My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Tree Party - Part "Tree" ;-)

"Trees are the lungs of the Earth"

Happy Arbor Day!

Cherry Tree, Germany
~photographer unknown~

Arbor Day, founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, is celebrated in the United States on the last Friday in April. As part of my own Arbor Day celebration, I've gathered a few links that I hope will inspire, inform, entertain, and help you help trees!

Arbor Day Foundation

Dedicated to planting trees, they inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees through a variety of conservation and education programs.

"Founded in 1972, we envision a world where trees and forests are abundant, healthy, and sustainable, and highly valued by all people. Through mass-media communications, by providing low-cost trees for planting, and by producing high-quality, easy-to-use educational materials, we work to make tree planting and care something in which nearly everyone can be involved. It is our constant goal to expand a person's desire to plant a tree into a lifelong enthusiasm for tree planting and care, and for positive involvement in conservation issues relating to trees."

Check out more about their programs, and visit their web site to learn more about Arbor Day and ways to celebrate it, including purchasing trees online and sending beautiful free e-cards (or "Treecards?")

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) is an international nonprofit dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water. They donate fruit orchards at places such as public schools, city parks, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, international hunger relief sites, and animal sanctuaries.

"Our primary mission is to plant and help others plant a collective total of 18 billion fruit trees across the world (approximately 3 for every person alive) and encourage their growth under organic standards. FTPF provides support, resources, and guidance for those interested in planting fruit trees and spearheads a variety of planting programs. These programs are aimed at enriching the environment, providing nutritious food sources for wild and rescued animals, and improving human health by bringing delicious, fresh, locally grown raw fruits and vegetables of the highest quality into the lives of all people.

FTPF also seeks to secure land throughout the world with the sole purpose of restoring native plant ecosystems with an abundance of fruit trees and plants that benefit the surrounding air, water, and soil and provide food sources for wild animals."

What's not to love? :-)

Unless someone like you cares a whole lot,
nothing is going to get better, it's not.
~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Catalog Choice is a free service that allows you to decide which catalogs you want (and don't want) to receive, reducing mailbox clutter and trash while helping conserve natural resources. According to the Environmental Defense Paper Calculator, approximately 20 billion catalogs are mailed every year in the US alone (the vast majority unwanted and immediately thrown away), most made from virgin fiber - a waste of millions of trees and other resources. (You can read more about the resources used for catalogs and other junk mail and how to reduce it here and in this post).

"The mission of Catalog Choice is to reduce the number of repeat and unwanted catalog mailings, and to promote the adoption of sustainable industry best practices."

Your free daily click helps preserve rainforest habitat.

"The Rainforest Site is dedicated to the preservation of rainforests around the world. Your daily click funds the purchase of rainforest land by The Nature Conservancy, The Rainforest Conservation Fund, World Land Trust-US, and Rainforest2Reef. These organizations work to preserve rainforest land in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay and other locations worldwide."

Your free daily click helps save Sweden's old growth forests.

Most of the site is in Swedish, which I can't read, but my understanding is that they protect the forests by raising money through their partners and sponsors with each click and use it to purchase old growth forest land.

A fun trivia game that plants trees! Just register, play the game, learn as you go, and with enough correct answers you help plant trees and save the earth, you superhero, you! (A correct answer = 1 leaf, 12 leaves = 1 branch, 15 branches = 1 tree). Good luck, have fun, and don't be surprised if you become addicted! ;-)

(You can play without registering, but if you register (it's fast and free), your accumulated leaves, branches and trees, along with your other game stats, will be saved and carried over to your next game.)

We must protect the forests for our children,
grandchildren and children yet to be born.
We must protect the forests for those
who can't speak for themselves
such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.
~Chief Edward Moody, Qwatsinas, Nuxalk Nation

Ever consider a treehouse vacation?

Hainan Island, South China Sea

There are treehouse lodgings all over the world.
Treehouse Bed and Breakfasts lists just a few of them.

