All posts tagged: majestic trees

What plants talk about

“Maybe we’re not quite as smart as we thought we were and perhaps plants are a lot more intelligent than we ever imagined.” What plants talk about is a stunning documentary following several scientists around the world who have discovered evidence of plants communicating with and supporting each other. Questions such as: Do plants work together? Can they recognize their kin? How do they recognize each other? are posed and assessed in a series of experiments. It is quite the awe inspiring video confirming many of my beliefs and understandings of the complexity of plant intelligence. One of my favorite examples is the way the wild tobacco plant changes the shape of its flowers and the time of day it blooms in response to predatory insects. You just have to watch it for yourself on PBS. Advertisements

Grandmother Cottonwood

Cottonwood buds, the first harvest of the new year. I walked in the cold winter sun out to visit Grandmother Cottonwood. One tall, ancient one surrounded by millions of younger sprouts all interconnected and intertwined under the soft marshy ground of the Sandy River Delta. My fourth year of going forth and gathering the bounty dropped by these giants when they hold their wintry dances in the wild, blowing wind. Water and earth grow tall, hold the riverbank together and then coaxed by the wind throw off gifts for the people. And what sweet gifts they are laying like a pile of discarded antlers on my kitchen table. The resinous buds full of antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds the bark astringent aspirin like. Even the bees know to use this medicine, gathering copious amounts of it to be transformed into Propolis. The thick reddish goop they use to seal their hive against invaders of all sizes. Bacteria, mice, even the wind itself is pushed out. It was a strange sight this time to visit Cottonwood. Blackberry …

Walking among the Ancient Trees

Walking among the ancient trees I pause. Feeling their presence strong and stalwart. Stillness engulfs my thoughts until there is only now. I feel my being open, expand, flow into the earth and up to the sky. I look up. Drops fall great distance from moss covered branches. These beings have been standing here a long time. They are so different from me, yet their presence is familiar, like home. Some of them have already fallen, only stumps remain. But the stumps are not dead, they are the ground for new growth. New growth rises up out of this one. Three trees, already older than me, and beneath them a mysterious cave. The dwelling of the ancient one who's heart beats strong.  

imagine yourself …

Imagine yourself standing in a clearing. Green grass, soft moss under your feet. A circle of trees around you. Comforting, protecting, watching over you. Breathe deep, inhaling the sweet smell of forest, the life from all around you. You may notice some familiar trees nearby, Cedar, Maple, Hawthorne, Doug Fir or perhaps others you have no name for, but they feel like kin. A little closer are the flowers and bushes surrounding you, gently merging with the edge of the clearing. Imagine you can see the roots from the tall trees, the shrubs, the flowers and grass all growing down and out, entwined with each other and the fugal micelium that connects them all. You too are connected.  You may not have physical roots, but your energy comes out in lines and waves, like little rootlets all around you. Bigger ‘roots’ extend from your palms, the soles of your feet the tip of your spine, the top of your head, those energy centers throughout your body refered to as chakras. Tune into them now, feel …

Clearing Roadblocks

A nice camping trip to the east side of Mt. Hood. Some folks call it Wy’east over there. The mountain itself is called Lookout Mountain. I’m sure there are other names, but I just remember how to get there. As I pulled on to the dirt road leading up the mountain I saw some fallen trees by the side of the road and it reminded me of the MovNat video my trainer from Bootcamp showed me. I started to tell my friend S about it, how the guy ran around in the woods half naked and barefoot. He jumped off cliffs into a pile of pebbles and dragged around huge logs with his bare hands. Then we turned the bend to our campground and right before us was an enormous pile of downed trees blocking the whole road. We both had to laugh at that synchronicity. Being adventurous we jumped out assessed the situation. We decided that if we moved all the smaller logs we could drive around the main roadblock and make it to …

Some things I really like

Walking in the sun is one of my favorite activities. As is thinking about things to write. Today I’ll write about some things I like. I like the way the new Tulip Poplar leaves glow in the sunshine against the stark blue sky. And the dark squiggly lines the branches make among them. I like the bright yellow dandelions that have taken over the neighborhood. I like the large, brown and grey striped caterpillar that I saw sunning himself on the stem of a weed, perhaps it was wild lettuce. I’m still working to identify that one. I like the feeling of pebbles and stones, grass and warm cement under my feet as I walk. I like the satisfying ache in my muscles that reminds me of last night’s late night of Contact Improv Dancing. I like my little heater behind my back that takes the chill off as I type in my little room. I like being able to write and publish my thoughts to the world. Ahh. So many nice things in life. …

Walnut

There is a great walnut tree that I like to visit on my walks around the neighborhood. The crows like it too. I know it’s a walnut tree, a black walnut in fact, because in the fall there were thousands of rotting black walnuts around. I brought some home to use the hulls but they molded in my house. Clearly I need to do some more research on when to harvest and how to dry them. But the crows knew just what to do with them. All winter long they flew into the tree and surrounding telephone wires and dropped walnuts onto the street. Over and over again until they cracked open. Now there is just one muddy, brown nut left.

Surprise Cottonwood Harvest

Cottonwood buds are usually the first harvest of Spring. In Oregon in February when the sap first starts flowing and the big winds blow branches break off the big trees and litter the forest floor. This year I harvested the sweet, sappy buds in December! On a balmy winter day I was out for a little stroll to one of my favorite, secret hills. Mt. Talbert in the fine town of Happy Valley is tucked away behind a freeway and retirement center. It is actually an amazing wildlife refuge and a unique area where the oak savanna is being restored. A loop around the mountain leads across a little stream, past the ancient Elder, through a dense Cedar forest, around the Oak savannah and a back via a Doug Fir forest. A fabulous variety for such a small area. Since dogs are rare there and people too birds are easier to see and I have lots of space to dream. I have been keeping an eye out at the leaf less trees to practice my …

Oak

Oak is quietly present. Majestic but unobtrusive. Oak was one of the first plants I really felt. When Viridian, my daughter, was just a toddler we used to go to Piccolo Park in SE Portland. There are 3 ancient Oak trees surrounding the playground. I would find myself sitting under the tree leaned right up against the trunk, which is at least 4 feet across. Under the tree my thoughts were calm and clear, focused and grounded. But it was a cool day, so I moved out into the lawn past the edge of the shadow and quickly my thoughts found their way back to their busy, anxious trails contemplating all I had to do. I was so struck by this contrast that I moved back and forth, in and out from under the tree until I was certain that the tree itself had altered my thoughts, my feelings and my whole way of being. After that I would frequent the park just to bask in the calm, cool, steady feeling under the oak. It …