imageToday’s SoCS prompt, driven by the A-to-Z blogging challenge was to use a word that starts with “de” and for extra points, make it a word that ends with “ed.” Extra points? I love extra points. I see the phrase “Extra Points” and I’m all “I gotta get me some of that.”

Of course, Linda doesn’t really keep score over there at her blog so I’m not sure what on Earth these extra points are good for. I still want them.

The word that immediately popped into my head, and since it’s the Stream of Consciousness Saturday post, I think that’s the word I should go with, is one of the strangest words I know: denuded. I first encountered this word while still in high school when people were just beginning to get all Earth friendly and environmentally aware. I was reading an op-ed article blasting one of the local coal companies for denuding hillsides up in Ohio in order to strip mine the coal beneath them.

My first thought was “well you can’t strip mine coal and somehow leave the trees in place” but my second thought was “denuded?” I mean wouldn’t that be like un-nuded or dis-nuded, i.e putting clothes on or planting trees. Right?

Maybe I don’t understand the whole “de” prefix thing, but it’s usually a negative/anti/reverse reference. Destabilize, decelerate, deactivate, decapitate, degenerate, debone, debug, debunk, decaffeinate, decertify, decriminalize, deface, defrost, deform, defrock, defund, dehumidify, dehydrate, delist, demystify, deodorize, depreciate, deregulate and detoxify all seem to fit my understanding of what “de” does to a word. De-nude does not fit.

Nude itself is a funny word. It’s somehow more acceptable than naked although it often means the same thing. Studying a nude painting or statue seems way better than looking at pictures of naked people. It’s like the distinction I try to make between fire and flame. I tell my wife that when I am using a torch, I am working with a flame. She insists that I am playing with fire.

I don’t think that “nuding the forest” would make any sense either; it’s not really a verb. They could have moved one letter further up the alphabet. Perhaps “enude” would imply making something nude. Of course I would always opt for adding “ify” to the end to make a word into a verb. I think we would all understand if someone nudified a forest. Forest nudifaction is something we could protest and rally against. Or, we could just go with deforest. I mean that is what the coal company did. Actually, they demountained too. They took all the stuff that used to be part of a beautiful mountain landscape and they turned it into a boring and possibly toxic brownfield.

As I recall, there was the promise of a leaving behind a green field where people could enjoy nature. An artist rendering of a flower covered meadow with a crystal blue stream was shown in the coal company ads. By the way, “leaving behind a green field” shouldn’t be confused with green fielding which kind of has the opposite meaning. A green field operation usually results in something that bears little resemblance to a green field. Maybe it’s just when we talk about nature that we get confused.

After I graduated from college and slogged my way through job number one, I moved to Seattle, Washington. Toward the end of my stay in the great northwest, I worked for Weyerhaeuser Company. Those guys knew something about denuding. They called it clear-cutting but it had the same effect. They defended their term.

Hmmm, “defended” would have worked for today’s prompt and the extra points, and it might have worked for my stream of consciousness, too. To fend for oneself isn’t really that unlike defending oneself from something. Sorry, I got sidetracked.

Weyerhaeuser made a big deal out of the fact that clear-cutting a section of a forest made it easier to plant trees. Deforestation by clear-cutting made reforestation easier. Weyerhaeuser clear-cut, Mount St. Helens denuded. I was living in Seattle in 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted. After the eruption, you couldn’t get very close to the mountain. In 2004, I was back in Seattle for a conference and I took a side trip to Mount St. Helens. They had replaced the bridges and they had built two visitor centers. Nature had begun its own slow reforestation project, but the damage was still obvious.


    1. Thanks John. That word has always bugged me. I love the SoCS prompt when stuff just starts pouring out. Of course, I look back and wish I had (broken the rules) and edited this a bit, but it was a fun way to introduce those pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Somehow, before coffee, I read this TWICE because it was such a great post. Down here, in the great South, I love to hear them say ‘nekid.’ And then I’ve not figured out if they are saying ‘buck nekid’ or ‘butt nekid.’ Anyway, go back to your coffee, Dan. We’ll talk later….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s the difference between nude, naked, and nekkid. Nude is for paintings, art, and polite society. Naked, while slightly racier, is still tame — the toddler ran naked from the tub to her bedroom. Nekkid involves doing stuff with your cloths off that other folks ought not hear about.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. This is the first post I read today. It had all the components of a great post: hilarious, informative, a little sad, historic, and hopeful. Great use of prompt. Really enjoyed this!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All the pics are very nice, but that last one at the end of the post — wow! Great shot, Dan. I have to say, clear-cutting is something I really, really hate. And incredibly enough, you see quite a bit of it up here. I won’t try to explain why that’s so incredible, but if you saw what Northern Ontario was like, you’d just shake your head at the thought that anyone would go in to where people live to get away from noise and pollution, where tourists like to go, and just rape the landscape. I mean, this is Canada! Second largest country in the world, land-wise, and only 33 million people, and you need to bring your damaging business right into people’s backyards?? Clear cut areas take years to grow back — not just ten or twenty, but 100+. And up here, they no longer believe in replanting. So you just drive along looking at the disgusting mess the greedy companies have left behind. It won’t ever grow back to nice pine bush. The dirty shrubbery and tag alders take over and it just… makes me SO angry. ‘K, sorry, I’m done now. There’s my rant for the day! ;P

    P.S. Since you actually thought of two “de/ed” words, I think you should get “bonus” bonus points. Just sayin’!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment Wendy and for recommending those extra-extra points. Weyerhaeuser used to leave the trees for about 20′ in from the road so you couldn’t see the mess they had made of the forest. If you look at the map of the “red zone” or danger zone that was drawn around Mt St Helens before the eruption, you would see that it wasn’t a circle as most would expect. Weyerhaeuser lobbied to have it track with the border of their logging operations. After the eruption, they had to process all the wood that had been blown down within 2 years or it would have rotted. Unfortunately, that was during the early ’80s housing bust and they were simply stockpiling lumber.

