Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Power of Roots

When they cut down the big-leaf maple trees outside my bedroom window, I thought I would be without anything but crumbling basalt to look at until next spring at the earliest. Not so! Dozens of maple leaves are festooning the hillside around where the old trees were chopped down. They lack the grandeur of the plate-sized, deep-green leaves of the prior generation, but they show no hesitancy in bursting forth and multiplying.

I am, of course, delighted to see them, but it makes me wonder about the efficacy of the clear cut. The roots are clearly still flourishing, finding minuscule weaknesses in the hillside to push new tendrils into, continuing their gradual disassembly of the rocky cliff-face. True, they lack the weight of the branches and leaves that responded to the pull of gravity before. But the roots continue to assert themselves.

Oh heck, I'm just going to enjoy the new sprouts. According to the  recent  New Yorker article, we're due for a 9.2 earthquake and tsunami any day now, at which point a few big-leaf maples more or less will be the least of my worries.