“from her heart grows a tree”

This post is inspired by Melanie at the blog The Nature-Led Life (shout-out to Mark at Naturalist Weekly for putting this cool experiment on my radar). While Melanie was reading The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge by Manuel Lima, the phrase “from her heart grows a tree” came to her. Melanie wrote about it on her blog (that post is “the trunk”) and invited others to contribute “branches” by posting on our blogs something that includes “from her heart grows a tree” (Melanie hopes to make a visual tree of all contributions and the deadline to contribute is Aug 2, midnight PST)

This is my “branch.”

Uncompahgre National Forest. July 28, 2019

I remember standing in these aspens two years ago, my heart expanding as I gazed up, up, up at this tree reaching for the blue sky. However, aspens are not only magnificent above ground, but also below, because groups of aspen share a root system. A system one might imagine as an enormous “beating heart” below ground.

“From her heart grows a tree.”

Her heart connecting with mine.

Twofer Tuesday: National Nature Photography Day edition

Because of Amy Law’s beautiful post, I learned today is National Nature Photography Day. But it’s also Tuesday, which means I need to do it up twofer-style.

First up are a Western Kingbird and Black-capped Chickadee:

April 29, 2021

April 8, 2021

Next are two trees I can’t identify except that one appears dead and the other is maybe not-so-dead?

Jackson Lake SP. May 27, 2021

John Martin Reservoir SP. April 28, 2021

Lastly, I can’t forget my love for ponds:

Sawhill Ponds. May 6, 2021

Uncompahgre National Forest. July 29, 2019

Obviously, these aren’t the most professional photos. However, they’re a good sampling of my aesthetic.

Hip-hip-hooray for nature!

Taking the risk

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  ~ Elizabeth Appell

April 8, 2021

This feels like a universal quote that applies to all of us, possibly on multiple levels. Here’s hoping we all blossom in one way or another this week. Remember, spring is the season of new growth. (And yes, I’m also speaking to myself here.)

Tree songs

Bockman Campground, State Forest State Park. June 12, 2019

A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.  ~ John Muir

Sunday Confessional: tree no more

For years, a cherry tree flourished in a four feet by four feet space on the patio. It was lovely and we made pie with its fruit. The birds, bees, and we loved it. Then the tree became sick and we had to cut it down. Last summer, one volunteer sunflower grew in that space.

Sunflowers on patio. July 12, 2020.

This year, it’s a literal sunflower forest. I just took my camera out there to finally document the tangle of stalks and blooms. And I smiled the entire time. Here’s a tiny sampling of the happy flowers thriving there.

My confession? Right now I hardly miss our dear old cherry tree.

Enter this wild wood

Chiricauhua Mountains. May 14, 2019.

Stranger, if thou hast learned a truth which needs
No school of long experience, that the world
Is full of guilt and misery, and hast seen
Enough of all its sorrows, crimes, and cares,
To tire thee of it, enter this wild wood
And view the haunts of Nature . . . .
~ William Cullen Bryant

(Note: After posting this, I realized it all felt very familiar. Probably because I’d posted the same words very recently.)

Enter this wild wood

Cave Creek Canyon, Chiricahua Mountains. May 16, 2019

Stranger, if thou hast learned a truth which needs
No school of long experience, that the world
Is full of guilt and misery, and hast seen
Enough of all its sorrows, crimes, and cares,
To tire thee of it, enter this wild wood
And view the haunts of Nature . . . 
~ William Cullen Bryant

Thanks a lot, October

Deck and red maple tree on October 10, 2019.

Yesterday we had a high of 80 degrees which then swung to a low of about 20 degrees today. We’re currently at a balmy 25 degrees. Hooray?

I’m praying to the goddesses that we don’t lose trees and shrubs as a result of the temperature swing. The last time this happened, many trees and shrubs (including our own) died. And I’m talking old, well-established trees. It was heartbreaking. The only upside to this current situation is that the snow might provide enough insulation to keep them alive. Last time, there was no moisture involved in the temperature swing.

I’m beaming toasty thoughts to the trees and shrubs. Please hang in there!

Wandering trees, wandering me

Cave Creek Canyon hike.  May 13, 2019.

Trees go wandering forth in all directions with every wind,
going and coming like ourselves,
traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day,
and through space heaven knows how fast and far!
~ John Muir

Fantasy of nature

I’m always astonished by a forest. It makes me realise that the fantasy of nature is much larger than my own fantasy. I still have things to learn. ~ Gunter Grass

Sycamore wonder

Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore.
There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.
~ Albert Schweitzer

The forest for the trees

Kapok Park. April 1, 2019.

I just spent the last several hours tying up some loose threads on the YA project I’ve (most recently ) been working on since last fall. Basically, I wrote pages of notes in order to have a map for the next time I pick it up. The thing is, I cannot put any more energy into this project right now. My critique group gave me feedback last Wednesday on the first 30 pages and it’s still a hot mess. My words, not theirs. Their feedback was spot-on and they offered some great suggestions, but my heart isn’t in it anymore. This is a project I drafted ten years ago and over the following decade revised multiple times. It’s definitely a better story than it was before, but it’s still not where it needs to be.

So. I’m setting it aside because the characters and plot have become a jumble in my mind. I can’t see the forest for the trees and I’m sick of trying.

Whew. I’m feeling a mixture of emotions right now, but there’s a whole lot of relief in letting go.