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View Diary: What Is It About A Solitary Tree That Captures One's Gaze and Imagination? (85 comments)

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  •  whatever town I spend time in, (4+ / 0-)

    be it a home or work town, I always have a favorite tree.

    "Just because you win the fight, don't mean you're right," - Funkadelic

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:50:07 AM PDT

    •  one of my favorite John Muir anecdotes is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaveDC, RiveroftheWest, Onomastic

      how he would climb to the top of a really tall Redwood tree in anticipation of a storm or high wind, tie himself to the tree so he wouldn't fall out, and ride the tree as it swayed in the wind.

      Would that be an E-ticket ride, or what?

      _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

      by Keith930 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:06:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  John Muir's own words: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, Onomastic, KenBee

        I don't comment much, but here's a passage from John Muir's book, The Mountains of California.

        After cautiously casting about, I made choice of the tallest of a group of Douglas Spruces that were growing close together like a tuft of grass, no one of which seemed likely to fall unless all the rest fell with it. Though comparatively young, they were about 100 feet high, and their lithe, brushy tops were rocking and swirling in wild ecstasy. Being accustomed to climb trees in making botanical studies, I experienced no difficulty in reaching the top of this one, and never before did I enjoy so noble an exhilaration of motion. The slender tops fairly flapped and swished in the passionate torrent, bending and swirling backward and forward, round and round, tracing indescribable combinations of vertical and horizontal curves, while I clung with muscles firm braced, like a bobo-link on a reed.
        In its widest sweeps my tree-top described an arc of from twenty to thirty degrees, but I felt sure of its elastic temper... I was therefore safe, and free to take the wind into my pulses and enjoy the excited forest from my superb outlook. ... Oftentimes these waves of reflected light would break up suddenly into a kind of beaten foam, and again, after chasing one another in regular order, they would seem to bend forward in concentric curves, and disappear on some hillside, like sea-waves on a shelving shore. ...
        [N]otwithstanding this was the winter season, the colors were remarkably beautiful. The shafts of the pine and libocedrus were brown and purple, and most of the foliage was well tinged with yellow; the laurel groves, with the pale undersides of their leaves turned upward, made masses of gray; and then there was many a dash of chocolate color from clumps of manzanita, and jet of vivid crimson from the bark of the madroños, while the ground on the hillsides, appearing here and there through openings between the groves, displayed masses of pale purple and brown.
        The sounds of the storm corresponded gloriously with this wild exuberance of light and motion. The profound bass of the naked branches and boles booming like waterfalls; the quick, tense vibrations of the pine-needles, now rising to a shrill, whistling hiss, now falling to a silky murmur; the rustling of laurel groves in the dells, and the keen metallic click of leaf on leaf--all this was heard in easy analysis when the attention was calmly bent.
        Thanks for this diary! I especially liked your thoughts on what might be going through farmers' minds, when they leave a tree standing. These are thoughts that 'executives' (I refuse to call them leaders) in ADM, ConAgra, Cargill, Monsanto, etc. would never have or act on.

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