Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Humbled by the Forces of Nature



I have featured this very pretty and peaceful park, called Marine Park, on my blog in the past. It is located in the Marine Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.  I often walk there, and have always enjoyed the views of the beautiful trees through all the seasons.

 Last weekend, while I was away in Colorado, a terrible Nor'easter storm hit the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and came with tremendous downpours of rain and winds as high as 60 to 70 miles an hour.

The storm's devastation to the park was especially hard. Half a century and older trees came tumbling down in Marine Park as if they were thin and light as matchsticks.

One by one, they fell.


Some toppled like dominoes one upon the other.

Luckily this happened during the night and no one was in the park to be injured or killed, although many cars that were parked along side the park were destroyed.


The people who live in the home across the street reported on TV that the sound of all the falling trees was deafening.



It was a reminder that no natter who we are, or what we are, life is fleeting, and we should never take a day for granted. 


The park department has been busy cutting the trees into movable pieces and then wood chipping them to recycle them.  As I approached this pile of wood chips I saw steam rising up from it as if the spirits of the trees was dissipating into the air. It was very sad and humbling to see what once was a thing of beauty reduced to a pile of wood chips.


"Give me a land of boughs in leaf,
A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen there is grief;
I love no leafless land."

- A.E. Housman


But, as with all things in nature, there is rebirth!.  Many trees still remain to share their glory and the early morning geese and seagulls still find refuge in the park's grass. They were a moving carpet of life and a sign that life goes on and recovery follows


Signs of Spring were everywhere!


I hope the park's  trees will be replaced and the cycle of life and renewal will go on.


"Trees are the best monuments that a man can erect to his own memory.
They speak his praises without flattery, and they are
blessings to children yet unborn."

 Lord Orrery, 1749


I am adding this post to Outdoor Wednesday at Susan's blog "A Southern Daydreamer" Please visit Susan's blog today to see her post and links to all the blog participating.





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62 comments:

Debbie said...

That is unbelievable! It looked like a hurricane in South Florida, which I know all too well. I did not hear about that on the news....WOW I can't get over it. Thank GOD no injuries. The flowers are beautiful, nice way to end the post:)

Heliotrope Tree House said...

Lady, I love your blog so, so, much. You make me feel so proud to be a New Yorker. Your photos, your words, your overall observations of the world around you and your zest and passion for your life are just sooooo inspiring! This post made me cry. There were so many trees down on Staten Island, as well. Your photos are incredible. Once again, you have captured the very essence of what you are writing about. So sad...but the fact that you have stopped to give this pause and recognition really brings the point "home." Life is a precious gift and nothing is ever promised. Each day is a blessing. Thank you for your words and for sharing your vision.

Catherine said...

So sad, yet thank you for the post.

grey like snuffie said...

Wow...they didn't have the roots I was expecting...and all that wonderful mulchy bark will break down in gardens and do AMAZING things for the ground. My hometown lost a ton of beautiful towering, arching over the street giants a few years back and I just wanted to cry...it was a memory of such majesty and beauty. I can understand how hard to see them gone. I imagine lots of new sunshine hitting the ground will be good though...

steviewren said...

I thought of you during the storm and then remembered that you were in Colorado. What a sight to come home to.

Atticmag said...

Life is indeed fleeting and oh so fragile. But mother nature always perseveres to provide hope in the form of new growth and blooms. Truly inspirational.

Bella said...

That is so sad... life is indeed fleeting. Nice to have your photo from last year! They were gorgeous! Bella

Merrie said...

Those photos are stunning! It looked like a tornado ripped through there.

colorchic said...

Oh My Gosh! That is amazing, they looked so strong and sturdy! Just losing one tree this year upset me, I couldn't imagine such devastation!

Lily Hydrangea said...

it's always sad to lose a tree. I heard loud cracking noises in our neighborhood the night of the storm. it was pretty scary.

Light and Voices said...

