Trees #28

As you have discovered this month, posts beget posts. Linda, from Teacher Dance stirred something in my mind as I read her post about trees this week. As she described the special trees in her life, I tried to make a connection to any trees that I have known and/or loved.

The first one that came to mind was a weeping willow. Actually there were two of them in our backyard. When we moved into this house I was just starting high school. I thought those trees were magnificent. I loved the way the branches cascaded down like a fountain. But all those thoughts changed as I got to know these trees. They were forever shedding small limbs that acted like whips in the hands of my brothers. It was a perpetual job to go out and collect these limbs.

As you fought your way through the draping limbs (that I once thought were so lovely) to the inside of the canopy, there were small biting gnat-like bugs that would cover you. I shudder as I remember the bugs crawling along the back of my neck. If that wasn’t bad enough, the weeping willows blocked any breeze that tried to reach our house. No fresh air passed through those branches to cool the inside of the house (days of no air conditioning) when they draped onto the ground. To remedy this situation, my mother would attack the tree with a huge pair of clippers and give the tree a haircut. I wish I had a picture of the tree trimmed. It was a blunt cut, straight across as high as she could reach. However, it served its purpose, air could get to the house and you were not covered in bugs from running into the branches when mowing the yard. Yes, I like the look of a weeping willow. No, I will never put one in my yard.

The other tree that came to mind was a baobab tree. Now that’s an odd tree, you might be thinking. Yes, it is, but it has been in my mind since my high school days of French class. We read Le Petite Prince several times during those years. The prince was always plucking that tree out so it would not overtake his planet. That tree intrigued me. I had never heard of it, so I researched it. That my dear readers was not a simple task in those olden days before our friend Google. So can you imagine my sheer delight when I was in the Flower Dome of the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore this December and I discovered the cool tree I was admiring was a baobab tree. That is one special moment, as it brought the little prince back to me, but no one around me had the slightest inkling of what was going through my mind. Check, there went a bucket list item that I didn’t even know was on the bucket list.

Isn't this the coolest looking tree?

Isn’t this the coolest looking tree?

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24 thoughts on “Trees #28

  1. I had to come back and leave another comment on this post. My students love that the new vocabulary they’re learning begins popping up everywhere. Whike reading a lovely book my brother purchased for his granddaughter, guess what tree popped up? Baobab trees!

  2. I remember thinking about The Little Prince when I saw the baobab tree there too!! I love that book. I’m glad that you were able to cross something off your bucket list during your visit to Singapore! 🙂

  3. Really enjoyed reading your slice. I loved the willow at my sister’s old house. There is just something about them but I never had the bug problem and could see that being a deterrent. Nice slice.

  4. I love this. My husband is a bit of a tree nut so I listen to him often talking about trees. We have a willow in our backyard and thankfully I’ve only noticed its draping limbs touching the ground and blowing in the breeze. Last year my husband planted a weeping willow that has curly branches hanging instead of the long straight branches of its sister. Interesting looking.

  5. I have never ever seen a tree like the baobab tree! Like others, I have always loved the look of a willow tree, but I had no idea that there were such problems with living near a willow tree. There are a few special trees in my life. Hmmmm . . . you may have planted a blogpost seed, Elsie!

  6. A bucket list item that you didn’t know was on your list — awesome! Those trees are so bizarre. I love the way books can do that for you: bring up a special memory that is just between you and the book. Thank you for sharing these two different tree experiences!

  7. nanc says:

    that is the one hefty tree. I have never heard of it….like you I was in love with Willows until the Apple stole my heart because we could easily climb them. xo

  8. Well, here’s another slicer in favor of the weeping willow. We had one in a park near the house we lived in while our kids were young, and I have the greatest memories of many hours of watching them invent games and stories among those long, leafy branches. I grew up with a giant banyan tree in our garden…that tree will also have a special place in my heart. The baobab tree, though, is just so cool!

  9. Thanks for another beautiful post. I agree about the weeping willow tree….it is beautiful….but quite messy. Your description of the bugs made my skin crawl. I don’t mind bugs too much…just not on the back of my neck. I have never seen a baobab tree…as far as I know…I think I would remember that. Thanks for the picture.

  10. Oh, the trees in my life. I think I see a writing prompt for me and to share with my students. Many of my students live to be outdoors. I bet they have trees in their lives, too. Yes, baobab trees are the coolest trees.

  11. Yes it is one of my favorite things when ” posts beget posts” , also how we take thinking about what has been written and what we wrote( as Romona describes above). :). I, too have admired weeping willows from afar and now am thankful not to live with them in my yard. Boabab trees are very cool looking!

  12. Phillip says:

    Ah the weeping willow. In the landscape, they are indeed wonderful, but up close and personal? They have their problems. I feel the same way about our paper birch trees. They have so many wonderful qualities: their elegant white trunks, their artistically twisted branches, their light filtering leafs that make the most delightful dappled shade! On the other hand, they are dropping some sort of crap on the terrace year-around! little seeds, little twigs, little leaves, etc..
    How like trees, people are. Great from a distance, a lot of sterling qualities, pretty, handsome, fun to be near for a while, but once you get to know them, we see their individual flaws.
    And as with people, so it is with trees when you LOVE someone( or something,) you overlook their faults.

    • Ramona says:

      Replying to myself – first sign of dementia. I just spent today’s shower time pondering – Should it be Linda’s and Elsie’s posts or Linda’s and Elsie’s post. I’m sure there are some grammar gurus/gals out there. Help me out! Heck, I should have just just written Linda’s post and Elsie’s post.

  13. Ramona says:

    Linda and Elsie’s post sent me off to compose my own short tree post with a promise of more to come. I adore trees and have many favorite trees in my life. Thanks for sharing these memories of your willow tree. They remind me of the poem “Simile: Willow and Ginkgo” in our anthology

  14. Oh no, the truth about Weeping Willows. I don’t know if the romance the tree has for me can handle the truth. I may pretend there are no gnats, no breeze issues, and continue in my ignorance. 😉 I could imagine you seeing your Little Prince tree and smiling and going back in time. It seemed like a little secret that only you had while the world went on around you.

  15. I, like Tam, always loved looking at the willows, but never experienced them like you, Elsie. Oh my, it doesn’t sound pleasant! But the baobab, yes, I remember reading about them in The Little Prince too, now that you remind me. They are not ‘unlike’ my boojum tree, at least in looks. Love that you finally got to see one, and that final line about the ‘bucket list’. Thanks for the mention of my own link, Elsie. Perhaps we’ll hear from others?

  16. Tam says:

    Very cool stories about trees. I always admired the willow, but now I will just admire it from afar and never wish to live by one. The baobab tree is fascinating. You were in Singapore? That’s what I get when I don’t keep up with the SOL. Now I’m fascinated by the story of Le Petite Prince, too. I took many years of French and never was introduced to this book. Quelle dommage!

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