Maybe after staying in a treehouse, you'll want to live in one, full or part-time. Like environmentalist Peter Bahouth, who built three treehouses in Atlanta (out of mostly salvaged materials) that he named, "Mind," "Body," and "Spirit." Spirit is also his name for the 137-year old Southern shortleaf pine that inspired and anchors the treehouse retreat. See video interviews with him in (and about) his treehouses here:

There are many books and websites about building and living in treehouses, whether you want to build a small one yourself for fun over a weekend or hire a team of professional arborist/architect/treehouse builders to create a much more elaborate one for you! Here are two of my favorite professional treehouse builder website galleries:

The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong.
~Sam Walter Foss

I'd love to curl up in a treehouse, or under the base of a big shade tree, and pore over this book, which has been languishing on my wish list since 2005...

As well as this one, a recent discovery...

Enjoy a treerific Arbor Day and weekend! Go plant a tree, hug a tree, thank a tree, learn about a tree, celebrate a tree! They benefit us in so many ways, it's the least we can do!

A Blessing for the Woods
Before I leave, almost without noticing,
before I cross the road and head toward
what I have intentionally postponed—
Let me stop to say a blessing for these woods:
for crows barking and squirrels scampering,
for trees and fungus and multi-colored leaves,

for the way sunlight laces with shadows
through each branch and leaf of tree,
for these paths that take me in,
for these paths that lead me out.

Michael S. Glaser~
(Poem used with the author's gracious permission)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Tree Party (Part Two)

Welcome to Part Two of my Arbor Day tribute to trees in words and pictures...

Trees are much like human beings
and enjoy each other's company.
Only a few love to be alone.
~Jens Jensen, "Siftings," 1939~

Lone Pine
Near my house in Wyoming
~photo by Laloofah (who relates to the loners), April 2010~

The forests are the flags of nature.
They appeal to all and awaken inspiring universal feelings.
Enter the forest
and the boundaries of nations are forgotten.
It may be that some time an immortal pine
will be the flag of a united peaceful world.
~Enos A. Mills~

~artist unknown~

Happiness is sharing a bowl of cherries
and a book of poetry with a shade tree.
He doesn't eat much and doesn't read much,
but listens well and is a most gracious host.
~Astrid Alauda~

~artist unknown~

Trees are the best monuments
that a man can erect to his own memory.
They speak his praises without flattery,
and they are blessings to children yet unborn.
~Lord Orrery, 1749~

Gingko Biloba tree, Luther Burbank Gardens
Santa Rosa, CA
~photo by Laloofah, Oct 2007~

Us sing and dance,
make faces and give flower bouquets,
trying to be loved.
You ever notice that trees
do everything to git attention we do,
except walk?
~Alice Walker, "The Color Purple"~

Japanese Maple and evergreens
Santa Rosa, CA
~Photo by Laloofah, Oct 2007~

If a man walks in the woods for love of them
half of each day,
he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer.
But if he spends his days as a speculator,
shearing off those woods
and making the earth bald before her time,
he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.
~Henry David Thoreau~

~photographer unknown~

Every creature is better alive than dead,
men and moose and pine trees,
and he who understands it aright
will rather preserve its life than destroy it.
~Henry David Thoreau, The Maine Woods, 1848~

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
~Kahlil Gibran~

Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve
Sonoma County, CA
~Photo by Laloofah, Oct 2007~

Alone with myself
The trees bend
to caress me
The shade hugs
my heart.
~Candy Polgar~

Log bench in the shade of an oak tree
Santa Barbara, CA
~photographer unknown~

Plant trees.
They give us two of the most crucial elements for our survival:
oxygen and books.
~A. Whitney Brown~

~artist unknown~

The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort,
are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief,
for when the light comes,
the heart of the people is always right.
~John Muir~

"Tree of Life," North Devon England
~photographer unknown~

For more beautiful tree photos, click here. Most of the pictures that are not my own I found there. Unfortunately, no attributions are given, and despite multiple web searches, I could not find who the photographers were. If you know who took any of these unattributed photos, please let me know!

I'd enjoy hearing which quotes or photos you liked best, if you have a favorite tree quote to share, or if there's a particular tree you love most. (I adore all trees, but am especially in love with the Sugar Maple, Quaking Aspen, Weeping Birch, Mountain Ash, Colorado Blue Spruce, and every tree that flowers). :-)

And please stop by for some tree-related fun on my final Arbor Day post tomorrow! :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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