At the Wallingford corner of Eastern Avenue and 42nd Street stand two of the tallest American Elms in Seattle. There are no witnesses to their age and neighbors hope that the rings may never be counted. The trees can be seen prominently from the Ship Canal Bridge on I-5. Together these twins are the largest green mass around. A few years ago the twin to the east began to crack between its two high branches. The owners then of the corner house had a cable run between them. The sudden molesting wind that blew through the north end (at least) on the afternoon of Saturday Oct. 4, did not break the cable, but it did snap a limb from the east landmark and dropped it to the front lawn. About one hundred feet away and heading for the trees to take my several daily photographs of them, I heard the snap and saw the limb fall. If it had held on for a minute more I’d have been standing beneath as I do with the three photographs attached here in a row, looking up the north side of the west elm watching the limb approach me — and just miss me. Find the hole or identify the missing limb when it was still in place in two of the three views. The limb is missing, far right, on the afternoon of Oct. 4 2008. It is in tact, at the center, in the afternoon of Feburary 28, 2007, and also intact, far left, on the afternoon of Oct. 1, 2008. In a fourth photograph at the top the limb is lying on the front lawn of the home at the northeast corner of 42nd Street and Eastern Avenue.
(Mouse the triptych to enlarge it.)