Last week the roiling Nashua River escaped its banks and pummeled the abandoned mill buildings it once powered. Ten inches of rain fell over two days during the second powerful storm to hit New England in a month, taking all of the season’s snow and the contents of many cellars with it. This mill wall, with it’s bricked up window and stars whose purpose elude me, says so much about how much we struggle to manage nature. Harnessing and fighting its power at the same time; eventually giving up and letting it loosen and take the bricks with it downstream, one at a time.
I posted a photo from the Crane Estate last weekend, and since then, like many places in the world this winter, nature chose to rearrange the landscape. A fierce storm with high winds took down all the pines at the top of this scene - the ones near the green boxes near the mansion. You can see here (above) that those white pines are top heavy, and torrential rain thawed the earth beneath the shallow root system and they toppled like toothpicks in hurricane-force winds. The view below is the what you see when your back is the mansion – those trees sustained little damage, according to the news – when you are at the top of the hill closer to the house you can see the Atlantic. Hundreds of trees were toppled on this unique property – the grand allee is the only vista of its kind in the U.S. - that we traverse several times a year and have come to think of as part of our own family history. We have photos here of our children at every age, and I carried each of them, summer and winter, in backpacks, on my shoulders and on my hip, miles and miles on its trails back and forth to the beach. The land will heal, new trees will be planted (a restoration was already underway), and we will keep going back, and take more photos. But we never know when that mighty wind will return.