Intense Tree Love

I have lived in many different countries and physical environments; however, I don’t think I could live without trees for long. I remember a cross-country ride from California to DC, crossing the seemingly endless Kansas flatlands with hardly any tree in sight; then approaching the first tree-covered hillsides in Missouri. Seeing those trees felt like a homecoming.
I grew up in the foothills of the Black Forest in Southern Germany. There were trees everywhere, they are part of me. I believe in what I call the “landscape of the soul.” It is that place we feel most at home in. The landscape of my soul always contains trees; whether they are pines, mangroves or mango trees does not matter.

Ich habe in vielen verschiedenen Ländern und Umgebungen gelebt; jedoch denke ich nicht, dass ich ohne Bäume lange leben könnte. Ich erinnere mich an eine Crosscountry-Fahrt von Kalifornien nach Washington DC, die scheinbar endlose Kansas Ebene durchquerend mit kaum einem Baum in Sicht; und dann die ersten baum-bedeckten Hügel in Missouri zu sehen. Diese Bäume waren wie eine Heimkehr.
Ich wuchs im Schwarzwald im Süden von Deutschland auf. Hier gab es überall Bäume, sie sind ein Teil von mir. Ich glaube dass es eine ‘Landschaft der Seele’ giebt. Es ist diese Landschaft in der wir uns am meisten zuhause fühlen. Die Landschaft meiner Seele enthält immer Bäume; ob sie jetzt Tannen sind, Mangrovebäume oder Mango-Bäume ist nicht von Bedeutung.

forest trees

Trees are intensely useful to animals and humans.

Bäume sind für Tiere und Menschen höchst nützlich.

They provide shade and shelter. Their lumber can be used in almost any structure we want to build. And sometimes, the tree branches are so large that we build our houses right inside the tree!

Sie stellen Schatten und Schutz zur Verfügung. Ihr Holz kann in fast jeder Struktur verwendet werden, die wir bauen wollen. Und manchmal sind die Aeste so groß, dass wir unsere Häuschen gerade in den Baum hinein bauen!

tree shadows on the lawn

Tree hollows, branches and roots provide habitat and shelter for mammals, birds, snakes, and insects.

Baumlöcher, Zweige und Wurzeln stellen Habitat und Schutz für Säugetiere, Vögel, Schlangen, und Insekten her.

Trees provide nourishment. We can harvest tree sap in late winter for maple syrup, flowers in spring for teas and cooking (think locust blossoms and red bud blooms), leaves and young branches or bark for medicinal tinctures (think willow and witch hazel), fruit and nuts in fall and early winter.

Bäume geben uns Nahrung. Wir können Baumsaft gegen Ende des Winters für Ahornsirup ernten, Blumen im Frühling für Tees und zum kochen, Blätter und junge Zweige für medizinische Tinkturen, Frucht und Nüsse im Herbst und Anfang des Winters.

Even when they have fallen down, trees continue to provide habitat for plants and animals, or serve as firewood to heat our shelters or cook our food.

Selbst wenn sie gefallen sind, bleiben Bäume auch weiterhin Habitat für Pflanzen und Tiere, oder werden als Brennholz genutzt zum heizen oder um unser Essen zu kochen.

Trees are intelligent and communicate with each other through their roots which function like its nervous system.

Bäume sind intelligent und kommunizieren mit einander durch ihre Wurzeln, die wie ein Nervensystem funktionieren.

tree roots

They give and give and give some more….until they get chopped down by humans, toppled by storms, burnt by lightning, or infested by pests.

Sie geben und geben und geben noch mehr …. bis sie von Menschen gefällt, von Stürmen gestürzt, vom Blitz verbrannt, oder von einer Pest heimgesucht werden.

Each tree has its own personality, shaped by soil, exposure to the elements, climate, and general surroundings.

Jeder Baum hat seine eigene Persönlichkeit, geprägt durch den Boden, Aussetzung zu den Elementen, Klima, und Umgebung.

Trees are sacred like this massive tree-turned-temple venerated in Bali:

Bäume sind heilig und werden verehrt, wie dieser massive Baum der auf Bali in einen Tempel verwandelt wurde:

sacred tree

or an ancient cottonwood tree in a church yard in Albuquerque

oder wie ein uralter Pappel-Baum in einem Kirchhof in Albuquerque

madonna in tree

whose split trunk was carved into a Madonna sculpture.

in dessen gespaltenen Stamm eine Madonna geschnitzt wurde.

madonna tree sculpture

Even if you are not a tree hugger, you may have been drawn to a certain tree; perhaps climbed one as a child and spent time just sitting in a certain tree or a tree house. Did it not feel like a special place, a different world, where you could be anything, dream up new worlds and new ways of being?

Selbst wenn Sie nicht ein Tree-hugger sind, können Sie zu einem bestimmten Baum angezogen sein; vielleicht als Kind erklettert… War es nicht ein spezieller Platz, eine andere Welt, wo Sie alles mögliche sein konnten, und neue Welten und neue Weisen erdenken konnten?

