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Festival of the Trees 56

Welcome to the Fifty-Sixth Edition of the Festival of the Trees! You’ve come here because we share a common interest in trees, you and I. Yet how we each think of trees – how we see them – is something unique to us as individuals.

In the main, I have an interest in the ecology of trees tempered with a deep appreciation of their aesthetics, be the trees stand-alone subjects or included within their context of habitats and ecosystems and landscapes. So I like reading facts and taking photographs. I know that some people are of a spiritual nature, and their interests in trees lie chiefly in this vein. Others are more artistic, and express their interest through drawings and paintings, or for the literary-minded, poems and stories. You get the idea. Everyone does trees differently, and each month when I browse through the Festival of the Trees I get to see trees as other people see them. That must be a good thing.

For this edition of the Festival I have organised every submission as best I could into five broad categories: poetry & stories; conservation & environmental science; enjoyment & learning; spirituality; and visual arts. I hoped it might bring some order to the presentation of twenty-odd quite disparate and wide-ranging submissions. This was obviously a subjective exercise, so I hope you won’t be upset if you disagree with how I have categorised your submission! Anyhoo, let the festivities begin!

Poetry & stories

There are two poems to Festival 56. In his poem Fall at Highbanks, Steve Meador evokes pleasant autumnal scenes. Conversely, the protagonist in Charlie Hughes’ poem Ash to Ash sees only death in the fall as all around his workshop trees are ravaged by the emerald ash borer.

Dorothee of virtualnotes responds to the question ‘What do trees do at midnight?’ with an image, Nightwood, coupled with a curiously-punctuated short story, H.owl. The protagonist of Stella Pierides’ short story, The bird’s eye view, who we witness clinging to a eucalyptus tree for dear life in a flood, finds relief from her ordeal in the form of a bird. Stella also shares a photograph of a recumbent tree trunk that dreams of a more aquatic existence.

Inspired by the art of Carianne Mack Garside, Susan of . Spinning . is writing a short story for every day of the year. No. 21 (scroll down for it) - Finding New Patterns - tells of patterns that emerge from the black-and-white world of snow-covered trees dancing at night.

Conservation & environmental science

Tracy McVeigh, writing in the The Observer, tells of a new and disturbing twist in the ongoing story of sudden oak death. When the disease arrived in the UK a decade ago, scientists feared devastation amongst our native oak population (a different strain has killed millions of oaks in California). Thankfully the outbreak never lived up to the hype, but last year the disease began to rapidly infect and kill larch trees – now the race is on to stop it.

Writing at Peaceful Societies, Bruce Bonta details how the local forest wildlife and the indigenous people, the Kadar, of the Anamalai Hills in India have been affected by major developments in the past year, including the establishment of two new tiger reserves in which the Kadar have become actively involved.

I strongly believe in the importance of having plenty of trees growing in urban areas, and I know that Jacqueline of Saving Our Trees shares this view. She contributes a comprehensive article on various computer modelling systems and how they can be used to ‘calculate the value of a single tree or the value of the trees across a whole city’ – where the value may be a cash figure or something like the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered – and how these software tools are leading to trees getting recognition from local government as being more valuable than they previously realised.

At My French Forest, Michael has produced an extensive article on the endangered old-growth forests of Canada’s Pacific Coast and the fight to save them. The Government of British Columbia argues that the forests aren’t endangered, but a century and a half of continuous logging has exacted a heavy toll.

In the second Wide World of Trees Video Podcast, Gene Basler of The Wide World of Trees speaks generally on the subjects of tree activism and tree ownership, around the example of a dam authority clearing a field of trees in a Los Angeles suburb to provide storage space for sludge.

