Category Archives: trees

hard wood.

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the class discovered this tree with magical writing all over it
and even though he’s only mastered the alphabet this year
‘a’ chose to read it out loud to everyone
in his own magical language
a master translator at work.
“he was made of hard wood.”
-hungarian proverb
Arborglyphs, dendroglyphs, silvaglyphs or modified cultural trees
is the carving of shapes and symbols into the bark of living trees.

no point in hurrying.

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a walk in the woods, northern michigan style, in the new spring
“there is no point in hurrying because you are not actually going anywhere.
however far or long you plod, you are always in the same place: in the woods.”
-Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods

memoir.

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the kinder wondered what happened to the big, old tree they used to play under

it was a good tree

we sat under it when it was hot in the sun and its shade kept us cool

we collected pretty leaves that floated down from it in the fall

it was on a hill and we ran by it in the winter when we were playing in the snow

pieces of it had been falling off for a very long time

we guess that maybe it was very old and very sick and it was getting too tired

 the kinder began to put its little pieces back on to decorate it

we hope that in the spring

a new sapling will come up near where the old tree used to stand so tall.

“a tree’s wood is also its memoir.”     

-hope jahren

new light.

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as you step on, vacuum, sweep-up, curse, recycle

those painful and elusive pine needles

fallen from your wreaths, trees, garlands

stop a second to take a very close look

at the beauty of a sliced pine needle magnified

and you may see them in a new light. 

“seven clans” – photo by elm mitchell

“the close-up says everything”

-marlon brando

hidden life radio.

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listen….

Silent tree activity, like photosynthesis and the absorption and evaporation of water, produces a small voltage in the leaves. In a bid to encourage people to think more carefully about their local tree canopy, sound designer and musician Skooby Laposky has found a way to convert that tree activity into music.

By connecting a solar-powered sensor to the leaves of three local trees in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Laposky was able to measure the micro voltage of all that invisible tree activity, assign a key and note range to the changes in that electric activity, and essentially turn the tree’s everyday biological processes into an ethereal piece of ambient music.

You can check out the tree music yourself by listening to the Hidden Life Radio—Laposky’s art project—which aims to increase awareness of trees in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the city’s disappearing canopy by creating a musical “voice” for the trees.

The project features the musical sounds of three Cambridge trees: a honey locust, a red oak, and an 80-year-old copper beech tree, all located outside the Cambridge Public Library. Each tree has a solar-powered biodata sonification kit installed on one of its branches that measures the tree’s hidden activities and translates it into music.

According to WBUR, between 2009 and 2014, Cambridge was losing about 16.4 acres of canopy annually, which is a huge loss considering that tree canopies are crucial to cities,  cooling them down during the summer, reducing air pollutino, sucking up carbon, and providing mental health benefits.

Laposky hopes that people will tune into Hidden Life Radio and spend time listening to the trees whose music occurs in real-time and is affected by the weather. Some days they might be silent, especially when it hasn’t rained for several days and they’re dehydrated. The project will end in November, when the leaves will drop — a “natural cycle for the project to end,” Laposky says, “when there aren’t any leaves to connect to anymore.”

 

 “in a cool solitude of trees

where leaves and birds a music spin,

mind that was weary is at ease,

new rhythms in the soul begin.”

-william kean seymour

source credits: Kristin Toussaint, The Optimist Daily, WBUR Radio

under the canopy.

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after hiking to the secret climbing tree

 mother nature designed

only for kids

we enter under the canopy of emerald leaves

to find the magic inside. 

“wood is only one-syllable word, but behind it lies a world full of beauty and wonder.”     

-theodor heuss

secrets in the trees.

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on a winter walk in the woods

 came upon a labyrinth made of pine

 fall to winter vegetables as offerings at its center

 beautiful yule celebration on display

left for all to enjoy.

 

“the trees will tell their secrets to those that tune in.”

-steve magee

 

 

greenview nature preserve, ann arbor, mi,  usa – january 2021