adelgidA while back I wrote about the blight that eradicated the American chestnut in Appalachia. There’s a new blight happening now–the wooly adeligid. These non-native, invasive insects are doing their best to wipe out all the hemlock trees. While measures are being taken to fight back including insecticidal soap, horticultural oils, and predatory beetles, a lot of trees have already died. It’s sad on so many levels. So, I wrote about it.


A dusting of sugar on the tips
of spring green branches.
So small, so soft, so delicate.
Like the first snowflakes
whispering about a blizzard.
This storm will take take trees
down. Ravage the forest.
But the storm is in the offing yet.
The air is warm, the breeze gentle.

Is this how it was?
When the chestnuts died?
Did anyone really believe
such giants could fade away, leave
hollowed out stumps big enough
for a child to set up housekeeping?

There’s a hemlock above a stream
with branches turning to glass.
The diagnosis hasn’t sunk in yet.
Standing beneath spreading boughs . . .

I feel fine.