Every recap of the wild stormy ride Nature gave the Twin Cities this weekend must start with gladness that no human lives were lost.
But oh, the trees.
The urban forest in the heart of the metro area, Minneapolis, took a beating Friday night that left residents of many blocks to cope with the loss of one or more leafy giants.
Trees are among the most beloved of plants. They're part of the architecture of a street and a neighborhood. They are sources of welcome additions to urban life -- shade, color, sound, the animation of birds and squirrels. Yes, they can also drip sap on cars and sprinkle sticks on sidewalks and seeds on flowerbeds. But those are minor irritations, especially from giants as grand and elderly as many Minneapolis trees have become.
Elderly -- and frail, city dwellers learned as they looked closely at the fallen ones. In many cases, when giant trunks broke, disease was revealed inside. A strong wind was all it took to snap them.
Quickly and unceremoniously -- too much so, some might say -- these old friends are being dispatched with power saws, to then be sawn into firewood and chipped into mulch, their last gifts to humankind. Minneapolis residents will debate how best to replace them and shore up the urban forest's defenses against disease as well as storms.
This year's city election campaign has gained a new topic, and an entire region has gained new appreciation of the value of trees. That, too, is the fallen trees' gift.
Just hours after his first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump lashed out at the debate moderator, complained about his microphone and threatened to make Bill Clinton's marital infidelity a campaign issue.
Wells Fargo says CEO John Stumpf and the executive who ran the bank's retail banking division will forfeit tens of millions of dollars in pay as the bank tries to stem a scandal over its sales practices.
Storms earlier this year blew down more than a hundred acres of forests where migrating monarch butterflies spend the winter in central Mexico, killing more than 7 percent of the monarchs, experts reported Tuesday.