Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Tree Is A Tree

On our drive to Colorado, it occurred to me we leave very little behind of enduring value.  Our belongings are either a necessity or vanity driven and through the ages disappear or significantly change.  To plant a tree is the mark of optimism; a legacy to people we will never meet.  As Warren Buffet said, “Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

As near as Tree City USA, local woods and to the many parks, we see evidence of mankind’s love of trees.

On our trip, we drove on Route 34 West.  The farmland and hills of Iowa were lined with oaks, maples and various other trees.  Certainly, the beautiful Red Oak, Iowa was a tribute to the native Swedish ancestors who settled that town. 

Iowans appear to have kept their large cattle herds and many were enjoying the shade and protection from fence row trees.

In the first hundred miles, I saw an eagle, owl and many hawks using the trees as a perch.

Although I have a vague notion all those hundreds of summer birds must have nests, it’s pretty awesome to see so many in the bare tops of deciduous trees.  The loose structures belonging to squirrels are amazing to survive the high winds and storms.

Many little insects (both harmful and beneficial) have nestled in the cracks and grooves of tree bark to wait out the winter.

The tight knit evergreens will be the protected roost for many a little songbird this winter.

And although the leaves weren’t the predicted perfect fall colors, they are still as colorful as an Amish quilt.  For the compulsive photographer, the red maples, deep rust oaks and the gold of all the others is just the perfect opportunity – again!

Trees purify the air and return oxygen.  Their roots hold the soil and protect from erosion.  They redirect the wind.  They improve the nutrients in the soil and provide mulch.

 For mankind, trees have been life savers by providing building material, food and heat.

Where man has disseminated trees, disaster has followed.  Where trees have been planted, all have benefited.  That windswept state of Nebraska has been a dust bowl and a howling winter for its residents.  I noticed many a farmstead and highway with relatively new windbreaks - No doubt a difficult endeavor due to the prolonged droughts.  These individuals must be commended for understanding their toil today brings relief tomorrow.

Not all trees are right for every situation.  Plant the right tree in the right place and it will be right for the ages. 

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider,
every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.”
  Martin Luther.

No comments:

Post a Comment