Thursday, January 18, 2007

the aftermath

The first thought that came into my mind was, "It doesn't look quite as bad as I expected." Really. They left a few trees standing, they followed property lines, and this is the extent of how my view has been altered. You can't even see it from the new house.

But saying "It really doesn't look that bad" is like attending the wake of a friend that's been brutally murdered, staring at the body in the casket, and saying "My, the undertaker did such a lovely job!"

It used to all look like the extreme left side of the photo. The foreground is the shrub swamp, a haven for sedge wrens and song sparrows and bitterns in the summer. The aspen woods in the background are what was cut. It would have looked a lot worse if we had been foolish enough to grant an easement for the logger to build a road across the swamp.

Ah well, this is but a tiny paper cut (unintentional pun) compared to the cancer of destruction we humans have brought upon the planet. But paper cuts hurt, too.

A while after I wrote the first draft of this post, I went outside and heard the hooting of a barred owl, coming from somewhere in my woods. Which reminds me, The Hermit told me last night he had a dream, kind of like Hitchcock's "The Birds", except The Birds were great gray owls getting revenge on the loggers. After the carnage, he said, the owls roosted in our trees by the hundreds. I guess our little woods is a refuge. I like it that way.


pablo said...

You're right about the paper cut. Even such small things need to be considered. When my neighbor accidentally clear cut two acres of my forest (oops) it looked horrible for about a year. Then the scrub began to fill in, and now, after a half dozen years, there are trees there that are taller than I am. I can do a little selective cutting now since those trees are manageable size, and get a start on remaking the forest as I wish. Of course, I suppose you can't since the cut was not on your property, but at least you can know that the natural order of things will fill in the space soon.

Carolyn H said...

The real problem with this cutting is that we all know it won't end here. It may take 5 years or 10 years, but sooner or later the thick part of the woods will go too.

Soon, most people won't remember that these woods were once thick and will get used to the thin version. Or the kids will never know any other version, so when the next cutting happens they won't understand the impact of it.

Year by year, generation by generation, this is how we lose our forests.

Carolyn H.

Coyote said...

It doesn't look too bad. No doubt not as good as it did. You will probably have lots of blackberries there to pick in a few years.

MojoMan said...

Whenever I see or read about a logging job, I hope like heck that a trained, skilled, ethical forester planned and supervised the project and that short-term profit was not the only objective.