Since there was no one around when it fell, we really have no idea whether it made a sound, but there it lies, numbered and remembered in the official files of the Forestry Department of the City of Saint Louis. Weathered, rotting, and beautiful, Tree 92 has a large burl at its base to which is attached with a nail an aluminum disc with its number stamped upon it. Nearby are other trees also with small aluminum discs bearing numbers attached at their bases.
I am walking through part of the Successional Forest (which should not be confused with the secessional Forrest, Nathan Bedford) in search of photons worthy of capture and display. A stream runs through the center of it, impeded by several dams that have formed small marshy ponds behind them. Fortunately for me, I am wearing my Muck boots, ‘cause there’s a lot of it here!
As I walk slowly through the woods, I pick up various pieces of trash, but usually just the ones that offend me most. I pick up every glass bottle I see, to prevent them being broken and becoming a hazard rather than an eyesore. Bits and pieces of typical urban trash are blown about the park. Yesterday was excessively windy and may have caused the placement of the styrofoam take-out box or the burger wrappers or the zip lock bags that I removed to a nearby trash can.
I used to think all of the trash was thrown about by lazy, careless slobs, but considering the cans have no lids, it is also likely that the wind and the raccoons that infest the park are at least as culpable as its visitors. I have seen raccoons on a warm summer’s night climbing in and out of the trash cans around the park. Let’s face it, we humans have some tasty garbage.
Work is calling me back to my studio, so I exit the woods and walk back to my truck via Carr Lane Drive, past the creepy people sitting silent in their trucks with the engines running. Then I see the birds. Not creepy at all!