Venerable fallen tree at Avondale Park Amphitheater remembered and celebrated on social media

Fallen tree at the Avondale Amphitheater from the June 28, 2018 wind storm. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

On June 28th, the state of Alabama experienced a rare long lived wind storm blowing down numerous venerable trees in and around the Magic City, including one at the Avondale Park Amphitheater.

Fallen tree at the Avondale Amphitheater from the June 28, 2018 wind storm. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

The tree that fell at the amphitheater, which was mysteriously hollowed out, caught the attention of local photographer Michael Anderson and  dancer choreographer Alessia Lovreglio Wilson.  Below are Facebook posts by Anderson and Wilson .

Here is Anderson’s post:

~ Avondale Park – 7-7-18 ~ I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest, Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wear, A nest of robins in her hair. – J.Kilmer…. Sadly another grand old tree in the park is gone. My tree lover pal, Véronique Vanblaere posted a photo this morning, so I had to go by to pay my respects and document the loss. The amphitheatre was built in the park in 1931, so the stone work built around the tree dates at 87 years. I’m guessing the tree would be well over 100 years old. It has been hollow and in decline for decades. The late June storm sent it crashing to the ground. Hopefully someone in the “Makers or Art Community” may be able to recycle this beautiful memento of Avondale Park history.

Along with Anderson’s post,  dancer and choreographer Alessia Lovreglio Wilson commemorated the fallen tree with some friends. She titled the Facebook post:

Inter(A)ction with Nature.
A silent dialogue with beauty and strength.
A first moment of dancing exploration to give it a breath of aliveness.

The storm

The rare southeast wind storm called a derecho swept through the entire state of Alabama from north-to-south during the afternoon and evening hours of June 28, 2018. A derecho is defined by the National Weather Service as a widespread, long-lived wind storm comprised of a complex of rapidly-moving thunderstorms, which produce a swath of wind damage 250+ miles in length, with severe-caliber wind gusts (at least 58 MPH) along most of its length.

Avondale Park

According to the National Weather Service, the June 28th storm caused  156,000 power outages within the Alabama Power service area.  Wind gusts were measured at 58 miles per hour at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International airport.

Plant a tree

In the mood to plant a tree to replace these ancient trees? Contact the Alabama Re-Leaf program throughout he  Alabama Urban Forestry Association. They will set you up and show you how to properly do it.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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