Upper Peninsula, Michigan. The aftermath of the October storm, 2010.
Time for a body count, to locate the victims of this wild and fierce storm. Time to see the effects of the high winds which swirled around a massive barometric pressure drop. Time to see who lived and who died. Time to mourn our losses.
Disclaimer. Warning: these photos may be graphic. They may make you cry. They are not pretty. Proceed with caution.
Much of our country roiled with a wild storm energy the last couple of days. The barometric pressure dropped to an almost-record low. Those of us surrounding the low pressure experienced wild winds, rain, snow, tornadoes.
Many of the folks in the Upper Peninsula lost power as trees crashed on the electric lines. Weather forecasters predicted waves on Lake Superior to swell from 10-20 feet.
It was a wild and unpredictable storm.
I don’t know if any humans lost their lives during this frenzied storm. I hope not.
We do know that many of our tree brethren succumbed to the fierce blowing winds which spiked between 30-70 miles per hour.
Let us remember the trees today. Those who fell to the ground. Those who snapped and splintered and hung precariously in fellow-trees. Those who tumbled over with roots intact. Those who crashed from sky to earth. Let us remember them today.
Dear Trees, so often we take you for granted. We forget what you do for us, how you help the planet. You help prevent erosion, holding our soil carefully in your extensive roots.
You help produce oxygen, the very air we breathe. You reduce carbon dioxide in the environment. You moderate ground temperatures.
Let’s not forget another important thing you do: you shine with beauty. Your leaves flutter in the wind. You glow with color and originality. You teach us about the cycle of life. You show us, again and again, that summer follows spring. You teach us about releasing the leaves of our challenges. You teach us about standing strong through the icy winter.
Forget us. The most valuable thing is that you exist. You are an integral part of the community of our earth.
I thank you especially because you have given your life for our family so many times. We burn your wood in our wood stove during the long cold winters. We cut you, split you, stack you, ignite you. I murmur thanksgiving and prayers over your body so often.
Thank you, thank you, sacred trees.
I am sorry when you die. Like the Native Americans, I remember to honor you and to utilize your branches and limbs and trunk with sacred respect.
The winds are quieter now. The survivors blow gently in the slight breeze. The Gale of October, 2010, has mostly ended.
We honor your passing, dear trees. We will not forget you.
**In special memory of the 20-40 trees lost on our 23-acre parcel.**