Your blog speaks of death and renewal. These photographs showing the destruction of wind on trees reminds us to enjoy each day because tomorrow is a gift. Colorful flowers ending the post was a very positive choice.
Joyce M

Glenda/MidSouth said...

WoW! Looks like a hurricane or tornado went thru there. I heard about the storm but did not know the extinct of the damage.

Ebie said...

A tale of death (of the trees) and rebirth (flowers).

Your photos are life size and made us feel how strong the destruction was.

Your photos are beautiful!

M.Kate said...

Hi Pat, great to know that spring is calling :) and yes, we cant fight nature at all...glad nothing too serious happened. Happy week and big hugs..M

La Petite Gallery said...

Pat, We had it bad in Maine. Golly, not that bad. How awful all those lovely trees. They take so long to grow. Lovely verse.
You always have the best post.

Yvonne XXXX

Kimberly said...

Amazing photos! I just love those of the trees. If you would not have shown us this devastation to the trees I am not sure I would have believed it. I am still at a loss for words!

Jackie said...

Morning Pat

Great photographs of the sad devastation. What a shock for the people in the houses. Lovely to see the sign of Spring and that the bark will be "recycled" for future regrowth.

Jackie in UK.

Old Kitty said...

Oh Pat!

What an awful thing to wake up to! Those poor trees!! When Mother Nature strikes, she strikes with a wallop!

I'm so glad no-one was hurt.

But it does make for such devastating pictures - those poor trees didn't stand a chance really, poor things.

I love your quotes - we need more poetry and quotes about trees - they save the planet and are beautiful, aren't they really!

Thank goodness some have remained and that carpet of geese and gulls is so wonderful - so many! But I am really quite partial to super closeups of flowers. Mother Nature may devastate but boy can she create such perfection too!

Thank you for another beautiful (if a little sad) post!

Take care
x

Allie and Pattie said...

OMG, Pat! I can't believe it! Ray will be shocked too when I show him. How lucky no one was hurt or killed, but how sad. I do hope the city replants-thank you so much for the post. You always give us such visions of "home"
xoxo Pattie

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

That is sad! The park is gorgeous and so are your beautiful flower pics! I just love this time of year,(except for bad storms)
Amazing Post, Cindy

diane said...

A sad and moving post. It looked a beautiful park. I'm glad there are still many trees still standing. The birds and flowers are lovely and a reminder that life goes on even after disasters. Our state has also experienced cyclone damage. Luckily it was much further north than Brisbane.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Those photos are striking and say it all Pat. We were hearing lots of cracks and thuds all during the storm and didn't know where to look first - the back yard where a huge tree fell, grazing the house - the front yard where another humongous tree fell and snapped in half, thankfully falling in the street, not against our home. But like you said, nature is constantly reborn.

My name is PJ. said...

I love the shots of the crocuses, Pat and I'm glad you closed with them because the shots of those fallen grand, old trees is literally heart breaking for me!

I understand the circle of life, but those trees saw so much history.....

Allie and Pattie said...

I just showed this to Ray. He can't believe they lasted all these years and through so many other storms to come down like this. So sad
xoxo Pattie

Queenmothermamaw said...

There is surely a sadness about those photos. It makes my heart so heavy. Pat, your blog is so bright and so informative I just love to visit. Thanks for giving us such a great avenue for seeing inside your beautiful city. blessings
QMM

Low Tide High Style said...

Mother Nature's fury can be very unforgiving. We had high winds and lots of rain too, but not the devastation like you suffered in the park. Like you said, it was good that no one was hurt or killed and that the cycle of life will go on despite the loss of such beautiful old trees.

Kat :)

once in a blue moon... said...

just heartbreaking to see so much carnage...

nanny said...

That is so sad!!

The crocuses are beautiful...I wish I had planted some..gotta remember to do that next year!

Ms. Bake-it said...

How sad. Your words and observations are so very true though. I am glad no one was injured or killed. Great post.

~ Tracy

Claudia said...

