I’m sitting on a stump overlooking the Snoqualmie valley as I write this– not from the overlook in my back yard, but up the logging road behind my house a mile or so on. I can see the tiny flecks of cows grazing and it is just a beautiful, beautiful day.
There’s a newish clear-cut of about 10 or 15 acres or so back here that I walked through but now can’t see from my place on the stump. I was impressed in the winter by how much life seemed to remain in the undergrowth where the trees had been cleared away. Oregon grape, salal, and some ferns were all in evidence. But now, though the rest of the land is thriving and green, the clearcut looks roughly the same as it did in winter.
There are a few ferns unfolding, and I suppose that the thistles are a step toward regrowth (Thistles are often first colonizers of disturbed ground — I expect there will be more to come, but I certainly don’t care for thistles!)
They are more than counterbalanced, though, by the stark white bones of the trees, the hulking masses of the slash piles, and the shattered branches where the trucks drove over and splintered them or the trees fell and crushed them.