Trees

But among all of nature’s beauties, nothing inspired him more than trees — those eternal muses of scientists, artists, philosophers, and poets alike — and what Margaret Fuller so unforgettably called “that best fact, the Moon.”

~ Maria Popova from, https://www.brainpickings.org/2021/03/22/hasui-kawase-prints/

I hesitated to share this. …because the book she’s writing about is out of print and only rather-expensive copies seem obtainable. But obviously I came down on the side of, “it’s trees, I have to share this.”

I was once in random conversation with a professional arborist. I cannot recall for certain even who or where or what we were discussing. (But I’m certain is wasn’t something as obvious as they were at my house trimming a tree. It had to be some social encounter.) He dropped a phrase which has stuck with me ever since. He mentioned, “caring for The Big Plants.” I feel that, somehow, he said it in capitals, just like that.

I’ve seen a couple of trees in my day; in Muir Woods, off the beaten paths in Japan, the Rockies. There are some singularly towering specimens in my neighborhood. I like to snap random photos of trees too. I don’t have a point coming, either.

Way back in “the day,” Carl Sagan made a comment in one of the original Cosmos episodes about DNA. As I recall, he was standing near a Big Plant, as that arborist would say, and he pointed out that we, and the tree, contain identical machinery for processing identically functioning DNA. There’s just a relatively small amount of encoded information making a “me” instead of a tree.

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Go for a walk in the woods and listen to this

Imagine you’re walking through a forest. I’m guessing you’re thinking of a collections of trees — what we foresters call a “stand” — with their rugged stems and their beautiful crowns. Yes, trees are the foundation of forestes, but a forest is much more than what you see.

~ Suzanne Simard from, https://www.ted.com/talks/suzanne_simard_how_trees_talk_to_each_other

Go for a walk in the woods, and listen to this short TED talk. You may go into the wood seeing trees, but you’ll come out having heard much more.

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Bertolt

Unlike the other townspeople, who are constantly doing things together, he is content in his own company — a perfect embodiment of the great film director Andrei Tarkovsky’s advice to the young.

Most of all, the boy cherishes his time with Bertolt — the ancient oak he loves to climb.

~ Maria Popova from, https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/05/12/bertolt-jacques-goldstyn/

Trees.

More recently I’ve been drawn more strongly to photographing them, standing under them and just generally appreciating them.

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