Wednesday, October 8, 2008

my favorite tree, today

California Buck EyeI love these trees.  They are kind of the opposite of a Redwood Tree, in that they are short and rather squat, they shed their leaves very early, always way before any of the other trees.  Of course, they bud and throw out leaves very early, signalling spring far before any other tree has even considered having a leaf.  And since their leaves are so early it is usually still the rainy season, and they remind me of umbrellas.  A clever tree.  This year it didn't use its rain gear.

This Buck Eye is absolutely bare.  I have noticed that they do not have many Buck Eyes on them either.  Usually this particular tree is loaded.  Maybe drought conditions have influenced the tree.  Maybe it is sending roots deeper into the mountain soil.  I love the silver branches and the shape of it.  If I were more patient, I would draw it.  Thank God for cameras.

A poem took me by surprise this fall morning.  It is called  "Ox Cart Man" by Donald Hall.

In October of the year,
he counts potatoes dug from the brown field,
counting the seed, counting
the cellar's portion out,
and bags the rest on the cart's floor.

He packs wool sheared in April, honey
in combs, linen, leather
tanned from deerhide,
and vinegar in a barrel
hooped by hand at the forge's fire.

He walks by his ox's head, ten days
to Portsmouth Market, and sells potatoes,
and the bag that carried potatoes,
flaxseed, birch brooms, maple sugar, goose
feathers, yarn.

When the cart is empty he sells the cart.
When the cart is sold he sells the ox,
harness and yoke, and walks
home, his pockets heavy
with the year's coin for salt and taxes,
and at home by fire's light in November cold
stitches new harness
for next year's ox in the barn,
and carves the yoke, and saws planks
building the cart again.

Last night I listened to the Presidential Debate.  A question was asked of the canidates: "When you are President, what sacrifices are you going to ask of us?"  Neither candidate answered the question.  Neither canidate was comfortable, I guess, with asking for help.  And that is exactly what is needed.  Making adjustments in our consuming lifestyles could be done voluntarily, willingly!  Canidates!  Make a list!  Americans are intelligent, creative, and willing to do what is needed. 

A President won't be able to build the cart again, alone.  They need us.



laughingwolf said...

amazing tree, i've never seen anything like it :D

laughingwolf said...

how about these?

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