Your Weekly Diversion, Week 41: Magnolias in Memorium


Graphic from

Now we arrive at Week 41, a week of fluctuating weather down here in our tropical clime, necessitating warmer clothing, including hoodies and long pants in the land of flip flops and shorts for a day or two. Then the warm weather returned, drawing us into the sun to bask. There’s news aplenty available to us all, should we wish to partake, but I will leave that to others today.

Our western wall of windows overlooks a lake and beyond to a row of trees lining the avenue beyond. Our view: clusters of stately sabal palmetto palms, sturdy in their shaggy trunks, unlike the taller palms with slender trunks elsewhere nearby, many that suffered from the winds of Irma who blew through here at a fearful 143 mph; lush magnolias every few feet between the clusters of palms; littoral plantings of tall grasses around the water’s edge inviting great egrets, wood storks, anhingas, moorhens, ibis, and more.

Sadly, most of our magnolias were felled by the hurricane last month and only their brown, upturned stumps remain. Here is how one of them looked in the spring:


Their blossoms were large as dinner plates, creamy white and faintly sweet to sniff.


And now, all that remains of their beauty are the stumps where once they stood.

As sad as this loss may be, it is but a reminder of the impermanence of life, for the storms, they come and go, and so do we.

And happily, we see a row of younger trees spared by the fickle winds, that will in just a few short years be just as big and beautiful as those we lost this year. Change being what it is in all things, whether we are here to behold them remains to be seen. The older we become, the more we appreciate that change will always come.

This is a very early performance from 1964 of Bob Dylan performing his masterpiece, The Times They Are A-Changin’, a meaningful part of the soundtrack of my adolescence.




9 thoughts on “Your Weekly Diversion, Week 41: Magnolias in Memorium

  1. Those magnolias looked beautiful Shielagh and they would have spread a lot of joy while they were around. Lovely to see the younger trees survived the storms and we wish you a wonderful rest of the weekend 🤗💖 xxx

    • Thank you, Xenia. They brought me joy, and others too I’m sure. We had a Halloween party on our block last night 🎃 and heard from friends and neighbors how hard many worked to helped restore the area to its current state after Irma blew through here!

  2. I hope that as a community people can re-plant all the trees that need it. There is definitely an issue with private properties and fallen trees in that they are not able to initiate this re-planting soon enough and many trees that could have been saved were not. Both public and private sectors could be more diligent with re-planting or saving trees that have a chance.

    • Thank you, Maria. Already old stumps have been removed and new trees are going in. Everywhere here are slim young trees and bigger ones propped up all around with stakes and planks.

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