      The pictures were taken 24 years after the eruption. You can see how little progres nature has made on her own. Of course, she has centuries to go, but I don’t think people should be allowed to clear-cut and not replant. That’s just wrong.


    1. She bought me the torch Sammy. I always wanted one but she resisted until our daughter was accepted in art school and wanted to practice metal working for sculpture. I’m allowed to use it outside, but she remains suspect of my intentions. Let’s hope I never get deflamed. Defired seems like I got my job back :)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post discussing the de words. The volcano did what Weyerhaeuser could only dream about. Beautiful pictures. I think “mountain topping” is one of the most disgusting things devised by man. How does nature grow back a mountain or can those companies plant a mountain?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I never realized quite how bad it was until I read a novel written about mountain topping in the South. Shoot I can’t remember the name of the author. And he describes it exactly the same way you do.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I can so relate to this post. I live in the Northern Oregon coastal rainforest and Weyerhaeuser is denuding like a maniac this year. It’s ugly and environmentally devastating in so many ways. Thanks for letting me vent:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Viewing your images brought a very strange feeling within me. How sad to see these, yet within that destruction, I saw Beauty. That is what confused me, I think, that I can still see Beauty within ruin. How can this be? Your photography is stunning, Dan, just stunning! What man has done to this world with deforestation sickens me. Does it make any sense to denude a forest only to replant? Where is the sense in that? I don’t get it. Greed is destroying our Earth and putting it in grave danger. Her Balance is no longer there as is quite evident in the crazy weather patterns we are now experiencing. Great post!!! Love, Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too see the beauty in these pictures and of that magnificent landscape. The Earth will rebuild, reforest and provide a home for all the animals that will replace those killed in the eruption. The Earth will recover from human mistakes. The question is, we will be here to see it? Thanks for your comment Amy.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Coming from Colorado, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I am a tree-hugger. The thought of forest fires gets me on edge, even if it isn’t set by a human (which does happen). Denude an area sounds great to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Another terrific post, Dan. You really made good use of the prompt. Very impressive pics. It’s like the opposite of visiting Civil War parks today and seeing pics of the battlefields at the time. You notice how relatively few trees were around then, and how much more foliage there is now. I tend to prefer that trend to this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paul. It was good to see some regrowth, but it was 24 years later. We used to have a neighbor who grew up in Vermont who used to say “it takes a long time to make shade but only a few minutes to make sun.”

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve often wondered over the years about the aftermath of the eruption and what the mountain is like now. I saw Mount St. Helens in the seventies and, as you mentioned, thought it the perfect mountain. Thanks for the update and the clever discussion or denuded.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s such a good point on denuded – I’d never thought of that before but you’re right, the way it’s constructed doesn’t really make sense.
    Those photos are quite staggering, it really puts into context the devastation of that eruption. I’ve never been anywhere near an erupting volcano but I imagine that would be pretty scary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We had ash in our driveway in a suburb of Seattle. The images of the blast were incredible. The strangest thing was the fact that the airport and major highways were closed. For a short time, there was no way to get from Seattle to anywhere else in this country. We could have gone to Vancouver Canada and left from there, but it was a bit disconcerting.


  12. First of all, great post. Second, awesome pictures..the last one simply spectacular. I never knew about this mountain and I always thought of Seattle as a city where it rains forever. I believe every Hollywood movie that I have seen shows Seattle as a gloomy type of city. Tell me I am wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seattle is gloomy from late fall to late spring. It is quite high up there, so the days are short in the winter, and the Cascade range of mountains encourage a lot of rain to fall in Seattle and a lot of snow to fall in the mountains. Mt St Helens is part of the Cascade range, along with several other volcanoes that are still considered active. When I moved there in 1978, they thought Mt Baker, in the north cascades, might be the next one to erupt.

      In the late spring throughout early fall, Seattle is a blue sky beautiful place to be (at least that’s how I remember it). Long days under clear skies and those mountains provided wonderful places to hike and camp.

      Thanks for the comment. By the way, credit for the last picture should also be given to the USGS (geological survey) because they are the ones who built the road, the bridges and the visitor centers, without which, I would have had to hike for days to get that picture.


  13. I first came across that word “denude” in high school when we were studying rocks. I later tried to use it in a story to describe a person taking off clothes but it didn’t sound right. So I quit.
    And, Dan, I must say when I saw this post I wondered what you were going to talk about. My first thought was that you were going to talk about the nudity that surrounds us nowadays. I don’t mean to judge or interfere with anyone’s rights, but man! Even evolutionists say are advancing! So if we were naked before, we invented clothes, and now we are going back to bare-ass existence. Just saying.


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