In Praise of Trees

Me: “Wait, wait, give me the camera!”
Eric: You’re not taking another picture of a tree, are you? (He doesn’t say this out loud, but I know he’s thinking it.)
Me: “Now go stand next to the trunk for scale.”
Eric: Sigh.
Me: “Okay, more to the left, back up…that’s it.”
Eric: Smiles for the camera.
Me: “Got it! Just look at the way the branches tangle around each other and…”

I love trees. I climbed them as a kid whenever possible. I yearned to live in a tree house, and my eyes popped when I saw the fabulous multi-story structure in the 1960 film Swiss Family Robinson. Maybe living on a wood boat comes close? And for all the tree photos I take, Eric snaps dozens of images of intriguing boats and curious engineering details that capture his eye. Sigh.

Allow me, then, to share some photos of memorable trees we have seen in New Zealand and Australia the past two years. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways….

They cling to existence with inspiring tenacity.
They keep you company in lonely campgrounds when the half moon is rising.
They grow on mountains,
wade in the water,
and weather blistering droughts.
They reach out their arms to greet you (find Eric)…
…and are more fun to sit on than a park bench (find me).
They have a sense of humor
…and know how to laugh at themselves.
They are natural works of art...
…and collaborators in ours.
They provide habitat for sleepy koalas
…and shelter migrating bats.
They continue to benefit nature even in death.
Cut footholds and climb them as the Aboriginal people did, and you will be rewarded with a harvest of bunya nuts.
They beautify cities…
…and look pretty in lights.
They are magical and romantic.
I still love treehouses.
Come on up!