A prominent willow tree along the Deschutes River in Bend tumbled today into the water.
“It's a terrible, sad thing," said Ellen Waterson, who lives across the river from where the tree fell. “She was just the mother of this river."
The willow stood on the east bank of the Deschutes, behind homes on the 500 block of Northwest Riverfront Street. People floating the river regularly would grab onto its branches and roots as they drifted past in the current, said Waterson, an award-winning poet and author.
“It was just an absolutely beautiful, enormous willow," she said.
The willow was a Bend icon of sorts, said Pam Stevenson, who owns part of the land where the tree once stood.
She said she wasn't sure what caused it to fall at about 3:30 p.m.
“It ripped out at the roots and fell into the river," Stevenson said.