Readers of J.R.R. Tolkein are familiar with Ents, those
long-talking, slow-walking ancient creatures of Middle Earth. They are among
the few beings to have survived to the current age. It seems they eventually took
root, owing to their extreme slowness, and became what we know as trees, those
flexible, sometimes giant, beings that wave in the wind.
Monday morning, the Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources cut a ribbon making a 560-acre parcel abutting Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve an access to Michaux State Forest. The move was a good one.
I feel badly for anyone who has never climbed a tree. there is some thing special and wondrous about the feeling of being up there in the small branches atmost where the birds fly free. Of course, sometimes that is a scary place to be.
The moon the past few nights has been amazingly bright, like a humongous LED spotlight angling down through the trees, casting stick shadows on the grass and across my desk.
A couple hundred yards away, an owl hoots, perhaps celebrating his having found dinner scurrying among the shadows. Bats, as soon as the night air warms toward summer, will cling to the trees by day, to come among the shadows in the evening and feast on bugs that have been feasting on me. Payback is heck, I’ve heard said.
“I should prefer to have some boy bend them, / As he went out and in …” Birches, by Robert Frost.
Better a boy than an ice storm should bend the birches. A girl could bend them, as well, if a girl is in the house, and requires exploratory forays into a nearby forest. To climb a really tall tree is to gain a sense of accomplishment not available to parents and other adults who are well advised to stick to the lower, thicker branches.
And to have Mom worried that you might fall is to have an opportunity to show her, “No, I won’t.” There is no finer feeling than to tell her you will not fall, and then prove it.