Fickle Friend


February 25, 2016

Don’t be fooled by today’s blue sky and blooming camellias, Mother Nature is a fickle friend and you would do well not to lose sight of the fact.   Otherwise, you might be surprised when 3.5 inches of rain and wind gusts of 35 to 40 mph bring this…


Result of February 23-24, 2016, rain and wind storm.


First tree to fall…


Brings down this second tree…


Which nearly disappears into the soft riverbank…


And reaches across the waterway.


Many others, including this giant with twisted and hanging limb, were mauled by their falling friends.

The Man: Why do you grow so tall, way up there in the sky?

The Tree: I love the heights that are clean and free, where the lonely eagles fly, where the crane and the hawk can nest with me, and my friends, the geese, go by.

The Man: What do you use for food, tree to make you grow and grow?

The Tree: I live on a diet of Nature’s best from my roots deep down below; I never go hungry, I rest and rest and wait for the rain and the snow.

The Man: How do you grow so strong, Tree, sturdy and straight and true?

The Tree: I live in the light of the sunshine and yarn for the sky’s deep blue; the clean, sweet air is always mine, and the cold winds help me too.

The Man: How do you live so long, Tree, so much longer than man?

The Tree: I’ve geared my days with the Creator’s ways since ever the world began. There is no death when life keeps faith with nature’s wonderful plan.–

Vincent Godfrey Burns, Poet Laureate of Maryland, 1965

27 thoughts on “Fickle Friend

  1. Gloria Ballard

    Ouch! I guess it’s a good thing the trees were down by the river, not up by the house. Crazy weather. It’s supposed to be sunny here in Middle Tennessee today, but we’ve just had a little storm of ice pellets — little balls the size of rock salt — falling from the sky.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Frogend–I’m hoping we can have the trees cut into sections and rolled down to the lower terrace. There is no way for us to move it up the steep bank unless we get a crane.

  2. Cathy

    It’s sad to see such large trees fall… good to see it fell away from the house though. I love that poem Marian! I shall definitely have to bookmark that. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Cathy–Yes, we know we are lucky it wasn’t any worse. I was in my office on the top level of the house when I heard wood splintering. I grabbed the dog and ran for the stairs because I knew a tree was coming down, but I didn’t know where it was headed!

  3. Tina

    So sorry you lost trees–that’s almost always a negative. You’re right about the weather though, it can be a friend, or not. I like that last photo–those limbs against the blue sky is striking.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Tina–It’s always good to see blue sky after a storm. And I love the silhouette of bare trees in winter. Some people prefer shade, but it makes me feel closed in and by the end of summer I can’t wait for the leaves to fall.

  4. Pauline

    So glad you and your house are safe, it’s never good when trees come down, especially when they are wonderful old giants.The poem is beautiful, I love it.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Pauline–I love this poem too. I remembered the last stanza but had to dig around to find it again because I couldn’t recall who wrote it. I’m so glad I did. It’s a great comfort, in more ways than one.

  5. Christina

    Wind is so destructive, it is often windy where we live, I hate it! But will you now have some lighter areas for planting some understory shrubs or smaller trees?

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Christina–I hope so. The biggest problem is clearing the trees from the woodland or finding a way to work around them. We can’t move or harvest large parts of the trees unless we bring in a crane.

  6. Chloris

    We have had so much wind this winter, our planet is experiencing some turbulent times now we have global warming to contend with. It is so sad to lose big established trees

  7. Pat Webster

    It breaks my heart to see those majestic trees falling and fallen. Yes, it will bring more sun into the woodland which is a plus, and you were lucky that the house wasn’t damaged or anyone hurt, but all the same… The wind on Kiawah was fierce the other day so I’m guessing the trees fell on Wednesday? Good luck with cleaning them up. Can you use the trunks in smaller chunks as retaining walls or seats?

  8. Julie

    Its incredible how such tall trees have shallow roots. I really enjoyed the poem Marian, when they fall its part of the circle of nature, the poet was an observant man.

  9. Marian St.Clair Post author

    Eliza–I was in my office on the top floor. When I heard the first big crack, I grabbed the dog and ran for the stairs. The whole house shook when those two big trees hit the ground.


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