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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Monday, September 4, 2023

I did say I would appreciate the trees outside of my window instead of being annoyed about the noise…

I did say.

I’ll tell you what, though, those people don’t take a single day off. 5AM Sunday morning. 5AM Labor Day Monday. It’s all the same to them.

I did, however, take a slightly different approach this weekend. When the world started collapsing I got out of bed, shut the windows, and stood for a moment enjoying the trees before flinging myself back in bed with my earplugs.

I even got to see a gorgeous pink and orange pre-sunrise bleeding over the topmost branches.

And it inspired this post, because if we’re going to appreciate trees, we’re going to appreciate trees. The tall and short, the leafy and bare, the branch-y and bark-y. In all their colors and glorious manifestations.

September is an excellent time of the year to be a tree. They get to deck out in all their finery and try to out-impress each other.

Sometimes they even lay out the red carpet for us.

Always they beckon us to come out and play.

Sometimes trees that are like lah deh dah, I am just a green old tree all summer will burst into a little song in fall.

I’m not sure if this tree was dying or just changing color but either way it’s beautiful.

Proof that trees don’t have to be alive to be amazing… the still make the ideal perch for a heron or a whole turtle family.

And a home for birds. This one was just sleeping for winter but look at the gorgeous shape of those branches. If the clothes do not make the man, then leaves do not make the tree. They are just as lovely naked.

Trees play nice with the rest of the world, too. They welcome turtles and birds as happily as dew and fog. These trees are, in fact, outside my window and they get a lot of appreciation.

Sometimes they offer gifts. I accept.

I know I have shared a similar photo before but I can’t help it, I just love how these trees grow, in deference to the wind that sweeps up the side of the cliff.

I’m not the only one who loves trees. Do you see him?

And squirrels aren’t the only ones who love pinecones, as my collection can attest. Look at them just hanging there! Like an offering. It would be rude to decline.

Sometimes trees have to express their artistic side, too, like these lovelies framing Walden Pond.

And sometimes trees become art, like this old soul that died and was reborn in another image. I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this before, too, but sometimes you have to appreciate a thing repeatedly.

Trees are just as beautiful on the inside. It’s true that you can discern the age of a tree by counting the rings inside its trunk, and the differences in the rings can tell you what the growing season was like. Thin rings mean a difficult growing year, perhaps colder temperatures or a drought. Thick rings mean higher temperatures and better conditions. Fortunately, there are ways to tell a tree’s age without cutting it down.

Giant redwoods are some of the most fascinating trees on earth. Coastal redwoods are also the oldest trees on earth. They’re so tall that entire ecosystems grow up around different layers. Other plants and trees actually live and grow right on their trunks. They’re also quite romantic – forests of redwoods will intertwine their roots to help hold each other in place through floods and winds. Fun fact: they can make it rain. Their leaves absorb water from fog and air and can condense it so that it rains down to water their roots. Other fun fact: they do not burn.

Gnarled trees.

Knotty trees. What do you see?

Vine-y trees.

Christmas trees. Couldn’t help it! One year my mother and I exercised our crafty muscle and turned some of our pine cone collection into these holiday decorations.

Trees = love.

The birds agree. This one was in Brigantine but it reminds me that in a park I love nearby you can walk through and hear but never see a bird. I’ve tried, binoculars and all. It isn’t until the leaves drop that you get a glimpse of the secrets of trees.

In the aforementioned park, this tree had fallen across a path and was cut to allow visitors to pass. It was not painted, but it was still wet from the rain. It dried to a duller orange but it’s still pretty stunning.

New Orleans tree.

Spring tree.

Winter tree. I know it’s not great for the trees but when you have an ice storm it’s quite breathtaking to see every branch and twig coated with ice.

Arizona tree.

Tree branch, looking sassy.

I could do this all day but I assume you want to go have dinner or possibly Ralph will want some soon, so I leave you with this final shot of a tree lunch. I don’t remember where this was, but it’s not often you get to really catch nature in motion like this.

Fine, fine, fine. One last pretty one for the “eeeeewww!!!” crowd. Wouldn’t want a bad “end” now, would we? Look closely and you can see a little gem peeking through the leaves. Or, as my father calls it, “a monstrosity.” Guess you can’t win them all.

Photo: trees growing on a mountain in Oregon. When we drove through the area, there had been a fire. On one side of the road the trees were lush and green. On the other completely burnt. It was a study in contrasts, but sadly I did not get a good photo. You’ll have to use your imagination.