Enjoyment & learning

Rebecca of A Year With the Trees tells how she patiently learnt to identify the black cherry in winter, starting with the beautiful flowers that blossom in the springtime. Meanwhile, Laura has been hunting the black poplar. She has written a fine article regarding the tree at Patiopatch that takes in a visit to a solitary specimen in London’s Russell Square. A native of Britain and Ireland, the black poplar is also one of our rarest trees and the remaining population is sadly threatened by interbreeding with imported poplar species.

At yourfireant’s posterous Teresa shares a gallery of photos of trees in her town. Muddy Mark of Oxygen Grows On Trees revisits the first plantation he planted after joining Millson Forestry Service in 1999 to take a ‘cookie’.

Jarrett provides a study of Angophora costata (a close relative of Eucalyptus) at Creature of the Shade and captures the spectacle of their shedding of bark – ‘as though preparing [their] own pyre’. Half a world away, Rebecca of Rebecca in the Woods profiles the Hercules’ club or toothache tree and ponders the origin of its spines.

Reading about an old weeping beech got Elidad of Tree Care Tips thinking: ‘How often [do] we consider trees to have “history”? …how many of us have that special tree that we hold on to with fond nostalgia?’ JSK of Anybody Seen My Focus? shows us a well-established pond that she came across, held back behind an impressive beaver dam – one of the tallest she has seen.

At Into My Own, Kitty has had her camera out in the woods just after the rain – ‘the droplets drip off the branches like jewels.’ Silvia of Windywillow has a whole series of photos recording the heavy frosts that cloaked the trees around her home. A separate series is devoted to her flowering witch hazel and its expanding coat of jagged crystals – ‘such a happy tree in the middle of winter!’ Frosty days indeed.

Joy, who lives in The Little House in the Not-So-Big Woods, takes us up close and personal with a tree that looks suspiciously like it’s trying to get up and crawl away. It’ll struggle to move anywhere though with that massive taproot!


Only one! At Writings from Wild Soul, Wrensong tells how she has been thinking of the trees, ‘listening down into the roots, into the winter dreams of the Rooted Ones, remembering dreams of the Great Tree, the One Tree…’

Visual arts

Jasmine of Natures Whispers, inspired by contributions to the previous Festival of the Trees (hosted by Jasmine), has ‘wrapped’ some of the trees in her back garden – ‘It will be interesting to see how the passing seasons will decorate these cottons.’ In a separate post (which includes a link to some impressive ‘tree shaping’ art), Jasmine tells of how one submission regarding a collaborative project to construct a willow yurt has sent her imagination running wild!

Ester Wilson of Daily Drawings shares a sketch she made at the park of a bizarre scene unfolding beneath the trees. Over at Loose and Leafy, Lucy is reminded of an unorthodox portrait of the Prince of Wales by her photographs of silhouettes in the hedgerow – and describing the impression the painting made, she wonders if it has influenced her style of photography.

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There we go. Thank-you for visiting – I hope you’ve found something of interest to you here. I’d also like to thank all who contributed to this edition of the Festival of the Trees, and I thank Dave, Pablo and Jade for allowing me to host the Festival for a third time.

The next edition of the Festival – No. 57, the March 2011 edition – will hosted by Rebecca of Rebecca in the Woods. Please send all your submissions to rebecca [dot] deatsman [at] gmail [dot] com. The theme is open; the deadline is the 27th of February.

It’s been emotional!

Posted in Miscellany

treeblog to host next month’s Festival of the Trees: your submissions please!

The upcoming fifty-sixth edition of the premier tree-flavoured blog carnival The Festival of the Trees will be published here at treeblog on the 1st of February. To make this edition a success I am relying on all you fine folks to submit for inclusion within the Festival almost anything appertaining to trees and their associated environments and ecosystems including but not limited to your writings, musings and jottings (factual or fictitious, scientific or spiritual), bark rubbings, photography, artwork, poetry, news pieces, songs, videos and bark rubbings. As well as your own work, feel free to send in the work of others if you’ve taken a shine to it.