This is humbling, Pat. Amazing what Mother Nature can do in her fury. Butmore amazing - is the immediate creation of new life. It changes the landscape, but trees will sprout and grow and the life cycle continues.

Mary said...

What a devastating loss to the people of the community. Your photos and your words make this all seem very real.

Jenny said...

oh. man. this. is. sad.

Wow. What devastation.

Definitely humbling.

Lucy said...

I like knowing that nature is in charge. It never ceases to amaze me when it does what it does.

GardenofDaisies said...

OH this is so sad. So many beautiful old trees gone. A Native American friend told me that his people believe trees have souls. Now I have always loved trees, growing up in a family that camped in the mountains. But hearing his stories made it sink in even more how much we have to take care of nature. I hope they plant new trees as soon as possible so that the park can be there for future generations.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh how sad, Pat, but as you said, where there is death, there is LIFE. Thanks be to God for that!!!

I hate to see the trees destroyed like this by Mother Nature... My hometown had a small tornado go through it a couple of years ago --and they lost many, many old gorgeous shade trees. There was also much damage done to the homes in that one area. SO SO sad---but they have rebuilt that area, so life goes ON!!!!


Yes, we need to live each day to its fullest.
Hugs,
Betsy

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Oh...how sad to see such devastation! Where trees are fallen there is grief...how true.

It reminds me of what happened to Stanley Park...the jewel of Vancouver...a few years back. A December storm with hurricane force winds pounded the coast and leveled over 100 acres of forest (of the 600 acres). Thousands of trees went down...many old growth.

Vee said...

That is pretty freaky! The sound of that many trees going down must've been very sad. Well, let us hope that only good things will come of it. The strongest survived and the weaker ones won't be toppling on somebody. Still...

black eyed susans kitchen said...

It is hard to get past a storm like that! I am praying that we are done with the nor'easters for the rest of 2010. The beaches were a shambles, and parts of Jersey under water. I felt very fortunate to have kept our power. Your pictures are really good.
♥, Susan

Shirleyanne said...

Gosh, that is so tragic Pat! I'm sure you couldn't believe the devastation! Such a terrible end for these wonderful trees.
Just please you managed to find something of beauty.
Take care

Nola @ the Alamo said...

How tragic! Such beautiful old trees; irreplaceable! Makes me so sad I could cry.

Riet said...

Oh my goodness Pat, how sad and unbelievable,those beautiful big trees just falling down.LOve the lovely crocusses.

Jeanne said...

Pat, how sad to lose those lovely trees. Mother nature can really leave a mess. Out of the blue such destruction is amazing. Your photos are amazing. Yet life goes on and spring shows her color in the midst of destruction. Renewal is good.

I have missed you dear friend. I am in Florida and won't be home until next Monday night. I haven't had much time to visit. How was the baby? Adorable I am sure. The last time I visited you were leaving to visit him. I am visiting my grands in Florida right now. They light up my life.

Enjoy your day.
Hugs xoxo, Jeanne

Donna said...

Wow, how devastating. It looks like a hurricane hit. It's always sad to see trees come down.
Great photos, Pat!

Maria M. Boyer said...

Reminds me of my neighborhood after the tornado came through on my wedding day! I am following as well and looking forward to reading your older posts. I heart NY.

Marg said...

This makes my heart sad...so tranquil and just like that...it's over.
I know for sure you will discover another walking path shortly.
Beautiful shots and quotes.

lisa said...

How very tragic. But how wonderful to see the precious signs of regrowth.

I love your photos ... even the sad ones.

Sandy said...

This looks like a tornado or a hurricane damage. I have never seen so many trees down. I must admit your blog is so interesting. I have learned so much about NY.

Teacup Lane (Sandy)

annie said...

We got hit here in south Jersey too with some losing the roof off their houses. The bay was wild too.
Nice post and lovely hopeful ending too!

Micki said...

I was in NYC almost every weekend for years, as I grew up in Philly. My dad had business in NYC and dropped me off at 5th Avenue and I spent the day there. I used to have relatives in Brooklyn. It was nice to see your pics and thanks for stopping by!
Micki

Ann said...

