Elva's Trees

A great old tree in Halifax, Nova Scotia, taken in August last summer.  Abundant and green in the full glory of summer.  Something to look forward to.

Elva stopped me in the Block Island Grocery (the BIG) this past winter to tell me how much she likes my blog and how she particularly loves it when I include pictures of trees.  I decided right then that I’d do a blog about trees for her and I've been waiting for a good time, which is now.

 This picture was taken last November.  Oakland Forest is an old growth forest of American Beech Trees in Middletown, RI.   I went to visit when my brother Nick and I went to Newport for this 60th birthday. The forest was purchased and preserved in 2000.  It's small and kind of scrubbly actually, but it's the only old growth forest in Rhode Island.  People worked very hard to save it.  Some of the trees are 300 years old. 

This picture was taken last November.  Oakland Forest is an old growth forest of American Beech Trees in Middletown, RI.   I went to visit when my brother Nick and I went to Newport for this 60th birthday. The forest was purchased and preserved in 2000.  It's small and kind of scrubbly actually, but it's the only old growth forest in Rhode Island.  People worked very hard to save it.  Some of the trees are 300 years old. 

Elva likes things to show their age.  She thinks the true beauty is in the wrinkles on a woman's face.  She likes it that tree bark grows deeper and richer with years.  She likes things to be what they are...weather worn and unadorned and complicated and enduring… more than enduring… bursting with life through all the many twists and turns.  I agree with Elva, especially about trees, and as I am certainly getting older, it is good to more fully embrace her definition of personal beauty. 

My life is still busy like it was last week.  And company is coming… a good friend I’ve known for almost 30 years.  And she's bringing her friend. 

I plan to rest when my friends come.  Or more accurately, lapse into a coma.  I can rest into this friendship.  I can always zoom around again on Monday.

Here's a little contrast for you, taken on the same trip to Newport.  I believe that people actually have to shape these trees by hand.  They have to climb up there and cut them.  (Don't ask me how they keep track of what they are doing.  I don't think I could do that.)  That turns them into story-book trees.

It’s been good to go back and pick out tree pictures from the many that I’ve been saving for Elva. It’s good to see the light coming through leaves and to see the wonderful forms that trees are so good at making.  I like to see that the myriad details have taken care of themselves.  I've been working on these pictures all morning and the longer I look at them, the better I feel.  My mind is slowly unwinding from its over-compressed condition.

A tree on my sister Amy and brother-in-law Stan's farm.  I don't think anyone has been up there, trimming this tree.  It definitely shows the marks of a long life.  I think if it goes much longer it may turn itself into stone.

This tree came down a big storm in 2011.  I love the red wood grain and the cobalt blue interior.

I’ve got so many more trees to go and see.  They’re beginning to bloom right now and that’s a nice thing… to know there are more pictures out there waiting.  Next week… while it’s still spring and things are still budding, I will make the rounds and visit all my known good trees on Block Island.  I can make time for that.  I will.

A really nice thing… a wonderful thing about living on Block Island is that someone will stop me in the store and tell me they like my pictures.  And then they’ll tell me what they see and love about the world in their particular way.  And then I’ll think of them when I’m out taking pictures.  And then I’ll feel like I'm part of this community and that we love the same things together.

 

PS.  My friends called.  For some reason they would prefer not to drive seven hours from Delaware to Point Judith and then take a bumpy ferry ride to sit on Block island in the rain that is prophesied for this weekend.  I will have to lapse into a coma by myself, but I'm sure I can squeeze in a few pictures.

Tree growing in the marshes of the James River, near Williamsburg, VA.  Taken a few years ago when I was visiting my brother George and his family.   Very big and stately and Virginian.