Please aim your submissions at mail [at] treeblog [dot] co [dot] uk, making sure that Festival of the Trees or FOTT is contained within the header field and that the link you send is a ‘permanent’ one. The deadline is the 30th of January, so that gives you all a good three-and-a-half weeks to have those submissions flying in. There’s no theme for this edition, so don’t hold back!

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This month’s edition of the Festival is now online at Natures Whispers - go enjoy!

Posted in Miscellany

Festival of the Trees 44

Hello friend! Welcome to the February 2010 edition of the Festival of the Trees, hosted with gracious humility by treeblog. It’s time to take another walk through Festival Forest, so please dress in suitable attire. Quickly pack yourself some refreshments too – tea and biscuits, beer and a Scotch egg, whatever – and then we can get off in time to see the forest sunrise. Maybe we’ll see the trees lit up like the little Appalachian glow that Carolyn of Roundtop Ruminations saw last week.

O-ho! What rustles? A friendly badger approaches! What’s it got for us? A piece of parchment? Ah, it’s a map of Festival Forest, annotated by one of the Forest Guardians, Jade Blackwater. These green ‘X’s must be things she wants us to take a look at. Yep, these’ll fit into our walk nicely. The first one isn’t too far in this direction, so we might as well make it our first port of call… Aye, there’s a note attached to this tree. It’s a letter – sorry – it’s a poem entitled, Tu B’Shvat, by Rebecca of Rebecca’s Raps.

All photos in this post are Creative Commons-licensed and were found on Flickr.

Now, see that tree over there? That’s a myrtle beech. Over at Tasmanian Plants, David takes a look at how this tree from that island’s cool temperate rainforest managed to survive the most recent glacial period. And that scrub oak next to it? Greg of Greg Laden’s Blog tells us how a scrub oak in southern California has survived for an estimated 13,000 years by cloning itself. At that age it would have been a seedling in the last ice age, back when the myrtle beech was still chilling in refugia!

That tree by the stream is a western redcedar. It isn’t a true cedar though – it actually belongs to the cypress family. Western redcedar is the subject of a comprehensive post for The Clade by Rachel Shaw.

I don’t know what those twisting, barkless trees over there are, but I know that A. Decker has some drawings of them at Resonant Enigma. When it comes to identifying trees, things just got a bit easier for visitors to Riverside Park – the trees have now got little tags with their common and taxonomic names on, as Melissa of Out walking the dog discovered recently.

This part of the Forest is a lot colder than the rest (I hope you brought a coat). That freezing creek could have been the inspiration for Angie’s haiga at woman, ask the question. And that hoar frost… the way it transforms the leaves and the bark and the grass and everything is just magical. It’s not just the Forest either – take a look at Silvia’s photos of her wintry back garden at Windywillow. Kitty has another couple of frost photos at Into My Own.

Hard frozen ground plus dormant trees plus a prolonged episode of rainfall can all add up to a flash flood, something that occurred in Dave Bonta’s neck of the woods recently at Via Negativa. To top it off, the temperature dropped and the floodwaters froze!

The frost here is pretty deep. Er, it’s snow. Pretty deep snow. Outside the Forest, Chestnut Coppice and Sweep Wood took a decent hit of snow – Mike’s got a hefty photo-record over at Peplers in Rye. Eped of fish without faces has arranged some very wintrous photos of the infamous Donner Pass, whose subjects include staghorn lichen and the incredible-impossible phenomenon of snow rollers!

Isn’t this Forest strange? We’re barely taken a hundred steps from the snow and already there’s a flowering tree that closely resembles the pink poui in Gillena Cox’s webshots album, Scenery & Nature: Trees Bloom.

Some trees hold secrets… swamp4me at SwampThings shares a live oak with a mysterious wound. Who or what inflicted it and why? Is everything what it seems? All we know is, the tree lives on... What if a tree grew up next to a barbed wire fence and grew around the barbed wire, but at some later date the fence was taken down to leave behind a secret section of barbed wire buried deep inside the heart of the tree? Vicky reveals the secret at TGAW.

