|GEE, WE CAN'T SEE THE LAKE SO GOOD ANYMORE...|
|LOOKS BETTER WITH SOME SHRUBS CUT DOWN...|
|...I JUST HOPE THE BLUFF DOESN'T COLLAPSE INTO THE LAKE NOW...|
Thursday, 8:00 AM. 42 degrees F at the flerry dock, 42 on the back porch. Wind variable and calm. lThe sky is overcast and it has been raining a bit. Barometer currently at 29.85" and rising steeply. Rain showers are predicted for Sunday, with snow possible on Monday. Yuk!
Yesterday late morning I heard a chainsaw. That's not unusual, as someone is always cleaning something up in the spring. But it was very persistent, hardly any pauses at all. A lot of work being done. Just as I was about to go and check it out, I got a telephone call from a neighbor on the lake shore, said he had a lot of brush he needed chipped, could I find him someone to chip it up? I could try, I said, where is it? How much is there?
"A whole lot, maybe an acre by the time we're done." "It's easy to get to, right down on the hill, overlooking the lake."
"Who's property is it on?" I asked.
"I don't know" was the answer, "Maybe the City's...but you can see the lake real good now from the park."
This is Bayfield, built on the bluffs above Lake Superior. Everyone wants to look at the lake. If people had their way, there wouldn't be a tree in sight, just as barren as it was a century ago, after the logging boom. Almost as barren as it was in 1942, when a flash flood gouged the ravines deeper and sent boulders crashing through downtown, and caskets washed from the cemetery up on the hill into the lake and floated out to sea. No one remembers the nearby bluff face that had fallen onto the Brownstone Trail below a few years ago, after illegal cutting. Or the fact that a large section of sewer pipe had washed out last winter.
The city has strict ordinances: no cutting on city property without permission, and absolutely no cutting in the conservancy areas that protect the ravines and bluffs. None. And its done all the time, on weekends and at night
I was very chagrined when I went to see what had been done, as not only was the cutting extensive, but it was done by should we say people who, good intentions aside, should have known better. Did know better. The Director of Public works arrived, and he was mad.
Everyone put away their chain saws and protested their innocence and good intentions. Everything O,K,, lesson learned I thought, until I heard, as we all went our separate ways:
"Gee, you can really see the lake good now, from up here in the park."