Sunday, July 19, 2009

The beetle....

Sometimes, maybe the only real option left is to rake all the rubbish into piles and set fire to it....

For many years now, our family has owned some property in the Ashley National Forest. In the last five years, there has been a shortage of water in the area and at the same time, the forest was invaded by a beetle. Unless the trees have sufficient water, they cannot resist the beetle, and the end result is that they die.

The result for our little area, was that many, many old trees died, and the forest has been in a sort of ruins for a while. There are new little trees growing, but right now, it all just looks pretty bad.

When I drove in, loggers had gone all along the road and piled all the dead limbs into these neat little piles. Although they had done a really nice job, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of devastation as I looked at all the piles. I was listening to Secondhand Serenade's song: "Why" at the time, and honestly, I felt like pulling over right there and crying.

I spent a day and half wandering the hills and valleys that I walked as a little kid. In many ways, it was like going back in time. Because there has been so much rainfall this year, it is greener then I have seen it in a long time. Possibly the greenest that it has been since '83-'84 when I went up there the very first time. Flowers. Tall grass. It was nice. And it was sad. Sad because so many things have been lost. So many things have changed.

From the moment I pulled in, I wanted to take a photograph that captured what I felt when I looked at all those neat little piles. I took this the last evening that I was there, on my way out...

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