Hey. You feeling the bad vibes in this area? Those stumps over there were once healthy trees. I hate it when trees in the Forest have to be cut down, but the powers that be can be ignorant or unfair. Luigi at the Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog laments that his mother-in-law was forced to cut down some of her eucalypt plantation in Kenya under a government initiative to combat drought. Sometimes a tree has to come down in the interests of public safety, even if it’s a grand old vet. Michelle of Rambling Woods tells the sad story of Herbie, a victim of Dutch elm disease and New England’s oldest elm tree.

Have you ever noticed that some trees resemble animals? Somewhere in this forest there’s a silver birch that looks like a reindeer, and Shashi has a lizardy reptile-tree at his anAestheticbard photoblog. Speaking of birch trees, Sheridan at Willow House Chronicles recounts a Native American legend that explains the branch scars on birches with the story of Winabojo, a spirit-boy.

Hold on a sec, there’s an arrow made of sticks on the ground here! That’ll have been left by Dave Bonta, one of the Forest Guardians. Where does it point? At that tree down there with its bole all swathed with strips of material? That reminds me of a line from Marly Youmans’ poem A Tree for Ezekiel at qarrtsiluni.

Let’s just rest for a minute by this maple. I want to show you its twigs. Do you see those little wrinkles? Well, Seabrooke at the Marvelous in nature explains how by finding those wrinkles you can not only determine the age of a twig or branch, but also how much the twig or branch has grown in each year.

There was once a road that ran through the Festival Forest, but that was a long time ago. Today you could walk right by without noticing that a road was ever there. Once it fell out of use, the forest just swallowed it up. Rudyard Kipling poetised a very similar story in The Way Through The Woods, a fine poem to which Jasmine of Natures Whispers has added some fitting imagery.

You know, I never cease to be amazed by the sheer diversity of the trees here in Festival Forest. Over there are oaks, but over there are palm trees! The dedicated iphoneographer Bruce Moore shares a moody photos of a palm over at brucecmoore iPhone photos. When you say ‘palm tree’, I think ‘coconut’. If it’s a red hot day in the Dominican Republic and you fancy a refreshing drink of coconut milk, someone might just climb up and fetch you one. Moe at Iowa Voice has the photos! Still, not everyone likes palm trees. If only the haters would read Jacqueline’s passionate defence of palm trees at SAVING OUR TREES. The Alexandra Palm in her back garden is way more than just a ‘telegraph pole’ – it’s a valuable food source for birds and a possum!

And still with the palms, when Billy Goodnick saw a fig intertwined with a palm tree he got a little hot under the collar in this article at Fine Gardening. Mr Goodnick also gets excited about the colours of the leaves in autumn at Santa Barbara Edhat. I was apparently misinformed when I was told that deciduous trees turn yellow and orange and red because forest dwellers paint the leaves by the light of a full moon.

Jade Blackwater of Arboreality spent several months of 2008 living in Santa Barbara. Living next to a warm, sandy beach is all well and good, but if you’re a forest-dweller it might take some getting used to.

Are you a bonsai person? Or have you tried to keep one in the past? John Conn (b0n2a1) curates a gallery of spectacular specimens on Flickr called Bonsai.

The bare trees in this part of the forest are great to photograph against a beautiful, clear, blue sky on a fresh winter’s day. I’m sure Susan of Garden Rant would agree. A moody sky can work as well, like in these photos at Wanderin’ Weeta, snapped by the eponymous wanderer herself. A different approach to these bare trees delivers results just as pleasing, as Karen at trees, if you please demonstrates: photographing the shadows that the naked trees cast along the floor.

