Monday, October 16, 2006
I am sure that many of the bloggers out there have heard about our freak storm by now. But I doubt many of the news reports are dwelling on its most lasting—and calamitous—effects. It’s one thing to be without power for a few days, which, honestly, is not a big deal, given the mild temps and the fact that gas stoves, candles, flashlights, generators, grills, and such make everyday life a bit of an adventure, but doable.
This is a garden blog, however, so I’m not here to talk of such matters. I will say that it’s going to take Buffalo and probably much of Erie County a very long time to recover from the damage to its tree canopy caused by this storm. In the sixties, Dutch elm disease denuded many streets in the area. This time, there’s been no discrimination. Older, more brittle trees have suffered, but so did the relatively young Asian elms along Bidwell and Lincoln Parkways, two of the city’s most beautiful streets, each distinguished by central medians and gracious setbacks, all lined with trees. Both were designed by Frederick Olmsted to provide pleasant avenues for carriages and equestrians.
This is what they looked like during the first drive I’ve been able to take.
Because of the medians, which seem to have been planted at the same time and with the same trees, the destruction is shockingly consistent.
Smaller residential streets throughout the area have also suffered, but it isn’t as noticeable. I’ve often heard photographers complain that our street is impossible to shoot during summer and early fall—they won’t have that complaint next year. Wouldn’t you know it though, the two Norway maples in front of my house—the same ones often vilified in this blog—are just fine, virtually unharmed. But I feel sorry for those who are cleaning up messes like this:
Having read some comments on my other posts, I would like to clarify a few things. I enjoy the weather here and would take a few snowstorms over hurricanes (south), tornadoes (midwest) or earthquakes (west)—any day. We usually don't see any serious snow until late December, when you want to see it, and I am sure what we have now will be melted in a couple days. I'm really only expressing my concern over the trees, which I do feel is a possible tragedy. We'll see once the debris is cleared away