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Vanessa Richins Myers

Festival of the Trees 46: Humorous and Serious Trees

By April 2, 2010

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A few months ago I discovered a blog called Festival of the Trees, which serves as the coordinating point for a monthly blog carnival. I loved reading about the adventures and observations of fellow tree lovers. This month I am honored to be hosting it right here at Trees and Shrubs at About.com

This year I decided to feature humorous trees in commemoration of April Fool's Day and made it the theme of the blog carnival. I also received several submissions that have more of a serious nature, which serves as an excellent contrast.

You never know what you'll find up in a tree. Last April Fool's I described how some fish are able to climb trees(which is true!). Katy sent in a fun little story about how she discovered a tiny mushroom (and more) high up in a tree she was climbing. Treeblog.co.uk sent in evidence of the lengths that some golfers will go to take the shot from where it landed...right in the tree, in this case. Joan's post featured evidence of a squirrel's picnic.

I do believe that nature is laughing at me right now. I finally thought that a reprieve was here in Utah...it warmed up, the daffodils started blooming, and all seemed well in the world. However, my April Fool's Day present was a fresh delivery of snow. Sigh. At least my poor local trees don't have it as bad as the ice covered trees that Paul showcases. I find them exquisitely beautiful. I feel the same about tupelos among the snow.

Not all areas are swamped with snow, though. It's summer over in Australia. If you're ever near Newton (a suburb of Sydney), consider visiting Camperdown Cemetary, which is rich in history and trees.

I was heartened to read Jade's post about the Kitsap forest:

Trees in the Pacific Northwest are blooming, and in the cold forests of Kitsap County our deciduous trees are slowly awakening.

There is hope! (And I am officially jealous) She also sent over a link to an intriguing piece about music from a tree.

Over in Bangalore, Arati reports that several gorgeous trees featuring yellow flowers are in bloom. They make me imagine that soon spring will arrive here in Utah too. I also whetted my appetite for better weather by gazing upon red maple reproduction, Southern beeches, Texas in spring, and Japanese ume blossoms.

Back in California, coyotes are part of what symbolizes home to me. We live in the hills outside the city, where you can actually see some stars, hear the frogs croak, take a winding drive through the oak-lined canyons, and listen to the howling coyotes. A fond wave of nostalgia hit as I read Dave's account of the coyote tree. The portrait he paints with his story is fascinating.

"Something was different. He stopped and sniffed, trying to puzzle it out. He smelled fresh sawdust and gasoline, yes, but also the moist earthy spoor of rotten tree -- a lot of that. As if some enormous coyote, its gut full of fur and seeds and scales and all manner of indigestible things, had stopped to leave a massive calling card."

When I was growing up, I would look for shapes in wood and wood products. Gilgamesh must be a kindred soul, for I received his account of finding a tree carried an image of Totoro, a character from the anime film "My Neighbor Totoro". It does appear to be quite similar.

Right outside my window is a honeylocust tree. Fortunately ours are thornless (Gleditsia triacanthos 'Inermis') , unlike the ones Melissa mentions in her post called Mastodons in Manhattan. I wouldn't want to tangle with those trees!

When I was fifteen, I fell in love with British Columbia while I was there on band tour. I now find myself considering buying a copy of "Wildlife & Trees in British Columbia" since learning about it from Susannah's blog.

Thanks for stopping by as I considered trees both humorous and serious. The photo blogroll will be up soon. What's the funniest tree you have ever seen?

Note: FOTT 47 will be at Nature's Whispers and links should be sent to dream.lizard [at] googlemail.com by April 28.

Image by pawpaw67 via Flickr Creative Commons


April 2, 2010 at 4:58 am
(1) Jacqueline says:

Thanks for organising this FoTT’s. It is a good one. Thanks also for including trees in Camperdown Cemetery. Nothing funny about cemeteries so it was a nice surprise to see it included. I have laughed a few times at various sites & have still got a few more to visit. I also loved the Music from a Tree – never heard or seen anything like it.

April 2, 2010 at 6:59 am
(2) Pablo says:

Nice collection! Thanks for putting this together.

April 2, 2010 at 10:35 am
(3) Gilgamesh says:

These are wonderful, thanks for doing the festival!

April 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm
(4) Out walking the dog says:

Thank you, Vanessa, for including Mastodons in Manhattan, and for organizing the festival. It looks great. I’m still working my way through the posts. I agree with Jacqueline that the tree music is fantastic.

April 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm
(5) Georgia says:

Enjoy your writing style — thanks for organizing this festival.

April 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm
(6) suzi smith says:

Great job Vanessa! I ended up being too late for this one, but I suppose that means I’m early for next month! Right… off for a wander round the festival…. thanks for putting it all together.

April 5, 2010 at 1:45 am
(7) James Webley says:

Hi Vanessa,

Great job on the festival. As you guys up in the northern hemisphere start to thaw we in the southern hemisphere with our Antarctic southern beeches get ready for winter. No snow though but it’s all relative.

That was out first carnival, thanks heaps.


April 5, 2010 at 8:42 pm
(8) Jade says:

What a wonderful festival Vanessa, thanks for making it a great one!

April 10, 2010 at 9:12 am
(9) arati says:

thanks for putting together such a lovely festival! i enjoyed all the links.

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