Winter Damage – Watercolour

A walk in Almondell Park last week revealed how hard the winter storms have been. This huge chestnut tree has always been one of my landmarks and I was saddened to see a huge part of it missing. The foresters had already removed the thick branch and all that was left was a pile of sawdust and, of course, this huge wound – about 6 feet long in this painting. A clue, as to why it had been damaged, might be to examine the part near the top of the wound. Its a large hole which one’s arm can get lost in and looks as if it has been there for many years. Perhaps an owl of some squirrels called this space “home” The tree itself had always looked impregnable to high winds and heavy snow. It actually looks as if it has screwed itself into the ground but I fear it is now in danger as the remaining, large lower limb (to the left) is now “out of balance” having lost the counterweight of the missing one. I have included, here, a photo of this tree in happier times and a sketch I made about 9 years ago which might give some idea how the tree used to be. This is not the only tree to suffer winter damage. The large conifer, next to this chestnut, is uprooted and is lying into the River Almond while the whole wood echoes to the sound of chainsaws. A bit sad really but I suppose its natures way of thinning things.

Oct 6th  2002

6th Oct 2002