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Friday, June 27

just don't look up

It's been almost 2 years since the "October Storm" that damaged or destroyed more than 80% of the city's trees. It was a night of incredible devastation.

I remember my first glimpse of Bidwell Parkway, where the Farmer's Market pictures were taken. Instead of a the little city forest it had been, it was acres of sticks. Trees with few limbs left, only the largest had survived. Russell said that it wouldn't look as bad once the leaves came out...if they did. And he was right. Walking under the trees, you feel the shade, see the green, hear the soft rustle of leaves in the breeze. All seems well until you look up.

And I realize we have become accustomed to the new landscape. Where there used to be avenues lined with umbrellas of green, now there are sticks of green. Our trees look unruly now, with limbs akimbo and leafy top knots that grow defiantly out of the center with little regard for how things used to be.

Memories of that storm will soften as the years go by. All the stories have been told, all the pictures have been shared.The emergency kits that everyone seemed to get for Christmas that first year are gathering dust.

But the trees will never forget. They still have stories to tell. To hear them, all you need do is look up.

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