My blog has moved! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Trees, trees, trees

We went to the Los Angeles Arboretum today. Dwayne walked around the trees like a housewife at a clearance rack. The way he kept trailing off the path every ten paces, magnetically drawn by some variety of oak reminded me of the way a woman drifts out of the aisles every three steps, magnetically drawn by a pair of shorts on sale.

There was sweltering heat. The kind that makes your limbs feel ten pounds heavier and turns your face beat red, but this didn't stop my husband from scurrying off the path to explore between the trees, taking pictures of name plates, leaves, and bark. We'd walk through Australia or Africa, and suddenly Dwayne would scamper up to a tree and call, "Christin, bring the list!"

My husband is studying for the Arborist Certification test. In order to pass the test he has to know the common and Latin names of 138 trees, as well as recognize them by sight. This is why we were at the arboretum today.

While my husband collected pictures of trees for his flash cards, I learned a thing or two myself. For example, did you know that there is a variety of Eucalyptus that smells like lemon? It's called the Eucalyptus citriodora or the "lemon scented gum," and it actually does smell like lemon. I sat on a bench nearby, trying to escape the heat and gently the scent of sweet lemon caught me off guard.

Did you know there is another variety of Eucalyptus that smells like mint? It's true! When you crush it's leaves the smell of fresh mint tickles the back of your throat. And to make things even more interesting the common name for this tree is not "peppermint eucalyptus" as you might expect but "peppermint willow."

And did you know that not all trees are green and brown? There is a variety of cedar called Cedrus atlantica or "blue atlas," and it is, in fact, blue!

As I walked through the arboretum, chasing shadows in order to stay out of the sun, I couldn't help but think of the authors who have anthropomorphized trees - Tolkein and Lewis among them. It is easy to understand why. These strange, magical plants are as varied as the humans that populate this planet. They have bodies, arms, and distinct characteristics that are easy to turn into personalities.

We take trees for granted everyday. We step over their massive roots that break up our pavement, carve our names into their bark, and cut off their tops so they don't grow into our roofs and power lines. But they add so much to our lives. They cool us with their shade, increase the value of our property, and lightly scent out neighborhoods with their perfume.

As I stood in the shadow of a silky oak, I couldn't help but feel a spark of reverence. These quiet giants out strip us in size and out live us by hundreds of years. What lovely things these trees! Somehow, standing among them made me feel as though I were standing among guardians.


Blogger Dave & Lynnette Mason said...

We have good trees here in NB...hint hint :)

7:03 PM  
Blogger coach d said...

and your first picture is Indiana's state tree I think [hint hint #2]

5:28 PM  
Blogger Dave Ward said...

i spotted up your site to see if words always tumble like ice into a canter here.

They do. I like the sound.

Keep dropping your phrases, Christin, we all like drinking them.

So what does employment look like in the future for you????

2:58 PM  
Blogger corrie said...

nebraska doesn't have a great selection of trees. but we do have a lot of storms causing trees to fall over...
i loved this post christin. it is so true how men can be so much like women, only with different things... justin could talk to me for hours about things like landscaping and ponds... or even xbox... i am glad to see you support dwayne in his endeavors, it makes me happy to see that :)

11:16 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home