I can’t tell what flavour these trees are without their leaves on, but I’m pretty sure that they aren’t baldcypresses. I should be able to identify those in winter now after reading Genevieve’s post at Tree Notes. Actually, tell a lie - I do know what this tree is. Do you see those spiky balls hanging there? They’re sweet gum seed balls. I learned about these recently from Katie at Green-Wood Cemetery Trees.

Let’s stop by this pine tree for a moment and take a close look at one of these pine cones. These little winged structures wedged into the cone hold the seeds – Roberta will tell you more at Growing With Science Blog.

Have you ever fallen in love with a tree? Heather Cameron of A day in the Country has. Actually, she fell in love with a forest. AnneTanne of AnneTannes Kruidenklets fell in love with the English oak growing in the cornfield that neighbours her house. When the field came up for sale, guess what happened? I’m sure you’d do the same to keep the tree that you love safe.

Woah! That giant growth on that tree there! That is one fine burr. Almost as big as the one JSK saw on her ‘campground – dam loop’ walk at Anybody Seen My Focus?

I’ve heard that there are many old marker stones lost in this forest. Caroline at Coastcard tells of the Rufus Stone in the New Forest. The original stone was erected in 1745 to mark the site of an ancient oak tree, itself the site of a much older event: the death of a king in August 1100.

Shhh!. Stand still a minute and look where I’m pointing. Up in that Scots pine. A red squirrel. Red squirrels are native to Scotland, but they are under threat from the introduced grey squirrel, as Kevin of Fraoch Woodland will tell you.

Can you smell that salty tang in the air? We’ve walked right through Festival Forest and we’re about to come out onto a beach. There’s a flotsam- and jetsam-decorated tree (deceased) standing in the ocean that Nina of Ornamental will show you. And there’s just one last surprise before we get there: dancing clouds.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed your journey today (or however long it took us – time in this forest passes strangely). I think the best way to bring it all to a close would be to solemnly quote these words of wisdom from Pablo of Roundrock Journal:

I just like the idea of knowing that the forest is a busy place even when we’re not around. And it reminds me that there is always something interesting to see in the forest if I just take the time to look for it.

Super. There are just two things left to say:
1. Thank-you to everyone who contributed to this edition of the Festival of the Trees, and thank-you again to Dave Bonta for forwarding on a lot of submissions, and Jade Blackwater for going the extra mile with her submissions. It’s been a pleasure.
2. Next month’s Festival of the Trees (#45) will be over at The Voltage Gate. Send in your submissions to thevoltagegate [at] gmail [dot] com. The deadline is the 26th of February.


Posted in Miscellany

First call for February’s Festival of the Trees

Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. It’s my pleasure to announce that treeblog will be hosting the 44th Festival of the Trees next month, so here’s what you gotta do. You’ve got the rest of the month to send all your tree-related submissions to me over at treeblog HQ, where a crack team of forest sprites are standing by to craft something worthy. What can you submit? Hear it straight from the horse’s mouth:

    The Festival of the Trees seeks:

  • original photos or artwork featuring trees
  • original essays, stories or poems about trees
  • audio and video of trees
  • news items about trees (especially the interesting and the off-beat)
  • philosophical and religious perspectives on trees and forests
  • scientific and conservation-minded perspectives on trees and forests
  • kids’ drawings of trees
  • dreams about trees
  • trees’ dreams about us
  • people who hug trees
  • people who make things out of trees
  • big trees
  • small trees
  • weird or unusual trees
  • sexy trees
  • tree houses
  • animals that live in, pollinate, or otherwise depend on trees
  • lichens, fungi or bacteria that parasitize or live in mutualistic relationships with trees
  • bark rubbings

    If you’re uncertain about whether a given item qualifies for inclusion, go ahead and send it in anyway.

Email your submissions to mail [at] treeblog [dot] co [dot] uk, ensuring that you include Festival of the Trees or FOTT in the title line. Or you could use the festival contact form. The deadline for submissions is the 30th of January and the festival will go online on the 1st of February.

Bring it on!

