With my granddaughter Stasia safely back home and in school—and the wind diminished enough so that I no longer need a hardhat to avoid getting clobbered by fallen branches—I walked the neighborhood to survey the dendrological damage. Many trees did not survive Winter Storm Riley's almost hurricane-force winds, and the biggest of the bunch to bite the dust was this huge maple that had lorded it over my neighbor's meadow. It seemed to be strong and in its prime, but when the nor'easter cranked up, the tree was no match for a gale... and no wonder. Its core had been hollowed by the activity of fungi and Carpenter Ants. No doubt there's a moral here, but I'll leave that for another time. The takeaway is simply this: strength can be deceptively shallow and not much more than skin, well, phloem and bark, deep.