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Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Advice from a Tree: Stand tall and proud. Sink your roots into the earth. Be content with your natural beauty. Go out on a limb. Drink plenty of water. Remember your roots. Enjoy the view. – Ilan Shamir

They’re Huggable

Ralph Marston, author and publisher of The Daily Motivator, asks: “When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?”

This live oak tree, thought to be more than a thousand years old, can be found on Goose Island State Park in Texas. It too, is one, whose sight causes me to linger. — Photo by Pat Bean.

My answer is yesterday, when I sat on my third-floor living room balcony, at first watching for the hummingbirds that visit my nectar feeder. When they didn’t come, I then simply stared at the multitude of trees visible from my perch. I know of no better way to calm my body and to fill it with a sense of rightness and peacefulness.

Seven tall Ponderosa pines grow in the courtyard. I often wonder why they are

here in the desert where they don’t belong – but I’m glad they are here. Also growing in the courtyard are the deciduous trees whose names I do not know, plus quite a few black olive trees, whose twisted trunks look as if they have been carved into artistic arrangements.

In the undeveloped desert area around my apartment complex, through which there is a short trail, grow a multitude of Palo Verde trees sporting green trunks and limbs. I’ve observed them through the seasons, sprouting greenish-yellow leaves during monsoon and then dropping them to conserve energy when the desert dries up and the heat sends all living things in search of shade.

Me, hugging a tree in Custer State Park in South Dakota. — Photo by one of the day’s traveling companions.

My former home in Utah, which I sold to go traipsing all across North America, had a huge wild elm tree in the backyard. It was the primary reason I had bought the home. It was so huge that it shaded my entire house, which also benefitted from the shadows cast by a tall Ponderosa pine tree on the opposite side. I needed no other air conditioning.

The trees here at my apartment complex in Tucson, where summer temperatures can reach 120 degrees — air conditioning is definitely needed — provide me the shade I need for the brief walks I take with Pepper, my canine companion, during the hottest part of the summer.

I don’t think I could live in a place without trees. And laugh you might, but I’m not just a tree lover, I’m a tree hugger, too. And I have the photo to prove it.

Bean Pat: The Silence of Nature https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/thesilence-of-nature/  “See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence.”Mother Teresa

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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The Death of a Friend

            “A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.” – John Muir

This tree with the split personalty was my favorite tree when I was a campground host at Lake Walcott State Park in Southern Idaho. -- Poto by Pat Bean

This tree with the split personality was my favorite tree when I was a campground host at Lake Walcott State Park in Southern Idaho. — Photo by Pat Bean

Life Happens to us All

            My Tree Fell Down. The huge one in which, over the past three and a half years, I’ve watched great-horned owls and Cooper’s hawks try to claim a nesting site — each succeeding once. They laid their eggs in the very same nest..

            But on Monday evening, when a kind of mini-tornado blew through the complex, the tree toppled. The giant took out the balcony next to mine as it crashed against my 30-residences apartment building. Thankfully no person was injured.

Me being silly and hugging a tree in Custer State Park in South Dakota.

Me being silly and hugging a tree in Custer State Park in South Dakota.

The mess is still being cleaned up by workmen with shovels, saws and ladders. I figure it will take at least a couple of trucks to haul off all the wood that was once the awesome tree.   I would show you pictures, but Windows 10 ate the driver that I need to import pictures from my camera to my computer.*

The loss of my tree, as I felt it was, makes me sad. My eyes dampened this morning as I sat on my front balcony looking at the empty air where the tree once towered above the three-story apartment building across the way.

I’ve listened as gila woodpeckers rapped on the tree’s trunk, and watched as hawks, owls, ravens and, doves frequently visited its branches — while I leaned back in my chair, as I drank my morning coffee, and observed them with my binoculars.

I feel as if a good friend has died. Actually, that is exactly what happened.

Bean Pat: Deidra Alexandra’s Blog http://tinyurl.com/zr9oh4g A funny story that made me smile – and I needed to smile. Don’t you?

            *By the way, does anybody have any good, inexpensive suggestions on how to fix the import driver on my four-year-old computer, or, as I suspect, am I going to have to get a new computer?