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January’s edition of the Festival of the Trees can be enjoyed now over at xenogere Go read!.

Posted in Miscellany

Festival of the Trees 32

Hello there. Welcome to the February 2009 edition of the Festival of the Trees, hosted with great pride by your humble treeblog. Take my hand, hold it tight; and walk with me through Festival Forest. Over there, do you see them? Photographs! And what’s that by yon grizzled oak? A poem? There, by that pair of silver birches – see those videos? And all about us the branches hang heavy with a fine crop of blog posts, ripe for the reading! Perhaps today I’ll be able to show you a bark rubbing - ah! Sorry for getting your hopes up: a bark rubbing has never been seen in this forest before...

Let us begin with a stunning winter photograph because after all, in Britain at least, we are fast in the grip of winter.

Lonely Frosty Tree by Nikki-ann of Notes of Life

The beautifully wintry Lonely Frosty Tree by Nikki-ann of Notes of Life.

The yew at Strata Florida Abbey is one of Caroline of Coastcard’s favourite trees. The ruined abbey, founded in 1164, is the traditional burial place of the great medieval poet Dafydd ap Gwilym, to whom there is a memorial beneath said yew. Also near the tree, which has been damaged by storms and struck by lightning, stands an unusual headstone marking the grave of a leg. The brilliant poem, Lament for a Leg, by John Ormond elaborates, and as the poem includes the yew – and did I mention it was brilliant? – I shall post it here in full (or rather, copy it from Poem of the Week):

A short service, to be sure,
With scarcely half a hymn they held,
Over my lost limb, suitable curtailment.
Out-of-tune notes a crow cawed
By the yew tree, amd me,
My stump still tourniqued,
Akward on my new crutch,
Being snatched towards the snack
Of a funeral feast they made.
With seldom a dry eye, for laughter,
They jostled me over the ale
I'd cut the casks for, and the mead.
"Catch me falling under a coach",
Every voice jested, save mine,
Henry Hughes, cooper. A tasteless caper!
Soon with my only, my best, foot forward
I fled, quiet, to far America.

Where, with my two tried hands, I plied
My trade and, true, in time made good
Through grieving for Pontrhydfendigaid.
Sometimes, all at once, in my tall cups,
I'd cry in hiraeth for my remembered thigh
Left by the grand yew in Ystrad Fleur's
Bare ground, near the good bard.
Strangers, astonished at my high
Beer-flush, would stare, not guessing,
Above the bad-board, that I, of the starry eye,
Had one foot in the grave; thinking me,
No doubt, a drunken dolt in whom a whim
Warmed to madness, not knowing a tease
Of a Welsh worm was tickling my distant toes.

"So I bequeath my leg", I'd sat and sigh,
Baffling them, "my unexiled part, to Dafydd
The pure poet who, whole, lies near and far
from me, still pining for Morfudd's heart",
Giving him, generous to a fault
With what was no more mine to give,
Out of that curt plot, my quarter grave,
Good help, I hope. What will the great God say
At Dafydd's wild-kicking-climbing extra leg,
Jammed hard in heaven's white doorway
(I'll limp unnimble round the narrow back)
Come the quick trumpet of the Judgment Day?

John Ormond, 1973

One of my own favourite trees is the lonely oak on Whitwell Moor, or as I’ve started to think of it as, the Lonely Oak. Growing happily beside a path, I’ve walked by this stunted English oak (Quercus robur) more times than I can remember, and I always stop to say hello. I suppose I only began taking notice of the lonely one as an individual two or three years ago, but I would have been past it even as a young child ont’ way t’ trig point. It’s a great little windswept tree.

The Lonely Oak at sunset.

The Lonely Oak at sunset (22nd January 2009).

From a favourite tree to a favourite tree-eater. Dave of Via Negativa profiles the North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) - replete with video of a porky pine troughing some eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)! I also heartily recommend his poem, Questions for the Porcupine.

