Tantalizing Tree Reflections

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.”(Martin Luther King Jr.

I guess you could say I’ve been obsessed by trees my entire life. As a child in Northeast Ohio, I recall my love of free spirited play amid dense woodlands of the Cuyahoga River Valley near my Akron home. For I loved to play “Hide and Seek” behind trees, pick crab apples from tall branches and add fallen acorns into a strange concoction I called “Stone Soup” at the time. When first moving to South Florida as a teenager, I continued to feed my woodland passions by daring to climb tall trees in this more tropically challenging climate. Unfortunately such bold behavior came to a sudden halt when I severely fractured my right wrist falling off a brittle branch from the top of my neighbor’s tree. Meanwhile, I experienced considerably more emotional grief when Hurricanes Cleo and Betsy toppled many beautiful trees throughout our town.

Entering my young adult years in Florida, my attentiveness to trees would logically evolve into a more serious affair. For in envisioning myself as a “pro-environmentalist” advocate, I immersed my mind in Botany, Geography, and Biology classes during my undergraduate college years. Thereafter completing my Masters Degree in Urban Studies Education, I obtained a professional opportunity to promote tree planting beautification and open space preservation as a full time City Planner in the Daytona Beach area. Know as well that my knowledge about the readings of environmentalists John Muir, Marjorie Stoneman Douglass, and Rachel Carson seemed to further inspire my “green” activist efforts during this time.

Moving back to South Florida two years later as an urban, middle school teacher, I discovered new opportunities to spread my love of trees. For during each school year, I scheduled field trip outings to the Everglades and various other local parks to arouse my student interest in learning about their surrounding natural environment. In retrospect, I now realize how important the abrupt snap of a tree branch, light patter of falling rain, or gentle rustle of leaves seemed to be for the self growth of so many of my inner city pupils. For such sounds of wild forest nature had taught them an important lesson about taking time to listen in silence..

Now in my wanderlust years of retirement, tree environs remain for me a most powerful “draw” during our world and road trip travels. For no hike in the wilds or stroll around a city center would be complete without the comforting inner peace provided by the surrounding trees in mind. Occasionally during these outings, I might even satisfy a spontaneous urge to hug a tree. Perhaps you will see what I mean in the following photographic display.

Acadia National Park – Maine
Yampa River Tributary – Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Regents Park – London, England
Lake Bradford – Tallahassee, Florida
Smoky Mountain National Park – Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Gorge Metro Park – Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Cumberland Falls State Park – Kentucky
Seward Park – Seattle Washington
Luxembourg Gardens – Paris, France
Redwood National Park – Northern California
Morne Trois Pitons National Park – Island of Dominica

13 thoughts on “Tantalizing Tree Reflections

  1. Wow just look at all the wonderful tree photos. I love trees with all the fibres of my being. I love the texture and the expansive trunks ☺️ Trees are vital part of our world and crutal to our survival. They provide us with the oxygen we need to breathe, shelter for wildlife, and food to eat ☺️

    Liked by 3 people

      • Unfortunately, we don’t have many places to see the trees in Ireland as the Emerald Isle is one of the least forested countries in Europe. It’s the land of fairytales and leprechauns, but you’ll find few forests within its boarders. But you would love my home country Latvia, which is one of Europe’s greenest nations. Forest covers about half of the country. 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely post. And the photos are exquisite. Isn’t it funny how much more we appreciate these treasures as we age? As I glanced through your pictures I am reminded of beautiful fall in Ohio and the sturdy trees I climbed as a youngster. And all the varieties I’ve seen in my lifetime. Each uniquely beautiful. One of my favorite poems has always been “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. A poem I had to memorize and recite in 7th grade. To this day it still touches my heart.

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

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the sweet earth’s 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.

    Liked by 1 person

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