 

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“This idea that being youthful is the only thing that’s beautiful or attractive simply isn’t true. I don’t want to be an ‘ageless beauty.’ I want to be a woman who is the best I can be at my age. ” –Sharon Stone

Photo by Pat Bean

The fossilized rock tree, araucarioxylon arizonicum, known as Old Faithful, can be found in  Petrified Forest National Park — Photo by Pat Bean

An Old Tree 

Araucarioxylon arizonicum: I can’t pronounce it, but I did learn that it was one of the most common trees found in a 225 million year old forest that once thrived in what is now Arizona.

A more lively sight near the fossilized tree. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A more lively sight near the fossilized tree. — Photo by Pat Bean

The petrified remains of these trees, which are now extinct, can be seen along old Route 66 as it winds through Petrified  Forest National Park between Interstate 40 and Highway 18 in Arizona. It’s one of those great travel adventures that are so readily available when you exit the freeways.

These great conifers were buried by mud, silt and volcanic ash in ancient days, then at some point were exposed to silica-laden water that transformed organic tissues into quartz.

That, at least, is the abbreviated version of the science behind the stone trees. If you want more details, you’ll have to do your own research. It could be fun.

I tried to picture the forest as it once was, with dinosaurs roaming through it, as I stood in front of 225-million-year-old “Old Faithful,” the oldest petrified araucarioxylon arizonicum tree trunk in the park. It is located along a short hike behind the Rainbow Forest Museum near the south entrance to the park.

Araucarioxylon arizonicum, by the way, is Arizona’s state fossil.

Hmmm. I wonder if I can learn to speak the name of the tree as easily as I learned to say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: About Elephants http://tinyurl.com/htk8jt9 This blog is really about the baobab tree, which was one of my favorite trees to see during my African safari. I loved learning more about them.

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Winter gives this tree a stark beauty that spoke to me. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Winter gives this tree a stark beauty that spoke to me. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully. – Matthew Fox

I didn't realize until I got home and compared my photos with ones I had taken earlier at Arivaca Cienega that the same tree had spoken to me when it was decked out in spring finery. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I didn’t realize until I got home and compared my photos with ones I had taken earlier at Arivaca Cienega that the same tree had spoken to me when it was decked out in spring finery.  — Photo by Pat Bean

There’s Beauty in Starkness

            I took a friend and her dog with me and my canine companion Pepper this past weekend to hike the Arivaca-Cienega trail 70 miles southeast of Tucson. It’s an important birding area, and a place where I’ve hiked before, only in the months when everything was lush and verdant..

I realized, looking at the naked branches of trees on the narrow, winding and rough backroad that we traveled to get there, that today was going to be different. It was winter and the color green was almost nowhere to be found.

But as before, beauty was around every corner. It was just different, a starkness that let you see deeper into the heart and soul and bones of Mother Nature.

It was an awesome day, even though we got there late and the birds were taking a nap somewhere out of sight. The exception was a pair of greater roadrunners that scurried across the road ahead of us as we headed back to Tucson.

I will return… Perhaps I can catch the tree in autumn.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: Open Suitcase http://tinyurl.com/zohd9u6 Take an armchair train ride through Africa.

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Yesterday's use of paper included adding a kestrel painting to my sketchbook, writing down dates to remember in my diary calendar, which is full of paintings and quotes, and writing in my to-do journal, which includes a hodgepodge of notes and ideas to myself. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Yesterday’s use of paper included adding a kestrel painting to my sketchbook, writing down dates to remember in my diary calendar, which is full of paintings and quotes, and writing in my to-do journal, which includes a hodgepodge of notes and ideas to myself. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with meaning.” – Maya Angelou

I’m So Sorry My Beloved Trees

            I love paper, crisp new pages in a book, cold pressed and textured artist sheets, fanciful stationary, designer pages for my scrapbooking and even the thick block of white for my printer.

But I especially love the blank pages that fill new journals, even more so when their artistic creators have filled bits and pieces of the pages with fairies, flowers, dragons or animal images, and even more when they have left words behind to tickle my little gray cells.

Like these words, which I came across yesterday:  “Let’s talk about mountains. You start climbing one, you toil, you sweat, you finally reach the top, and what do you get? Well, along with a sense of accomplishment, of peace, of a job well done, along with the satisfaction of doing what you set out to do … you get a great view of the next mountain. Looming, Challenging, Calling your name.”  These words were left me behind to ponder from the journal creators, Mark Sanders and Tia Sillers —  And ponder I did.