Vicky of TGAW celebrates the fifth anniversary of the reloakation of Old Glory, a big old valley oak (Quercus lobata) in California. It’s an incredible story, and I’ll let Vicky have the telling of it; but if you haven’t heard about this before… prepare to be amazed! The Hertford Tree Memorial Park, the subject of another post at TGAW, is a place where trees are planted in the memory of late loved ones.

Four tree species are put under the spotlight in a quartet of spiffing posts: Seabrooke of the Marvellous in Nature handles the eastern white pine (Pinus strobes); Mary of A Neotropical Savanna takes on one of the autograph trees (Clusia pratensis); Zhakee of Sierra Nevada Ramblings addresses the California sycamore (Platanus racemosa); and Jennifer of A Passion for Nature has the eastern hemlock covered – aye, that old porcupine favourite.

Over at local ecologist, Georgia recollects her favourite trees, which range from fruit trees to baobabs. One of Karen of Rurality’s favourite trees is the monkey cigar tree (Catalpa speciosa), a catalpa with interesting seed pods. Karen also asks what the heck is that spongy black fungus?

Visit Drawing the Motmot for an extraordinary view from the canopy of the Amazonian rainforest, and then head over to the South Florida Watershed Journal where Robert shares what is really the opposite perspective of a different flavour of giant trees at Big Cypress Bend - one of only two stands of old growth cypress remaining in southern Florida. Also in the SFWJ: a short video of two pileated woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) pecking a slash pine (Pinus elliottii).

Read about part of Bev of Journey to the Center’s special journey in return to the redwoods – part 2 and meet the totemic Corkscrew Tree.

My Bodhi by KGT of When I Wax

My Bodhi by KGT of When I Wax. A tree often in his dreams.

Here’s another poem, by Dave Lewis of the Welsh Poetry Competition. It is called Hope.

I went to the forest
To see what I could find.
I found a creature in the trees
Writing songs upon the leaves.
And his words were oh so true
And his words were oh so kind.

He told stories of Man's wars
He told stories of Man's greed,
But no one heard his lyrics
No one heard his cries.
The grown-ups wouldn't listen
And they told the children lies.
And all the time the forest
Was dying seed by seed.

Now the wind has blown like wintertime
And they've chopped the forest down.
The warnings and the prophecies
They're lost and dead and gone.
Except for this one precious leaf
Shouting its Autumn song.

The Lonely Oak shrouded in mist.

The Lonely Oak shrouded in mist (29th January 2009).

Susannah of Wanderin’ Weeta asks how do you recognise a healthy forest? One indicator is a large amount of dead and decaying material, which means nutrients are being recycled back into the soil to be made available for other organisms. Go and have a wander through the deadwood – and woodpecker peckings.

Eric of Neighborhood Nature looks to birds and trees for signs of spring. He uses the maple in the post’s photo to track the changes from summer to winter and back.

Gardners’ Tips gives advice on growing birch – especially silver birch (Betula pendula) – in the garden.

Adea amici degli alberi (Adea friends of the trees) shares a tree-lovin’ video, and Praveen of Tao of Simplicity shares a quote attributed to Ricardo Semler:

I once took a physics course, at the end of which the professor had only one question: How far can you go into a forest?

The correct answer was midway. Go beyond that and you are leaving the forest.

The Lonely Oak in summer.

The Lonely Oak in summer (12th August 2007).

That’s it for this month’s edition of the Festival of the Trees. I hope that your time was spent in an enjoyable manner, and that you found something interesting! Next month’s Festival will be hosted by Georgia of local ecologist. Send your submissions to info [at] localecology [dot] org, or use the online submission form. The deadline is the 27th of February.

And as we left the Festival Forest, we spied some thing take flight through the tangled undergrowth. Could it be…?

common alder bark rubbing

Common alder (Alnus glutinosa) bark rubbing (31st January 2009).

Posted in Miscellany

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