Several weeks back, I had a chance to visit the back garden of a fellow gardener who lives in PoCo (next mountainside over). This property, five acres long, stretched up a hill, crossed a small creek, and had many (many!) mature cedars, hemlocks and maples along the boundaries of the lot. To my amazement and joy, the owner/gardener had looked at these trees, creeks and rocks when she and her hubby bought the place,and decided to "make lemonade" (remember that old proverb: when life hands you lemons...). Instead of flattening all those trees, and filling in the creek beds, she built a shady, fern-filled gully with bark-mulch trails along each side of the creek bed, and small bridges crossing back and forth. I felt like an 8 year old again, climbing up the trails and stepping cautiously across the small plank bridges. The creek bed was dry after the long, summer drought, but I could imagine that same space in springtime, with the water racing over the rocks.
Near the top of the trail, looking across the creek, I spotted one amazing, tough old cedar. Its roots had grabbed onto a three foot wide boulder, keeping the tree from sliding down the slope. But the effect of those spring run-offs on the ends of the roots showed how tough this tree was, and how strong mere water could be! I'm hoping to have a chance to re-visit this tree next March or April, during our regular rainy spring. It will be good to see that this survivor is still hanging on, and to give it some encouragement!