making art.