The Persistence of Life Against All Odds
In 2013 I celebrated the survival of one particular tree in the drainage above Sitting Bull Falls after a devastating fire.
Then I mourned the loss of that same tree to a subsequent flood.
I wrote a "Requiem to a Fallen Tree" to share my loss with the local community. It was published in a local magazine, "Focus on Carlsbad," [pages 18-19] with a photo from before the fire, a photo of the fire damage and my special tree's survival, and then a photo of its demise as a result of a flood. The article ends on a positive note: what destroyed below fed a plethora of vegetation above.
Now comes late February 2014 and I felt the need to check and see if perchance some portion of my tree was surviving. Alas, the answer is a definite no: uprooting a tree kills the tree, and that is what the debris-flow did to my dancing tree. This is the view from its dance-partner, whose evergreen leaves show it is surviving just fine:
Alas, my favorite dancing tree is dead, grabbed by debris in a high flood and pushed over, pulling her roots out of the ground in the process:
But this is a drama being enacted in Mother Nature's theater, and Mother Nature usually has a surprise up her sleeve.
This time the surprise is the rebirth of Texas Madrone trees seemingly killed in the fire. It appears that their roots were protected from being uprooted by the flood because they stood right behind and downstream of this fallen tree!
Maybe this one tree, my favorite, was sacrificed to allow at least three others to come back to life, as you can see in this set of photos of new growth on old roots directly behind and beside our slain tree:
The new tree to the left of the dead tree is very close to the surviving dancing tree, the dancing-partner of the slain tree (in my imagination):
Will it grow up to be its new dance-partner? Time will tell.
The combination of sun and water will bring life back to this still impressively beautiful place.
We will come back here to check on the progress these new trees are making. It may be several human lifetimes before this scene once again resembles the pre-fire and pre-flood scene, as in this next photo from a 2010 visit, but it will happen. Eventually.
"Cheer up, hold out, with thee it shall go well" dear trees!
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