I wonder if the spirits of trees like this beauty in Brazos Bend State Park in Texas are infused into the paper I touch and use daily.

I wonder if the spirits of trees, like this beauty in Brazos Bend State Park in Texas, are infused into the paper I touch and use daily.

These days, I usually have several journals going at once, the most used being a daily journal in which I write to-do lists (Things I want to keep from this journal get rewritten into my computer journal, which I began several years ago to preserve my writing fingers from cramping),  and  a  journal that I keep beside me when I read, and use to write down quotes and a mishmash of thoughts and ideas.

Even though I love computer journaling, which these days includes this blog, I can’t imagine a day without putting my hands on real paper. It’s an oxymoron for me, because I also love trees. Sometimes I wonder about the origin of the paper I write on, and almost feel the trees talking to me. I hope they forgive me.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: The Blood-Red Pencil http://tinyurl.com/lm2k2pg This is for all the writers who have procrastinated until the deadline monster is close enough to bite off our noses.

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The Palo Verde tree and Mission Cactus growing in Tucson's Tono Chul Park have made a connection. Without the support of the tree, the cactus could never have grown so large, while the large pads of the cactus help capture rain water that gives the tree extra moisture. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The Palo Verde tree and Mission Cactus growing in Tucson’s Tono Chul Park have made a connection. Without the support of the tree, the cactus could never have grown so large, while the large pads of the cactus help capture rain water that gives the tree extra moisture. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “When you feel a connection, a gut connection, a heart connection, it’s a very special thing.” Alfre Woodard

Looking in all the Right Places

            There is something special, as Alfre said, about making a connection. She was talking about that love/lust thing, which thankfully I’ve experienced a few times in my life. While these have all bloomed and faded, they’ve left behind memories, both good, and bad, that put under the microscope help me define who I am.

One tree, or two trees? Either way, there is a connection between them. I do love trees. -- Photo by Pat Bean

One tree, or two trees? Either way, there is a connection between them. I do love trees. — Photo by Pat Bean

Now, in my seventh decade, I find connections that define who I am in different ways. Mostly they come through travel, books and family relationships, the latter of which, when I think hard enough about them, leave me understanding that I was at times better than I gave myself credit for, but also sometimes not as good as I thought I was.

It’s a complicated thing, and sometimes I simply decide to give up thinking about whether I was a good, strong mother, or a weak, spineless one. .

It’s much more rewarding and fascinating to come across things in my travels that connect to my life, like a Chinaberry tree that reminded me of the many hours I spent up in one in  my grandmother’s back yard – until the day I discovered  a rattlesnake sunning on the rock I used to boost myself up into the branches. The snake scurried away as fast as I did. It was probably as afraid of me as I was of it, but I never climbed that tree again.

The perfect setting for making a connection with another human, I thought when I saw these chairs sitting in a Flagstaff, Arizona, RV park.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

The perfect setting for making a connection with another human, I thought when I saw these chairs sitting in a Flagstaff, Arizona, RV park. — Photo by Pat Bean

All this came back to as I watched a white-breasted nuthatch in a Chinaberry tree growing next to where I was camping in my RV, Gypsy Lee. Time, I realized, had taught me to fear the snake when it was where I would place my foot, but not to fear it when it wasn’t there. It was a well-learned lesson that gave me many years of freedom in the outdoors and the courage to face the unknown unafraid.

Books, meanwhile, let me know that I’m not alone in my odd ways of thinking. I delight when I come across a person in a memoir, or a character in a novel, who sees the world as I do, which is through rose-colored glasses despite accepting the reality that the world is chaotic and often unfair.

These are the kinds of connections I never had time to make when I was younger. I was too busy simply living life. But suddenly I find them fascinating. These connections to my life happen often these days, and they enrich my days. So I have come to search for them – in all the right places.

Bean’s Pat: The Gift of Time http://tinyurl.com/lskfbh4 Tosty Mae makes me laugh. And I loved this blog about unwelcome “connections.”

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In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” — Alice Walker

Only a Tree

Shaped by wind coming off the Gulf of Mexico. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Shaped by wind coming off the Gulf of Mexico. — Photo by Pat Bean

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: The Daily Echo http://tinyurl.com/myb66tl Only a bird … and only a great blog.

 

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