Tag Archives: trees

1854. Lone tree

I was walking through the fields quite casually, just looking. I had my digital camera with me. The local Photography Society was holding a competition. The prize was a super-duper digital camera. The subject was “Trees”.

There were a number of categories, all to do with trees. There was a category for forests, one for lone trees, one for native trees, one for introduced species of tree, one for dead trees. There was also a category for a video of a tree, which I wasn’t going to enter because although I’d had my camera for quite a while, and the camera had the facility to take videos, I’d never got around to learning what buttons to press. The capturing of a video was beyond my technical ability!

I wasn’t having much luck photographing trees because there really were no interesting trees about. Suddenly, just above the gnarled top of an old cedar, as I was focusing, a fleet of alien space craft appeared. They were in convoy. I suppose there were six of them. I took as many photographs as possible; after all, my digital camera can take hundreds of photographs without getting full. The experience was thrilling!

That is the last thing I remember of that incident.

I awoke in the same field, in the same place. When I got home I discovered that a whole two months had passed; I had missed two months. Clearly I had not been lying unconscious in the field the whole of that time. The experience was disorienting; kind of wonky. I really didn’t know what to do; who to tell. If I told anyone of the experience they would smile and say “Yeah right” meaning I was talking nonsense. So I kept quiet about it.

When a little later I downloaded the photographs on my camera onto my computer (it was now too late to enter the competition) there were the photographs of the alien convoy I had seen. They were blurry as photos of alien craft always are. But as well as that there were seventeen clear photographs and a video that I had not taken myself.

Oh my word! Oh goodness gracious! I have never seen scenes so breath-taking. It was sheer beauty. It was indescribable. Here was my chance to show other people, and then perhaps my strange experience would be believed.

The first time I went to show the photographs they were no longer there; they had disappeared, on both my camera and computer. I can still see the wonder of those photos in my mind’s eye. Extraordinary! There can be no doubt that I was abducted. The aliens had clearly fiddled with the camera in perhaps a futile attempt to understand what the contraption was for.

Yesterday I got a phone call from the Photography Society asking when was I going to pick up the digital camera I had won? I can tell you, as honestly as the day is long, I never entered that competition. Ever.

1656. The faithful apple tree

(Grateful thanks to Lisa of arlingwords for giving the opening sentence.)

Trees are really amazing things, but most people don’t even notice them.

Lawrence and Keith’s properties shared a common boundary, and there slap-bang on the boundary was an apple tree as old as the hills. Keith thought the apple tree an eyesore. “It doesn’t produce much fruit anyway, and they’re sour.” But Lawrence had grown up with that tree. He thought although it was old, and in places a little spindly, that it had character.

“We should chop it down,” said Keith.

“Over my dead body,” said Lawrence.

Keith took things into his own hands one Saturday afternoon and chopped it down. “There!” he said. “It’s just a pile of useless twigs and firewood. Lawrence might as well take the lot.”

Lawrence did take the lot, and over time he carved the wood into seventy-four miniature figurines. There was a farmer going to market, for example, with a piglet under his arm. There was a haggard old lady selling pears. Each figurine sold for around ninety dollars. And the chess set reach fifteen hundred.

“We’ve got to put up a proper boundary fence,” said Keith, “and you’re paying half.”

Lawrence did pay half. And what a magnificent boundary fence it was! He planted a row of fruit trees on his side. And not a penny of the cost came from anywhere except from the good old faithful apple tree.

Poem 76: Southern trees

(This poem is the last of this month’s posting of poems I wrote fifty plus years ago – I think I was in a bad mood about my schooling when I wrote this!)

Skin turns gold in summer.
We’re out of season in this hemisphere.
By autumn we’re the colour of plum blossom
Ready for dropping.

Trees here are born out of time.
Bastards never stood a chance.
Someone cuts them down
In case they fruit in winter.

Nursery care is too long, too slow.
We grow too high to be lights to the world.
I’d rather be scrub
And cover the whole earth.

That’s the trouble with southern trees
When they’re fed on shit from the north.

792. Save the tree!

792gum

SAVE THE TREE! SAVE THE TREE! chanted Colleen standing beneath a derelict, old, and rather dilapidated gum tree.

The protest had raged for weeks. Years ago, a visiting celebrity had planted an Australian gum. It was to commemorate the union between the two countries; Australian troops had fought alongside local troops in some forgotten war. The gum tree was planted ceremoniously in the park. And now the town council wanted it removed.

The village had grown over the years. The road out of town had been straightened and widened. There was still a dangerous curve. The gum tree was in the way. It had to go to make way for progress.

SAVE THE TREE! SAVE THE TREE! chanted Colleen and her friends. Colleen even enlisted the help of her fourteen grandchildren. That certainly swelled the numbers!

The dreaded day arrived. There is an almost iconic photograph (forget the man in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square) of Colleen standing, hands on hips, brazenly blocking the advancement of a bulldozer. And she won! She won! What a celebration! The tree was saved for the enjoyment of future generations!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, a few months later a phone call came around eleven at night. Colleen’s grandson was killed in a car accident. His car hit a tree on a dangerous corner on the way out of town.