Here is a nice tree.
July 7, 2018 4:16 PM   Subscribe

Overhead, swaying ... a tree in Spain ... some forest birdsong ... in Japan ... a forest at night ... in England ... falling autumnal leaves and rain ... in Italy ... a birch tree, swaying ... in Canada ... a strong wind blows through trees ... in New Zealand ... and some forests, also in New Zealand ... in Wales ... stark Norwegian trees in winter ... in England (and album) ... timelapses through Norwegian forests ... in Scotland ... timelapses of trees in Jämtland, Sweden.
posted by Wordshore (19 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
Oh how absolutely lovely. Just what I needed, thank you Wordshore!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:21 PM on July 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Interested if any MeFites have anecdotes or memories about a nice tree.
posted by Wordshore at 4:24 PM on July 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

I was in Sequoia National Park a while ago. A sequoia had fallen, as they sometimes do when the ground is a little too soft and the tree a little too large to spread comfortably through the soil.

The trunk extended a hundred feet, more, along the ground ahead of me. The tree was a good twenty, twenty-five feet in diameter at the uprooted base. In decades or centuries past, fire had burned holes through one side of the trunk, around which the tree subsequently grew with new bark. I say holes; I should say avenues. Reader, I walked into the tree. Surrounded by calcified trunk and newer bark, I touched charcoal walls left from decade-old fires and walked into the tree, moving thirty or so paces into the increasing dark and ending crouched when I couldn't go further.

I hadn't realised that was a thing I ever wanted to do, but I did it.
posted by humuhumu at 4:26 PM on July 7, 2018 [7 favorites]

P.S. best post of the year.
posted by humuhumu at 4:29 PM on July 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

In our backyard we have an unkillable lemon tree which seems to grow more lemons the more we neglect it- even though we do take care of it, there were a few years where everyone was ill and it still produced- and an unkillable apple tree which has these bizarre hybrid apples and had an aphid infestation one year- but it bounced back, and this spring flowered magnificently- looks like we’re getting more little apples in the fall! I make a nice apple cake from the apples when we get enough, so that’s something to look forward too!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:34 PM on July 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Mind if I suggest another Canadian tree? The Comfort Maple, considered to be the oldest Sugar Maple (you know where we get Maple Syrup from) in Canada. It is said to be 530 years old!
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:40 PM on July 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

This is going to mess up my youtube recommendations in the best way. These are amazing, thank you.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:15 PM on July 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

In the woods there grew a tree,
And a fine, fine tree was he...
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:24 PM on July 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oooh this is wonderful. I love a good tree!
posted by supermedusa at 5:30 PM on July 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

My favorite trees are ones I will never see except in my imagination: the ones in the ancient coal mine forest in Illinois.
posted by gudrun at 5:49 PM on July 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

Wordshore -- terrific post! Thank you.

I'm all too happy to indulge in your solicitation for tree anecdotes -- I have dozens of memories where the setting cannot be properly described without mentioning the trees; from snow-tipped evergreens in winter to colorful and fragrant branches in spring to early summer cottonwoods 'snowing' to late summer oaks dropping acorns to fall foliage... Is there a word for this? Can I call myself an arbolphile?

I'll put together two stories: one about a specific tree, one a human connection made over trees.

On my daily bike commute (in Chicago), about 3/4 of the way home, I pass a big, full white pine. If the air is just right, I can close my eyes as I coast pass, inhale deeply, and for a blissful second the overwhelming odor of pine resin transports me to a nice ridgeline mountain trail. Sure, once my eyes open up I'm dodging a pothole and probably breathing some diesel exhaust but that one tree signals both the end of my work day -- almost home!! -- and how just a single tree can pull me off to a faraway place.

A couple of years ago I was working at an event with the mayor (Rahm Emmanuel) in attendance. Lots of mingling, and of course the mayor created a small crowd around him as he moved around the room. I had gotten to chatting with a fellow who owned a tree-trimming service and he and I got to talking about... guess? Trees. I mentioned the Arbol del Tule and he talked about how he once had the opportunity to climb this tree. He took on a sort of reverential tone talking about it, and he continued about how, in climbing a tree, you're perhaps seeing a view of the tree -- and the surroundings -- that no one else has ever seen before. As he waxed philosophical, we noticed the mayor and his orbit right next to us. Impossible to forget that contrast -- one of the most politically powerful people in the world, a crowd of folks clamoring next to him, right next to two relative nobodies standing there, content talking about trees. I noted the juxtaposition, and happily kept on with tree conversation, ignoring the swarm around the mayor. Felt like a metaphor there: the attention warranted by an elected official vs. that of a centuries-old living organism. I know my attention skews botanical!!
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 12:32 AM on July 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

I have known many memorable trees in my lifetime. A venerable oak in my grandparents yard... I spent so much child time investigating its bark, and the tiny lives inhabiting it. I considered it a friend. (How stunned I was one visit to find that it was gone. I hadn’t been able to say goodbye. I’m still grieving, thirty years later.)

The very-average-to-everyone-else maple tree alongside the steep road near our home will always sing in my memory. Nobody in my childhood realized I was legally blind until I’d already been in school for a couple of years. So I can remember distinctly seeing this tree with my new glasses. It was the first time I saw individual leaves ON A TREE.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 12:41 AM on July 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Y'all want to read Richard Powers' latest book, The Overstory.

Y'all just do.
posted by chavenet at 3:48 AM on July 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

There was a tree in my childhood home's backyard that had just the right sized branch for me to sit on comfortably and read. It truly was my escape.
posted by cooker girl at 6:40 AM on July 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

Speaking of trees, I just saw a story on CBS about "witness" trees at Gettysburg. (For non-U.S. people, this is the site of the terrible U.S. Civil War battle in 1863). These are trees still standing that were on site when the battle took place. Story and a video at the link.
posted by gudrun at 7:03 AM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Great post, Wordshore. Thank you! I have seen amazing trees, including redwoods, but the two trees closest to my heart are two fruit trees. Before I turned 10, my family rented a small house in a small town in central California. The backyard included an apricot tree. I loved the apricot tree for two reasons. It leaked beautiful amber sap, which hardened into natural jewels. And the apricots were really delicious, especially overripe apricots stuffed into a slightly stale leftover biscuit of the Ameican variety. As much as I loved that apricot tree, I loved the giant fig tree at the next house we moved to even more. It was majestic, beautiful, and generous. There was nothing more luxurious than climbing the tree to the roof of my house and then eating darkly rich, perfectly ripe fruit while lying on the sun-warmed roof.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:41 PM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

There was a tree in my childhood home's backyard that had just the right sized branch for me to sit on comfortably and read. It truly was my escape.

At one house, we had a weeping birch whose branches trailed all the way to the ground. Inside, it made a leafy dome just the right size for two little girls to hang out in. It felt like The Secret Garden.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:47 PM on July 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Windows 10 showed me some lovely, mossy trees like these from the Gorbeia Natural Park, in the Otzarreta Forest, Basque Country, Spain, apparently one of 19 beautiful forests around the world everyone should visit in their lifetime, per an MSN gallery/listicle.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:10 PM on July 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

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