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Posts tagged ‘Lancer Oak’

Happy Arbor Day – In Massachusetts, USA

Environment oriented celebrations naturally would occur in the Spring, wouldn’t they.  After all, that’s when it hits you right in the face.  Last week it was Earth Day, yesterday, in Massachusetts at least, it was Arbor Day.  Sensibly, Arbor Day is set on a state by state basis, and arrives earlier in the south than up here in (what used to be at least) the cold north.  No matter, some good things happen in New England that I’m told don’t necessarily happen in some other parts of the country.  We get a “reverse foliage” effect.  The new leaves on many of the deciduous trees start with a distinct yellow “pop.”   Others, with a more subdued red.  It last for two weeks or so, and then everything turns straight green.  Enjoy it while it lasts…  This is one of my favorite trees, the Lancer Oak, on the grounds of Worcester State University.  It is thought to be one of the oldest trees in the City of Worcester.  Click on the image for a better view.

Where’s Winter?

We were out at the Quabbin Reservoir this morning and there may have been a few images worthy of posting as a result, we’ll see.  It’s been a very tough winter for capturing anything at all compelling.  A creative drought just like the dry air.  Where is winter anyway?  I shouldn’t complain since I have to drive an hour to work and in the snow that is not fun!  (Now watch, in just a week or two, we will be inundated and it will be my fault.)  You can’t judge climate by local weather so is this a harbinger of things to come?  Unclear.  I did note that the Department of Agriculture recently released new plant/crop growing “hardiness” guidelines that reflect our warming earth.  The USDA divides the country into zones based in part on average temperatures.  They have moved every zone basically “up” one zone, confirming the observation that plants from lower latitudes are finding life more hospitable up this way.  So where did winter go?

We did have a brief taste this past week, during which we observed the all important principal with regarding to winter photography.  Get out there while it’s still snowing. We walked to Worcester State University, to visit one of our favorite trees, The Lancer Oak.  I’ve mentioned The Lancer Oak on many occasions here.  At over 125 years of age, it’s reputed to be the oldest Oak tree in the City.  It watches out over the campus on a day like this like a gigantic, patient, Overlord.

Stretching it’s arms.

And reaching for the sky.  A Lion in Winter (apologies to James Goldman).

So, where’s winter?

Happy Arbor Day

So many holidays, so little time!  Of course, two major faiths celebrated renewal over the past week.  At the same time we had Earth Day and today, Arbor Day.  Spring is busy.  But we shouldn’t be too busy to think about what could be our most important set of relationships on the planet, between humans and trees.  So here’s to the trees. Just to review.  This is where we were at a few months back.  (Click on the images for a better view.)

(The Lancer Oak, Worcester State University)  That was rough, but slowly, there were some signs of progress.

(Tufts Veterinary School, Grafton, MA)  Today, things looked pretty darn good.  As much as any other living entity, to me, trees track the course of our lives, most obviously through the seasons.

(Mixter-Nields Memorial Forest, New England Forestry Foundation, Hardwick, MA) And beyond.

The trees are a major source of the oxygen we breath! Without them, we are in big trouble.  And they also absorb carbon dioxide, one of the atmospheric gases responsible for global climate change.  So then, let us offer a toast to our trees around the globe and consider how we might do a better job of holding up our end of the relationship.  Happy Arbor Day.