Posts Tagged ‘baobab tree’

          “We ought to think we are one of the leaves of a tree, and the tree is all humanity. We cannot live without the others, without the tree.” Pablo Casals

The elephant and the baobab tree. — Photo by Kim Perrin

Morning Chat

Dredging up good memories of our shared 2007 trip to Kenya and Tanzania during my friend Kim’s visit over New Year’s had me looking back at the photos of our adventure this morning — while I was also pondering what to blog about today.

One of the photos I pulled up was the one above that Kim took of an elephant and a baobab tree. It takes a lot to make an elephant look small, I thought as I studied the snapshot, then found the notes I had jotted down about baobab trees.

A tree of a different kind, denoting how far to elsewhere. I think I took this photo of Kim at our stay in the Ngorongoro Crater.

Kim took the most photos on our trip, but I wrote the most notes. Together we made a good team. Anyway, my notes on the baobabs included one of the legends about why the tree looks as if grows upside down. Like an Aesop fable, it describes what happens if you are never satisfied with what you already have:

According to my notes, the baobab was among the first trees to appear on the land. Next came the slender, graceful palm tree. When the baobab saw the palm tree, it cried out that it wanted to be taller. Then the beautiful flame tree appeared with its red flower and the baobab was envious for flower blossoms. When the baobab saw the magnificent fig tree, it prayed for fruit as well. The gods became angry with the tree and pulled it up by its roots, then replanted it upside down to keep it quiet.

This story then reminded me of my favorite Garth Brooks’ quote: “Happiness isn’t getting what you want. It’s wanting what you got.”

My fingers on my computer keyboard took it from there. I had a blog, and my New Year’s resolution to blog every other day is still unbroken.

Bean Pat: To all tree huggers, of which I am one. And to the author of Miss Pelican’s Perch blog https://misspelicansperch.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/a-small-corner-in-my-realm/#like-5810 who sounds like a woman after my own heart.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Baobab: A Tree Worthy of Its Legends

With a top that looks like roots and a trunk that can serve as a house, the baobab trees in Tarangire National Park were worthy of our admiration. -- Photo by Kim Perrin

“The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “The Wisdom of the Sands.”

African Safari:

So often when you travel, you look around and see places and things that remind you of home. In Japan it was the same species of pigeons that commonly hang around public buildings in America. In Ecuador it was a river walk that took me to San Antonio.

But that never seemed to be the case in East Africa. From the chaotic streets of Nairobi to the tall termite mounds in the Serengeti, the landscape always seemed to hold strange, new and wonderful sights – and never anything that spoke of my native country.

It was a different world entirely, or so it seemed.

Among the more exotic African sights for Kim and I were the abundant baobab trees in Tarangire National Park.

Some call these the upside down trees because they look, especially during their long leafless period, like their roots are sticking up in the air. One African myth is that God was so displeased with the taste of its fruit that he turned the tree upside down.

Another legend has it that the baobab complained that it wanted to be taller, like the palm tree, and wanted flowers like the Flame tree, and then that it wanted tastier fruit like the fig tree. The constant whining soon upset the gods, and so they replanted it upside down to shut it up.

I don’t blame them. I don’t much like to listen to whiners myself.

An elephant approaches a huge old baobab tree during its brief time of leaves. -- Wikipedia photo

An elephant approaches a huge old baobab tree during its brief time of leaves. -- Wikipedia photo

In actuality, the baobab tree, which can grow to over 80 feet tall and live for thousands of years, grows and looks like it does to fit its often arid environment. It sheds its leaves quickly after they sprout to conserve water, and its huge trunk is its own water storage reservoir to help it survive the dry times.

These trees, at least to me, had a strange beauty about them, especially as we saw many different kinds of wildlife gathered beneath them for the shade they provided. And later I learned that both wildlife and humans sometimes make their homes in the tree’s hollow trunks.

What an amazing tree.

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