Trees I Have Known

Black Hills, SD

The Black Hills, SD

I noticed that today the Daily Post had the word trees for their word prompt. This was a word prompt I thought I could actually write about.  I am not sure what it is about trees that is so fascinating but I really like…, I love trees.

I have discovered that through the years I have taken a lot of pictures of trees. Pictures of trees that are healthy and growing, pictures of trees that are in full leaf, pictures of trees that are majestic in all their twisted glory, pictures of trees as they aged, and pictures of trees from many angles.

Kansas Tree.JPG

I am wondering if my love of trees started as a kid. I loved reading books and sitting up in the branches of a tree seemed the perfect place to read a book……actually anywhere is probably the perfect place to read a book, but I digress.

My folks had two beautiful sugar maples in their front yard that had branches that were great for climbing. My siblings and I spent a lot of time sitting among the leaves. It did not seem too many years later and our kids were climbing those same trees. I am wondering how long before my grandkids decide to climb the one sugar maple that still stands in  my parent’s front yard.

My sons like to remember the tree house they built as kids. They positioned it between the round metal corn crib and a huge old elm tree that grew behind the grove; that made up our back yard. They scrounged around for nails, boards and anything else they could find for construction purposes. It got to the point that my husband painted his own tools yellow and another set red. The boys were allowed to only have the red tools…..if they were caught with yellow ones there was some trouble. The red tools consisted of hammers with broken off handles that my husband had repaired. They were kid sized with about 5 inch handles.

By the time we ventured out back to go check on the progress of this tree house (on the advice of their grandparents) it consisted of multiple platforms. To reach these platforms they had nailed 1″ x 4″ boards with many…..many short shingle nails. At most there was probably 1/2″ of nail that was biting into the bark to hold the board on the tree.  I think their theory might have been; if they had to use short nails……just use more. Theirs was definitely a quantity over quality mentality.  When a board fell off it kind of resembled a porcupine with all those nails sticking out.

After seeing that their top platform had reached the top of the corncrib it was strongly suggested (ordered) that they remove the top platform. I can still remember them mumbling under their breath that they should not have shown the grandparents their tree house. Unfortunately, I never took any pictures of this wondrous tree house. I have a feeling that was in the time frame that we did not have a working camera.

Many of my favorite pictures of trees are ones I have taken while on vacation. The trees at Gooseberry Falls State Park in Minnesota are beautiful due to time and weather twisting them into works of natural art.

There is a beauty in the twisted trunks, the exposed, sun-bleached roots and the tenacity in which these trees cling to life. How they manage to survive growing on what looks like rock is beyond me. They have survived generations of tourists who come to marvel at the landscape and will probably stand for many more.

Trees are a testament to life and a witness to us that if we hang on tight, are firmly rooted and don’t mind being a little twisted we will get through this life. We maybe won’t be in the same shape as when we started….in fact I am very sure we will not stay the same. I am, however, convinced that if we hang on and persevere, we too, will be a testament and witness to those around us and to those who come after.

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam

35 thoughts on “Trees I Have Known

  1. Jessica says:

    What a legacy your trees are. I love that the same trees you climbed in, your kids climbed in.

    What a wonderful story of your boys building their own tree house. I can just picture the whole thing! From the hammers, short “porcupine” nails to the scowling faces when they had to remove the upper level! I can even “hear” those mumbles! 🙂

    I value your insight about nature and how it goes hand and hand with the lessons we learn being human. If we weather even half as well as a tree does, surely we’ll have it made! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne Mehrling says:

    I enjoyed your trees. I climbed a big pecan tree when I was young. It’s odd how one sentence can jump our of a post. You mentioned a period when you didn’t have a working camera, and I latched onto that. I had the same thing and have one big hole in my photo collection because of it. Oh, well. I’ll just have to use memories instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thecobweboriumemporium says:

    What a beautiful post! I can’t pick a ‘moment’ from it that I like best – for I love the whole thing. All the memories, the trees, the quote at the end .. everything! It makes me want to come and visit the trees. To ‘feel’ the memories which the tree holds in it’s bark, it’s branches. …. and maybe a little picnic underneath the trees wouldn’t go amiss. lol

    I really enjoyed this ‘read’ Chicken, and feel all warm inside now.
    Love and squidges ~ Cobs. x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kindergartenknowledge says:

    What a wonderful story! The prompt was obviously made just for you! We bought our current house because of all the trees in our neighborhood and especially the ones in our yard. We happened to be driving around looking at different neighborhoods in the suburb where we wanted to live. Our realtor had not shown us anything in this area. We found it by keeping on driving on a winding road…it was rather rural then and is all built up now. Anyway, we turned into the neighborhood and loved the abundance of trees. There was a house with a “for sale” sign and we decided right then and there that we would most likely buy that house. We called the realtor and told her that we had found the house. We looked at it the next day and we have been here just over thirty years! We moved into the house when our daughter was two months old. The house that the trees sold! And I love your boys’ construction effort! So fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. marijo1245 says:

    I share your love of trees. I think it came from my grandmother who passed it to my father and then on to me. Or perhaps it stemmed from growing up in a tree-less part of the world. I’m not sure. I have found one of the greatest tree treasures is near timberline. In Colorado, around 11,800 is what I call the “tree graveyard”. The remnants of the ones that dared to grow. Giant shells of long ago trees, toppled and hollow. Oh how I love trees and the stories they tell. My favorite is the aspen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I actually have flags in my back yard where I want to plant some aspens! I love how they look when their leaves flutter in the breeze and I like how they sound.
      My sons always talk about the tree line in Colorado when they do their mountain climbing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • marijo1245 says:

        I miss the aspens dearly this fall. The amaze me. Timber line is one of the most spectacular things on the face of the planet (in my opinion). If those trees up there could talk I bet they would have marvelous stories of life and death, struggle and overcoming, and stories of time…just simple time.

        I can’t wait until you have aspens in your yard!! That will be the best ever! I just don’t think they would like my Mazurah heat and humidity. So we planted a cypress (3rd on my favorite tree list) instead and he is flourishing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • thechickengrandma says:

        I have been to Mazurah and yes you DO have lots of heat and humidity!
        I, too, wonder what trees have actually all witnessed. They are around so long that they must have seen some wonderful, awful and unique things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • marijo1245 says:

        Think of the stories the giant redwoods would tell us…they’ve been around forever!! You’ve done well with your beautiful tree post, my heart is stirred!

        Liked by 1 person

      • marijo1245 says:

        When you do see them, you’ll feel small. But it’s a wonderful small! Like standing over 14,000 feet looking at the rain beneath you small and you realize you are only a teeny-tiny part of something much much bigger!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Deb says:

    I agree, trees fascinate me too. I have a willow in my back yard that I love and talk to almost daily. In fact last year I wrote a poem and posted a pic of it! Love those twisted trees. Growing up we had an Apple orchard in our back yard and we built a tree fort in one, that was fun!! Great story, thanks for sharing such loving memories, brought lots back to me!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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