Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Pine pulling apart from storm

This old longleaf pine was literally pulled apart by Hurricane Ivan’s winds. And yet it stands.

Another  collided so violently with a nearby falling oak that a divot was scalloped out into the quick, exposing the tree’s heart.

Walking over the cleared roads and firelines today, awed by the graphic images of death and rebirth, I kept thinking back to the day I walked over the property following a prescribed burn. Everywhere I looked there was black soot and burned brush. The fire smell was in my clothes and in my hair. I remember reminding myself that we had done this as part of an overall management plan for the forest, but I had the visceral reaction of experiencing it as a disaster.

Within a few weeks, colonies of ferns emerged from the ashes. Within several months, the pitcher plant prairie doubled in size and was dramatically lush and colorful. Pine seeds were stimulated to germinate by the fire. Today we have a huge crop of new little volunteer trees joining the containerized planted seedlings which are jumping up out of the ground.

Nature is what it is. Does what it does. Sometimes our piss-ant little design schemes work out for awhile. But it’s best to stay loose, stand back, watch, and cover our faces in wonder.

Most of these photos show some of the tree damage at Longleaf from Hurricane Ivan. Storm-spawned tornadoes snapped huge old longleaf pines like twigs, twisting them and using their tops in some cases to knock down an oak.

A few of the photos are from downtown Pensacola. Fortunately, not nearly all of it is rubble as these pictures might seem to suggest. Just next to a smashed storefront, I visited Reynolds Music House and they had no damage at all, all of those fabulous pianos safe behind a row of steel shutters which were put up to cover the store’s series of plate glass windows.

And what you don’t see amongst the ruined trees are the thousands of baby trees we have had planted over the past two years, coming up strong. It’s hard to see the old trees this way, but the silver lining is that the new generations coming up now have more sun and space and will grow more quickly, beneficiaries of nature’s brutally efficient clear cut.

15-IMG_0536 14-IMG_0529 13-IMG_0614 12-IMG_0599 11-IMG_0593 10-IMG_0585 09-IMG_0581 08-IMG_0572 01-IMG_0560 02-IMG_0561 03-IMG_0562 04-IMG_0566 05-IMG_0567 06-IMG_0568 07-IMG_0571

Speak. Leave a memory.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Annie Rose Media

Life Through Media Arts

Heart To Harp

Journeys to the place where Music lives.

Tom's Nature-up-close Photography and Mindfulness Blog

Mindfulness, Philosophy, Spirituality, Meditation, Awareness, Religion, Nature Photography


living in the shoes of a woman

The Writers Alley

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Fiction Writers Review

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Writers In The Storm

A Blog On Writing

Megha's World

A potpourri of emotions



Piper's Adventures

Mississippi life culture lifestyles inspiration

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

Florida First Supersite

exit one to live, work & play

Whimsical Moon Farm

Whimsical Moon Farm is a cozy nook in the countryside where we make hand-crafted herbal soaps with home-grown herbs.

Little Fears

Tales of whimsy, humor and courgettes

territori del '900

identità luoghi scritture del '900 toscano

Extra Dry Martini

Straight up, with a twist.

%d bloggers like this: