It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saying Things Twice

I enjoy the southern habit of saying things twice, for emphasis. Southerners often say things twice, for emphasis.

Here's an example:

9/1/09 Associated Press

Drought in Central Texas is taking toll on trees

Experts blame the lingering Texas drought for an increasing number of dead trees.

Trees throughout Central Texas, including native species such as live oak and hackberry, have succumbed to drought and intense summer heat, arborists and foresters said.

"I have not seen it to this extent in my lifetime," said Jim Houser of the Texas Forest Service. "We're even seeing cedars (Ashe junipers) dying. They can exist on sunbaked, rocky plantscapes. And we're seeing them die all over the place."

Hundreds of the city's estimated 300,000 trees have died this summer, said Walter Passmore, urban forester for Austin.

The Austin American-Statesman reported Tuesday that the city this month plans to cut down nearly 50 trees in Zilker Park that were determined to have been killed by drought.

Dead trees on city property are cut down and turned into mulch, Passmore said. Trees on private property in urban areas are typically cut down so that they don't fall down and cause damage.

Don Gardner, an arborist who runs a consulting company in Austin, said he's had so many calls about sick trees that it's difficult to keep up with the work.

"Many of our well-established, well-adapted native trees are dying," Gardner said. "From last year to this year, it's really kicking in."

Houser said the death of a tree is usually attributed several factors, among them disease and insects. Stress from the drought and heat is often the fatal blow, he said.

"Apparently completely healthy, vibrant oaks are going down," Houser said. "There is just absolutely no water in the soil. There's just no water there."

It's a nice example. It's just that I wish he had something different to emphasize. I truly wish he had something else to be emphasizing.

Here's a view of my neighbor's backyard facing the creek. (The Fort Branch Creek in Austin TX) You can see several dying or dead trees. (Note to Canadians: trees don't normally turn by labor day in south central Texas) Trees on private property are watered, but trees on public property are all severely stressed.

Trees in Austin which are not watered using municipal water are severely stressed.

1 comment:

skanky said...

This is OT for this post, but I think you might find it interesting. I think.