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March 21, 2011

Down and out

The weather this weekend was pretty intense, with whipping winds and rain falling ferociously at times. Ironically, Sunday was the official first day of Spring! In twisted celebration, flights were canceled, freeways were closed, mud flowed threateningly and homeowners were evacuated … and, a tree fell in downtown LA. I’ve passed under this tree on my way to work innumerable times and never felt anything about its existence. That’s why I was surprised by how bad I felt seeing it down and out and lying in the street. Somehow it had gone from being just another tree to seeming like a fallen friend …

So sad

Approaching the tree from the sidewalk I could see how the trunk had snapped raggedly, exposing a surprisingly vivid core that was still sticking up out of the ground. Looking at the trunk closely, it’s easy to see how the tree outgrew its metal grate surround, and was constricted and choked by it; I can’t help but think this contributed to its eventual toppling.

Not right

My contemplation of the tree’s sad end was interrupted by a cafeteria burger flipper and his janitor bud. Both probably on-break, they decided to use the tree as a photo backdrop, climbing into its branches. This really irritated me; why couldn’t they allow the poor tree its dignity before some city crew arrived to dismember and haul it away to the dump.

Final indignity

Just then, my irritation skyrocketed when this duster-coated Dumbledore showed up. He thought it would be rilly, rilly cool to have his shrill-voiced companion take a picture of him karate-chopping the tree down. Maybe it was the capelet shoulders of his coat, or, perhaps it was the fruit basket tote, in any case I thought it would be best to walk away before I said something like, well, what I’m saying here.

I confess: I’ve had trees cut down in the past, and seen many of them fall in movies and on TV, but this tree was suddenly special and no one else seemed to see that. Goodbye, tree, the corner of Temple and Spring won’t be the same without you.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2011 5:12 pm

    Savage winds here too. I’ve been rebar staking and pruning off damage this morning. A nice tribute to your tree (love your “duster-coated Dumbledore” line. Blogs — the ultimate revenge against photo-op foolishness!)

    • reubix1 permalink*
      March 21, 2011 5:18 pm

      I love the wind so much… but my big fear is that my beloved ‘Pride of Madeira’ will fall victim to gusts and be toppled before the garden tour… right now it’s just beginning to show blooms and it’s promising to be spectacular! As for wreaking blogger revenge; it’s not easy holding back sometimes!

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