Posted by: David Giacalone | June 15, 2009

Washington didn’t do it [updated]

Tree Down - with mini-Cooper 15June2009 . . . Cherry Tree down with fungus 15June2009

A cherry tree is down this evening behind 18 – 24 Washington Ave, here in the Stockade.  But, we can’t blame our mythically-honest, hatchet-wielding President.  The culprit was a line of powerful thunderstorms that swept through the region this afternoon, dropping a lot of hailstones, and leaving thousands without electrical power in Schenectady County (see Daily Gazette, “storm brings wind, hail,” June 15, 2009).  Just two weeks ago, we showed the same tree in front of 1 Cucumber Alley, in our posting about colorful houses here and in Takoma Park.  Compare then and now:

…..   Tree Down - 2 Cucumber Alley 15June2009

– front view of 2 Cucumber Alley, May 29, 2009 (l) and June 15, 2009 (r) –

Treeless - 2 Cucumber Alley 15Jun09 . . .

That tree will be missed by many of us who live (or park or stroll) along Cucumber Alley — for its grace, its blossoms and cherries, and its shade.

fallen Cherry Tree caressing Garage 15June2009 Tonight, it is lying peacefully in front of several garage stalls, and I bet quite a few of my neighbors got a surprise when they returned home today and had to scramble to find the Elusive Stockade Parking Space.

While gazing at and bemoaning the loss of the cherry tree, early this evening, we failed to notice the demise of a lovely linden tree in the sideyard of 1 Cucumber Alley.  Around sunset, I was viewing the downed cherry tree with Sylvie Briber, when we turned toward her little riverside cottage and she noticed a strangely diagonal tree trunk.  This afternoon’s wind apparently pushed over the linden tree, which can be seen here, leaning against the side of 1 Cucumber Alley:

Linden Down - 1 Cucumber Alley 15June2009

– Sylvie and Lollipop survey the damage –

No damage was obvious to either of the affected structures on Cucumber Alley.  I’ve lost far too many of my favorite trees in the years that I’ve lived along the Mohawk.  I guess I need to practice Buddha-like detachment, and simply enjoy and appreciate the trees (and the neighbors and neighborhood) a day at a time.

update (June 21, 2009):  Six days later, the remains of both toppled trees have been removed.  The cherry tree at 2 Cucumber Alley disappeared on Saturday, while Tom Killeen’s crew did a quick job with the triple-trunk linden at 1 Cucumber Alley on Wednesday.  Here are the resulting scenes:

Cherry Tree - gone - 1 Cucumber Alley - 21June2009 . . .  Cherry Tree Gone - garage view - 21June2009

– the large cherry tree is gone from Cucumber alley –

Linden Down- stumps - 1 Cucumber Alley - 21June09 . . . Linden Tree Down - staircase view - 1 Cucumber Alley

– the magical spiral staircase at the rear of 1 Cucumber Alley is revealed, with the loss of the linden cluster this week –

Sunset 1 Cucumber Alley - Reflection 15June2009 p.s. Although distracted by toppled trees, I did remember to spend a little time enjoying tonight’s sunset (Monday, June 15) at the rear of 1 Cucumber Alley, along the Mohawk River.  Actually, it was even lovelier from that same spot, yesterday evening, June 14, 2009:

Sunset 1 Cucumber Alley 14June2009

– more shots from sunset on June 14, 2009 (some rather strange), here


  1. After I saw you and Sylvie in the Alley, Maggie and I walked through the Park. There was an almost ethereal mist floating above the River–magical!

    • I’m sorry I missed the mist, but I’m glad you and Maggie made it to our Alley, Beverly.

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