From a distance, fresh, sharp pine-smell minigles with the smell of


From a distance, fresh, sharp pine-smell mingles with the smell of fresh mineral earth. Closer, the sound of cracking trunks and snapping branches precedes the heavy smell of diesel. A mechanical claw grapples a tree trunk, rips it from the ground, lays it beside the others in an orderly row of sylvan softwood bodies. Monster machines with steel-wrapped treads run back and forth over upturned earth, leaving distinct horizontal lines like the crossties of a mobile railroad track. One machine pulls and stacks trees destined for the lumberyard, another feeds smaller trees through a giant grinder and spews them across the ground as mulch.  An hour prior, living trees drew sustenance from earth and released the oxygen that now carries these smells. But now… This small piece of paradise will be paved for a parking lot. ~K

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We depart from the main boat dock at Devils Fork State Park, Salem SC, 28676