Thursday, August 21, 2008

Falling Trees

As I walked the nature trails here on my daily adventure, I noticed something a little alarming. The further I walked, the more I saw fallen trees across the trails. The people in charge of the park cleared most them away, but there were still some that had probably fallen since they'd been there. I've been walking on these trails for a few years, but I'm not exactly knowledgeable about this kind of thing. Maybe there was some kind of wind storm here. Maybe there is some kind of disease getting to the trees. Maybe a parasite or a larger animal is killing or hurting the trees. Or maybe these trees are just getting old.

I don't know which of these reasons it could be if any. There could be more than one reason. Maybe this is something that just happens every year. It didn't look like the same thing everywhere. Some trees were broken at the base. Some were completely uprooted. And some were broken anywhere from a foot or more from the ground. I would see in most places the fallen trees were cut up and moved off the trails, but sometimes I had to step over one laying across the path.

There were a few more trees that hadn't fallen yet, but were clearly ready to go. There was this one huge tree, that I walked past quickly, that was leaning and waiting for the stress of it's weight to take it down. I also saw few that were being propped up by other trees. I've never seen a tree actually fall, but I'd bet it's a sight to behold. I'm not sure how quickly it happens, or how much warning a person might have. I do know that I'll keep my eyes and ears open for things like this when I'm out on the nature trails. I don't think it's a big danger, but it is something to be mindful of from now on.

If a tree falls on you in the forest, do you make a sound?

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