A THS Sponsored Nature Moment

Today’s installment:

Trees Get Confused by Hurricanes

The thing about being on the east side of the storm; it puts the worst whompin’ on everything further from the eye than those on the west side and does so for hours. That’s how we managed to get hammered so completely by Ivan, who came ashore 20 miles west of our house. We had gusts well over 100mph here as Katrina came onshore 130 miles to our west. What trees still have leaves are an amazing sight to behold. On the side that took the worst of the winds for the longest, the leaves are shriveled and brown. On many trees the opposing half, especially those sheltered on one side by a fence or building, it’s as if a storm never happened. Half green, half gone/brown, like a Steak ‘n Shake
Side by Side. The trees are stressed and in shock, though and will soon prematurely drop their foliage altogether. In our yard, the River Birch and Drake Elm stood tall, while the affectionately monikered ‘Hybrid’ lost all but a few (below). Here in semi-tropical Bangla-cola, it’s not such a big deal. But when Bertha and Fran whacked us in N.C. (’96), it became a desperate situation for the few trees that had made it through. They’d all started ‘spring’ blooming in late September. It can get frosty quick in Coastal Carolina, so killing off the tender, new leaves could have well meant the end (and did for many) of the tree itself.
POSTNOTE: Buy your seafood, crabs and crawdads NOW, and freeze ’em. It’ll be awhile before anything they’d catch that side of the Gulf will be edible.

BATON ROUGE, La. – The brew of chemicals and human waste in the New Orleans floodwaters will have to be pumped into the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain, raising the specter of an environmental disaster on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, experts say.
…State and federal agencies have just begun water-quality testing but environmental experts say the vile, stagnant chemical soup that sits in the streets of the city known as The Big Easy will contain traces of everything imaginable.


The Hybrid
Eye crossing close-up of the River Birch

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