Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Tree Stump Map

This morning, I was sitting on our porch looking at the river, and I noticed that it was uncharacteristically quiet on the water. Then all of a sudden it struck me: Today is Sunday! And if I'm not mistaken, that means no dredging! The sky was overcast, but the water was calm, and I jumped in the kayak. 

It felt so good to be back on the water!

After a couple minutes of paddling, I noticed several tree stumps on the opposite shore and decided that today was the day to survey the aftermath of the tree cutting. Here is what I found:

Tree stumps all along the shore.

Yes, the tree cutters have been busy. All of the trees under which we found shade and privacy are gone. It's a whole new landscape. I can't remember which tree stumps are the remains of willows, maples, or countless other trees that were so familiar along my route. I just know that they're all gone.

Patrick Cottonwood still stands tall on the shore, and I'm grateful that he's still there even though I can no longer photograph the sunlight passing through the leaves of his low-lying branches.

Patrick Cottonwood

One of our river neighbors seems to have made use of the trees taken down in front of his house. A nice supply of firewood!

Before today's outing, I never knew the exact locations of the PCB hot spots awaiting dredging. However, now the tree stumps provide a map of them. The hot spots run the entire length of my kayaking route on the opposite shore and a short stretch on our side of the river.

When I returned home (right before it started raining for the rest of the day), I looked at the map of our section of the river in a publication I received from the Environmental Protection Agency, and sure enough, the tree stump "map" matched the EPA's map perfectly.

I realize that this is not a feel-good post, but I felt it necessary to illustrate the stories of the trees along the river. The stumps left behind will tell the tale of dredging for many years to come.

My next post will be more upbeat, I promise. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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