I grieved when the swamp trees were cut down. The trees razed to make way for cattle. In the marshy soil where nothing grew but snakes and thin straggly trees that turned red in autumn. Walking across the rich deep grass and sinking into the wet soil. Watching the ibis fly away at my presence. Alone and alive in the thick undergrowth.
Then the farmer arrived with his chainsaw and carved a swathe through the swamp. The trees, gone, to make way for a muddy sparse paddock of thin pasture. Heavy boned Friesian cattle struggling through the wet soil, their pregnant bellies swaying as they try to pick a path through the muddy ground.
I look out the window and feel deep sorrow. The trees, gone. The birds, gone. The cattle trying to graze where the trees once grew. There was not enough new pasture to make it worthwhile.
Ten years later: the trees have regrown. The swamp beings to reclaim the soil. The valley here is too wet to support the cattle.
29 October 2010
True story. I lived near a swamp for about ten years. I was very upset when it was cut to the ground. I have since discovered that large portions of the swamp have regrown. It seemed like so much pointless destruction.