Blue’s Gone

Blue Elderberry

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Today, sadly, I’m reporting what hopefully only is a near-death. Yesterday, while riding on horseback along one of my favorite trails, I wanted to introduce a riding companion to the forest’s single Blue Elderberry plant. On my trail map, it’s a beautiful key feature, as seen in today’s header photo.

This time, trying to locate that plant was challenging, and here’s why. Now, it’s a mere skeleton of stems with on the ground a few wilting leaves. That recently-healthy, flourishing plant completely has been stripped of leaves and flowers.

Skeleton elderberry

The image was an unexpected devastating blow to my sense of balance and comfort. Throughout this summer, seemingly the forest has little-changed. On seeing the plant, my initial impulse was confusion, wondering what so brutally might have attacked the plant. My companion, a gardner, made the logical suggestion that probably deer were responsible.

The plant’s previous and current conditions have refreshed an understanding that over time everything changes. I know that for everything various stages of existence offer a continuum from the best (or better) to the worst. This sudden change struck me as too brutal and unexpected. I’d be happier to have seen that elderberry going through a natural decline, but things are as they are. In this case, there’s yet hope.

The plant still is rooted, has its branches, and gradually might revive. May it again thrive!

Dear Friends: I know its location, have images and memories, and will be watching. Diana

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