Monday, June 2, 2008

Tree Huggers

Last week, Eleanor from Thatchwick Cottage was mourning the
loss of a noble tree. And Blog Princess G at Food Film Fiction has a
lovely new photo of herself with a tree on her sidebar with the
caption "shameless tree hugger". I come from a whole family of tree
huggers. Most likely, it is sap we have coursing through our veins,
instead of blood. We have never met a tree we did not like. This
photo, is of a very special old tree. It was taken in August 2005 of my
aunt, uncles, oak tree and I at the old family homestead farm in
Howard Co., Indiana. The tree in the picture is the same one in the
vintage photo of our grandmother/great-grandmother Ida Belle
(left) and her friend Lois Allen circa 1920's.

As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree,' probably
because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.
Woody Allen


  1. Ida, now that's a name you don't here much anymore. My grandmother was Ida Mae. Using Ida with another short name was popular also. I used to try and imagine what kinds of things big old Oak trees had seen through the years. Plenty I'm sure. :)

  2. What a lovely post. I know what you mean about trees - I never met one I didn't like either... and as well as hugging them I love to slowly run my hand up and down the bark. Something very comforting and soothing about that... almost as if I am gaining some wisdom from them.
    And another thing... my mother's first name is Ida too! Have a great day, Willow.

  3. Willow..very nice post and lovely photo of your family of "tree huggers"...My grandmother's name was Ida as well...Do you remember the movie Miss Jane Pittman with Cicily Tyson? She spoke a lot of if they had souls :)

  4. I know what you mean about trees! It's especially sad when you loose one! We picked out a beautiful pear tree for our front yard when Taylor was a baby. I remember holding him and an umbrella at the nursery where we picked it out one rainy summer day. It's looking sick this spring and we are wondering if it may be on it's way out. :( I thought how interesting if it leaves us next year just as Taylor graduates high school and "leaves" his childhood, so to speak. As for the the photographs, I love nice that it's the same tree in both!

  5. Love seeing how much that tree has grown!

    I was beginning to feel left out with no Idas in my family tree....

  6. From an acorn to a mighty oak. Wow, looking at trees brings home the passage of time.

    Trees are among my favourite things too. So solid, so there...beautiful in every season.

    I have cried over downed trees...

  7. Love the Woody Allen quotation--he has so many good ones, doesn't he!? Great post! Someone years from now will be so thrilled that you carried on the tradition and photographed yourselves in front of that same tree. Awesome! I have a picture of my younger brother as a kid next to a teeny sapling smaller than him, and years later, one of him leaning against the same tree, with it towering over him and a thick trunk. Something very appealing about that...

    great old photo, too!

  8. When my son moved into his first house I sent him a tree sappling as a gift for him to plant in his yard. I have visions of photos taken in front of it over the years as his family grows.

    I never met a tree I didn't like either, Willow! Stay tuned for a future blog where I'll post a photo of a tree in the quad of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

  9. There's so much made about America being colonized for religious reasons, trade, etc... but one of the most important elements the early settlers used (and abused) were trees. Imagine, sailing from Europe in the 1600-1700s and when you reached the new world, the shoreline was a solid mass of trees. There's records of walnut trees with 6- 10 ft. diameters. The old growth trees are gone but it is said the east coast was so think with trees one could walk for days and not see the sun.

    In those days the British Navy had just about used up all of England's trees for their war ships. The new world's tree bounty was immediately surveyed, cut and shipped back to England for ship constructions.

    Later, when the westward migration was underway, trees were seen as weeds and obstacles. The early pioneers chopped and burned until they had open areas for farms and then cities.

    When logging for profit was underway in the 1800s there were so many trees cut, rivers often were overly jammed with trees being floated to saw mills. It was said you could walk for many miles on the floating logs and never ge wet. There are records of log jams, 3-4 stories tall and miles long that were set on fire just to clear the jams.

    Trees made America great. They were and still are one of our greatest natural assets and resources.

    I live in a forest and I hug trees.

  10. Hi Willow; is that my screen or has yesterday's dark grey background morped into black? Hmmmmm

  11. Bill, intriguing comments on trees and their history in America. One of WT's ancestral branches left Missouri and went west to work in the logging industry in Washington in the late 1800's.

    You might like to see one of my previous posts on historical signal trees.

  12. Lavinia, I went from taupe straight to black. I get easily bored looking at my own blog and hey, it's easier than painting walls, right?

  13. Wow! Ida must have been a popular name back in the day. It's amazing how many of us have family with that lovey name.

  14. Willow, it's odd but on my screen at work, your background is jet black, but here at home, your background is a shade of dark grey. They both look very nice!

  15. Great idea. I grew up (as you probably know) in India and we had this huge garden with wonderful trees that spanned so many eras and varieties. In 2003, I was lucky enough to take my Australian-born children back to the old family house in Calcutta and take them round the garden, explaining all the areas that brought back the happiest of memories.

  16. Love those dresses! That tree has grown quite a lot since the 1920s.

  17. Willow,
    For some reason I see genealogy all over that tree. Great pics! Great post! I wish I had one of Grandma's cookies right now!
    The Bach

  18. Now that took some work digging up the old picture with a now and then picture of the tree. Great effort. Incredible how those tress just slowly do what they do best...regardless of the environment....hey, there may be a spiritual lesson there. Blessings.

  19. I love that you have a picture of the same tree, then and now. Since beginning my blog I have thought of so much that I wish I had pictures of. There was a tree in my great grandfather's yard that I remember standing on the roots as a child. I couldn't even reach half way around. Wish I had a picture of that tree. I love your old family pictures. You have a huge collection.

  20. Trees are more like people than people are like trees and for that I am grateful. I hate to see a man with a chain saw approaching a tree. A tree without legs anchored in one spot and the chainsaw bite is deep and forever.

    I like trees too.

  21. You lovely tree huggers! Keep hugging!

  22. Well, you know I love trees too. big old oaks are my favourite. It was so sad seeing so many huge old and healthy trees ripped out of the ground when the storm came.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)