Monday, July 04, 2005

Catalpa madness

I'm still on a bit of a picture kick, so thank you all for indulging my little photographic jag in recent days.

This time out, I headed into, of all places, my parents' backyard. This is the house where I grew up, and next month they will be moving to a condo nearby.

We visited them this weekend, and I found myself slowly taking pictures, hoping to capture not just the images, but the ghosts of what it felt like to grow up there. I'm not sure I succeeded, and I'm not even sure it mattered. But it did get me thinking.

This is a picture of the mythical catalpa tree. This tree with the giant leaves has fascinated me forever. It has seemingly died off some years, then charged back with bursts of leaves after the next winter. Half of it continues to be a skeletal presence high in the sky, but it grew enough big green leaves close to the ground this year to shade my playing children. Here's what it looked like to them as they bounced around on the lawn below.

Your turn: What is it about trees that speaks to the kid in you? Why do they matter so much?


honestyrain said...

trees for me speak to that free sunshiney feeling of summer holidays and perfect, fresh air blowing on our front street as we played. that magical feeling of childhood. the street i grew up on was lined with massive trees and it felt as though they protected us.

puremood said...

Funny, Carmi - I just posted pictures of trees and such from my backyard -on my blog... then I come here and see this post ;) My photos may not be as good as yours tho LOL

As a kid I lived up in a tree... always hiding, playing, climbing in them.... :)

Why to trees matter so much to me- it's nature, it's beauty, it provides filters for the air, it provides shade, and provides fun :)

I don't fee protected by them tho - as when tornados come I wish I didn't have all these trees *LOL*

Anonymous said...

Trees are very "strong" representatives in my childhood.

I remember tall weeping willows in my aunts yard, and red maple trees at grammys.

My fathers parents house had two very huge sentinel trees out front of their yard. They stood as tall as could be, I wonder if they are still there.

A tree is a sentinel, a time keeper, a memory charm. As a young boy, watching trees grow up as I did was incredibly important. Because As they grew, I could climb them and conquer the world from atop them.

It was sad, in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew hit,in Miami, all those trees we so loved were pulled out of the ground and deposited on top of houses and cars.

Here now in Montreal, the tree is a harbinger. We watch them grow, and then leaf, the turn shades of the sun, then shed and rest through the winter. In the spring, the trees in my neighbohood harken the first whispers of "new life."

It is emotional to watch a tree grow through the seasons here in Canada. I even wonder what the trees see and think season by season, as if they have voices to tell us. And they do, when the wind blows through the branches.


Better Safe Than Sorry said...

i can remember growing up, spending the summer at the cottage (in the muskoka's) and climbing those big massive pine trees. my friends and i would climb those trees and just look out over the lake. we use to pretend it was a lookout, that we were hiding there up high in the trees, but every person that went by in a boat waved to us, never dawned on us that you could spot us from across the lake.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

They provide shade and shelter, food and fuel, and beauty to appreciate.

mrsmogul said...

That's a cool pic! Trees and plants bring make life in you. I know whenever I walk in nature, my spirit rejuvenates.

riye said...

trees guard ancient secrets and they're not about to divulge any of them.

Dean said...

We had a catalpa tree in the yard when I was growing up. It has perfectly spaced branches, and two on the second tier made a small platform where children could sit. It seemed like it was a hundred feet in the air, although I'll bet it was just over eight or so.

We called it the 'bean tree' because of the seed pods, which were bigger than any bean I've ever seen. I used to make canoes and catamarans for toy soldiers out of them.

thequeen said...

I think trees mean alot to me because when I was a kid I would always climb a tree to get away from it all. I was either in a tree or hiding in the laundry closet. When I was 6 I decided to never where dresses because I didn't want boys to see my panties when I climbed trees and it was WAY more important to climb trees then be pretty. I think I have worn a dress all of three times since then!!