Sunday, August 12, 2012

The End of a Giant Tree

32 mile ride yesterday! That takes us over 300 miles and sends us almost a third of the way to 400 miles. We're at 328.

I mentioned in a previous post that going north on the path out of Wheaton we saw plenty of evidence of the storm from several weeks back: broken trees, dead branches, trees with bark ripped off. Must have been really crazy!

For scale: I'm 5'10"
Up closer towards Elgin we came across this sight, and I had to have Jim get an image of me with it this time (big picture, so click to expand). Was this huge tree really uprooted during the storm?! At first, I couldn't believe it. Maybe someone did it on purpose. But the tree's been lying there for a few weeks now, and why would anyone uproot a tree and then leave it there? When people get rid of trees, they usually do so to get them out of the way.

I also noticed that on the other side of the path, there was evidence of the tree causing damage. Two clearings where there used to be brush and a taller tree that has had its bark scraped off from the base to above fourteen feet up. Usually, when people take out a tree of this size, they cut off the upper branches. They don't just knock it down. Someone did cut the branches just to the right of what we show in this photograph, probably to keep the path clear, but this would have been after the tree fell. So I guess it really was the storm that did this.

Jim counted at least 36 rings at the cut which, again, was at a branch to the right of this photo. That would be at least twenty feet from the base of the tree. This was a powerful tree, but an even more powerful storm. Amazing example of the forces of nature.

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