Tree destruction near outdoor skating rink; winter robin

After complaints in 2013 from neighbours about noise and light spill from the new outdoor skating rink, the city planted a row of trees to the west of the rink and the parking lot (see my earlier post about these). On a recent walk, I observed that one of the white pines had been broken off:

You can see the broken top lying next to the broken-off stump. It was not clear what had caused this. The dumping of snow from the parking lot has definitely not helped these new trees; but it could have been vandalism. In the next photo below, you can see that there was another tree next to the broken one:

Sadly, a photo taken on 31st December shows that this tree has now completely disappeared:

Again, the cause is unknown. My observation would be that this was not a well-chosen site in the first place. I had noted last winter how the snow piles threatened the trees. The contractor who planted the trees probably did not realize that the snow plowing contractor was going to dump snow up against the new trees. The tree that has disappeared had already been pushed over almost to a 45 degree angle by the snow pile.

On a happier note, on the same day I observed a winter robin sitting up in a tree beside the path. It looks as though he is helping himself to some remaining berries:

My bird watcher contacts tell me that about 10% of American robins remain behind for the winter and acquire the name winter robins. Perhaps this proportion is rising with climate change.

John Cummings