Saturday, 27 August 2011

A distant hurricane

Hurricane Irene is advancing on New York, and, on Facebook, friends in that neck of the woods are reporting plans to get out of her way. One, who lives on the Hudson River just west of NYC, is heading north to a motel 'for a couple of days'. Nature, eh? For a moment, an opportunity to pause and consider the colossal forces which can suddenly threaten a home, a book collection, the warm bed and dry clothes. I was astonished to see that beautifully printed blue and white signs have appeared on the streets of New York, showing people which way to go to evacuate the low lying areas. For an event that happens once in a lifetime they have printed signs! What superb organisation! I spare a thought, too, for a child who has already in her short life known the terror of 9/11 - she and her Mum were on their way to her nursery when the first plane struck - and now, living in the lower west side will probably be setting off again with her mother to safety elsewhere in the city. Not everyone knows that the oddly curving Broadway which runs the length of Manhattan island follows the track of an existing Indian trail, a survival from when the first white settlers arrived. Back in Moffat, the Beef Tub was the subject of this morning's BBCR4 Open Country programme. I approve of planting trees. I love trees. Trees are a Good Thing. Why, then, the need to justify planting them as the 'recreation' of a landscape which ( correct me if I'm wrong) ceased to exist because of climate change 5,000 years ago? The birches that once grew on these hills fell and became peat because the climate became cooler and wetter. That's it.

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