It makes you want to cry when you see the downed trees. Once, when I was in Singapore, we had a storm, and about 30 trees fell.

And did you say those were sea gulls? I have never seen so many seagulls in one area.

Melanie said...

It is so sad when we have to say goodbye to something which has been around whether it be a person, building or a plant. You feel the gap where these things were for so long.

The oak tree is supposedly able to "right" itself as it has very long roots which help to haul itslf upright again. I haven't seen it happen though. There were terrible storms in the UK which took ancient forest trees. These gaps in the forest allowed for new growth as suddenly the light was let in the canopy. This has allowed researchers a unique opportunity to study how a forest was made so hopefully some good can come to your area from so much devastation too.

Atticmag said...

Yes, we were hard hit. So nice to find a blog written by a neighbor about the city we love. What a treasure. I'll stop by again and appreciate your visit to Atticmag. -- Jane F.

merrilymarylee said...

WOW! It is amazing that a tree so tall can be uprooted like that. It happens here, too, with our large oaks, but the magnitude of the damage in your park--not a hurricane or a tornado, but a Nor'easter...WHOA!!!! Scary!

This was a lovely obituary for the fallen trees.

GardenofDaisies said...

Wanted to stop by real quick and thank you for the book suggestions. I will be taking a look at each one and making a decision this weekend. I do love to read, so even if it is not the book club pick, I will very likely read it myself. I keep a list in my purse so that when I go to the library or bookstore I always have a few books to look for.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Quite amazing!

Apparently a freak storm like your area had visited Salt Lake City a few years back and destroyed all the trees on the grounds of the state capitol, trees that were well over a hundred years old.

They had the huge trees milled, and a desk was made from the wood that is used every day by our govenor. I thought was was a wonderful way to emotionally overcome the loss of such historical trees.

Jay said...

How very sad to see so many trees felled in one swoop. This happened here in England in 1988 (or was it 1987?) when we had a rare hurricane. From where we lived in the Midlands right down to the south coast there were signs of devastation just like this, with many of the old established London parks losing most of their mature trees. Experts said that most of the trees lost were either diseased or nearing the end of their natural life, but ... oh, how sad to see them felled like that.

SE'LAH... said...

Mother Nature has a way of humbling us, doesn't she? I will have to visit this park when I am in Brooklyn someday. I wanted to say thanks so much for visiting my necessary room.

one love.

Say It In Color said...

What a beautiful and sad post....I am a tree lover and have planted for members of the family with their names...I planted two for my Mother, one died after she was gone and I was in true grief! Your pictures and quotes are beautiful and thoughtful.....Thanks for sharing your part of our awesome country...here from the south...

Theresa Milstein said...

The Brooklyn Hero Supply Co? I have to check out that place the next time I visit New York and make my way to New York City. I bet it would give me good manuscript ideas!

I like your glimpses into Brooklyn. It's under-appreciated.

Linda Lou said...

OMG Pat, is this the park in Bay Ridge, or am I totally lost about Brooklyn's neighborhoods, unbelievable what nature has done to these beautiful trees, thanks for sharing that...on the bright side Spring is on the way and hopefully by next year there will be new trees to replace those lost!

happily retired gal said...

Oh my ... what AMAZING images! Sad to see such destruction but good that folks weren't injured. Lovely signs of Springtime in those pretty blossoms.
Hugs and blessings,
Sacred Ruminations

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I was so sorry to see this! I had no idea how bad this storm was. Sometimes I forget that NYC is coastal and subject to furious storms like this. I'm so sorry about the trees. They are beautiful and take so long to grow. I hope everything is at least cleaned up by now and that things still look beautiful.

Parts of Florida lost something like 1/3 (possibly more) of their tree cover in the storms that criss-crossed Central Florida in the hurricanes of that fateful year we'd all like to forget. So we truly understand.

XO,

Sheila