Did you ever talk to a tree? Did you receive a message back? Did you feel awe in the presence of a majestic tree, a grandfather tree? Sadness at the loss of a treasured tree?

Sprachen Sie jemals mit einem Baum? Erhielten Sie eine Nachricht zurück? Fühlten Sie Ehrfurcht in der Anwesenheit von einem majestätischen Baum, ein Großvater-Baum? Schwermut am Verlust eines geschätzten Baums?

Then you have undoubtedly experienced the intensity of trees.

Dann haben Sie zweifellos die Intensität der Bäume erfahren.

Ailsa’s Travel Theme is week is “Intense.”

About Beauty Along the Road

A blog about discovering beauty in all its ordinary and extraordinary manifestations.
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38 Responses to Intense Tree Love

  1. Maria F. says:

    Beautiful images as usual. I think tree should be our main concern if we want to save the planet.


  2. Barneysday says:

    A beautiful tribute to trees. As you know, our trees are being attacked by the bark beetle, killing off all the infested pines. It is a sad sight to see these millions of dying trees amongst the beauty of the sierras.


  3. Wonderful images! 🙂


  4. This post resonates with me. Your photos are spectacular! I love trees, too, and can’t imagine not having them nearby. Have you read or watched “Lord of the Rings”? There are the mystical tree creatures called Ents that come to life and walk around. I absolutely loved that part and the book was so much more descriptive in the Ents’ past history They feel and have characters.


    • You know I remembered a movie where trees were able to walk but couldn’t remember which one. I also remembered “home tree” in Avatar and the important message – when you kill the Tree (standing in for all trees), you kill our home base, our way of living in harmony….I saw the movie three times and each time got another layer of meaning…


  5. Wonderful photos and text! Just splendid!


  6. glendanp says:

    Beautiful again! Your words are filled with grace and love and your photography is pure poetry!


  7. This is a beautiful tribute to trees Annette! I too resonate with trees and places that feed our soul. I had the similar feeling traveling through Kansas, and yet for a short time, the prairies also feels expansive, if a bit exposed. May we appreciate trees and all the precious gifts of nature.


    • Thank you, Brad. Yes, at first, coming over the Colorado mountains and seeing the great plains all the way to the horizon looks awesome. After a day of driving, not so much anymore… Yes, we must understand and better appreciate the role of trees and their preciousness in the links of life.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. lolaWi says:

    what a wonderful tribute to trees! your photographs are beautiful! great post! 🙂


  9. Very though-provoking as usual. I share the need to have trees around me. The simple truth is that without plants human life would not survive on earth. Without trees human life will not survive.


    • So very true…without trees and plants, we are done for. However, plant life has been around for about 400 million years while humans have only been here for what – about 1 million years? So I suspect the plants will survive us, they are smarter than we are 🙂


      • I agree that plants are smarter than we are. They have learned how to communicate & survive in communities better than we have. When you look around though you see signs of both fragility and resilience – fragility of species but overall resilience. Some of the tree species we so love are ill and seriously threatened. As for people, Jared Diamond reminds us of instances where people cut the very, very last tree on island civilizations and then starved to death. I haven’t given up hope but damn we do stupid things!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Large-scale deforestation of the Amazon is just one example of how stupid we are. We are destroying the lungs of our planet with huge repercussions even on weather worldwide…but if we don’t wake up and change our ways and if we end up destroying ourselves by destroying our sources of air and food, the plants will recoup in one form or another. There are seeds that have sprouted after being dormant for hundreds of years, given the right conditions.


  10. shoreacres says:

    You’ve reminded me of some of the most special trees I’ve ever known — and they were in the Black Forest. I worked with a young man in Liberia who was from the area. One Christmas he invited me to stop and visit while I was in Germany. I don’t remember now exactly where the home was, but it was close to Dornhan.

    They lived in a traditional home, with the cattle below. The first night I was there, it snowed and snowed. I went out for a walk the next day, and those huge, beautiful trees were covered with snow. In fact, it still was snowing a bit. It was as quiet as I’ve ever heard the world, and I still can see those trees in my mind.


  11. Leya says:

    Then there are at least two of us. My love for trees is deep and strong. I also grew up with trees and could not live without them. Fine tribute.


  12. safifer says:

    Great post! Lovely images, thought provoking. Thank you!


  13. becca givens says:

    Beautiful captures and post! Thank you for leaving a note for me to follow! Trees are fabulous guardians!


  14. bythebriny says:

    The carving in the tree is so cool.


    • There is a story of how I was led to this carving: I was taking pics in the courtyard of one of the iconic churches in Albuquerque, really taking my time looking around and taking in the energy of the place. An old Indian man was watching me for a while and then asked me to come along with him. He led me outside the courtyard to the back and showed me the tree with its Madonna carving. I would have had no reason to walk back there by myself, so I was very grateful to him.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Beautiful images 😊


  16. A wonderful series on trees in all their manifestations, Annette. 🙂


  17. Reblogged this on Emerald Mountain Sanctuary and commented:

    Trees are fascinating beings! I came across this post from my Beauty Along the Road blog that is worth revisiting.


  18. tree girl says:

    so much soul and beauty


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