Ode to a tree

Tree
I think that I shall never see  
A poem lovely as a tree.  

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest  
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day,  
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in summer wear  
A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.  

Poems are made by fools like me,  
But only God can make a tree.

~Joyce Kilmer

I’m not a very outdoorsy type of person. Well, I want to be, but my inherent laziness prevents it. I’m also not someone who is very touristy. I love to travel but am not big on tourist hot spots. As the girls who travel with me know, I’d much rather spend my time sitting at a corner cafe then wandering around ruins. I love being somewhere new and meeting the locals. I love the feel of a new city and the architecture and what I also love is trees.

Trees are a sign that you’re somewhere new. The top photo was taken in Snoqualmie Falls, WA. There’s a reason WA is the evergreen state. Even in the winter, with all of our evergreen trees, we have greenery all year long.

When I moved to Los Angeles, I loved driving down Sunset Blvd and seeing the palm trees lining the sides of the road. Not in WA anymore. After living there for 9 years I still never got over the seeing palm trees. I had no idea there were so many different ones before I lived there. I have a preference for the short thick ones, reminds me of me. I was gobsmacked to find out Scotland had palm trees. There goes my tropical theory. I want to go back and check out the islands in Scotland, course I’ll need a parka but it will be worth it, I’ll be in Scotland!

I used to drive to Vegas a lot when I lived in LA and I loved seeing the Joshua trees on the drive. Within a 4 hour drive, it switches from a tropical feel to a desert.

In the south, it’s all about the live oaks covered in Spanish moss. It’s beautiful. This tree is in the backyard of my best friend Nancy’s Uncle’s house. The house her mother grew up in. It’s positively majestic.

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Banyan trees are amazing, with their limbs growing back down into the ground. I’ve seen them in Hawaii and FL so they bring the same feel that palm trees bring me. Somewhere tropical. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of one but took a pic of this tree in Maui. Love the lush scenery.

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While driving along the CA coast we saw this tree and had to stop to take a photo. I don’t normally climb trees but this tree screamed, take my photo! And it’s so much better with us in the pic!

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In Greece, I absolutely loved looking at all of the olive trees. There were fields full of them. I’m so bummed I don’t have a great photo of them. In Girolemenas, they had these wonderful olive groves. I have to go back just to get some photos! Yes, I also loved them because they had olives on them. I love any kind of fruit tree. I watch youtube videos of  nuts being harvested from trees. If a tree is going to provide me with food, I love it.
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One of my favorite trees is the Madagascar palm. While walking in Longboat Key, FL I came across this tree. It made me think of something we would see in a Dr. Seuss book. It’s just so whimsical that it made me happy every time I saw it. I loved it so much, when Nancy came to visit me I took her to visit the tree.
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I remember reading My Side of the Mountain and Swiss Family Robinson when I was a kid. I loved the idea of living inside of a tree. Well, in theory, I do. I’m old enough to know I need my creature comforts, like a bed and a toilet. But I do love to look at trees and know I’m somewhere new. What are some of your favorite trees? Do you have any tree related memories?

Leiha

I like to eat, sleep and experience the world, one meal at a time.

7 thoughts on “Ode to a tree

  • May 11, 2016 at 2:40 am
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    I love Chinese maples and weeping willows.

    I have trees outside my windows but they came and cut all the branches and leaves off, so for the moment they are naked trees! I think its a money saving exercise and means they wont have to come back year on year to trim back the branches growing near the windows but i did like relaxing watching the branches sway.

    Reply
    • May 11, 2016 at 9:17 am
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      I love weeping willows. We’ve lived in some houses that had willow trees in the yard growing up. I loved to lie under them and just let my mind wander.

      Reply
  • May 11, 2016 at 6:57 am
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    I love what I find in trees….in the aspen, in Colorado, we were driving and yelled STOP, looking at us was a huge eye…so neat. This last Easter I was talking with a former neighbor and in the tree next door to her were two distinct crosses…ironic on that day?? I fell in love with the redwoods, the Sequoia, Joshua, tree in Kauaii, cherry blossom, cypress in FL….so many, even the ones in my community. Trees are unique, interesting, Gods creation and gifts to us. There is an oak in Palatka, FL called the Maltby Oak….the branches have such wide spans, that UF many years ago assessed it and installed metal pole like structures yo hold the branches up….without injury yo the tree. The tree is over 100 years old, and majestic like the one on your article. I absolutely LOVED seeing your photos as you were telling the story….yeah living vicariously thru Leiha ❤️. Thank you for sharing yet another piece of yourself.

    Reply
    • May 11, 2016 at 9:22 am
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      You feel the same way I do about trees Peggy. Definitely something magical about them.

      Reply
  • May 11, 2016 at 7:56 am
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    Oh man, how to choose!?! Four species really stand out to me. Two of my top favs are in the Cedar category… 1st the Weeping Atlas Cedar, this Cedar reaches out towards the ground and is absolutely remarkable. It’s branches remind me of tentacles, oh they’re so amazing! The other is a Deodar Cedar they have a shape similar to a Christmas tree, though much larger, and the tips of the branches gracefully hang ever so slightly. It’s almost romantic I think!

    Then, the classic Pacific Dogwood, I look forward every year driving through the Siskiyou’s and spotting their delicate white blossoms peeking through the forest. They bloom for just a short time so it’s really nice to soak them in and enjoy their graceful beauty…ah swoon!

    Lastly, a good ole’ old Oak. Their branches look almost crippled to me, yet the leaves fill in this large cap that engulfs the sky, and tells a story, oftentimes spanning generations. They’re great to climb and explore, and provide wonderful shade to lay under and daydream…Trees bring such great joy, and I agree they reach out to you and scream to appreciate them! What a great way to start the day, I foresee a picnic under the Oak this afternoon 😉

    Reply
    • May 11, 2016 at 9:29 am
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      I had to look up your trees, you described them perfectly. I wouldn’t normally put a cedar tree as one of my favorite trees but the ones you names are beautiful and I love the Weeping Atlas Cedar, also something that looks like it could be in a Dr. Seuss novel. You look at the tree and think it will come to life, it has so much character.

      I love cherry blossom season but it’s so short. I remember dogwoods from growing up. I love any kind of flowering tree. I love magnolia trees!

      A picnic with Amelia under the oak tree sounds amazing.

      Reply
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