On cutting down trees

This is one of those weeks where you know winter has set in for real. I spent last night wrapping plastic around my camellias – including the one I featured in last week’s post, now not looking so pretty with browning petals – and several other tender plants that I didn’t want harmed by the deep freeze.

I ventured outside this morning for an obligatory dog walk but waited to go back out for a run until the temperature was closer to the freezing mark. I was able to take off my gloves partway through the run, but the wind still had a bitter chill to it.

Yep. It’s winter. Best just to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book.

I’ve just started a book called American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow. Re-started might be more correct. I tried reading this book a few months ago but set it aside after bursting into tears during the introduction, where Rutkow describes the killing of the oldest tree ever found (likely more than 5,000 years old), a bristlecone pine tree that a graduate student cut down so he could see how old it was. You read that right. He cut down the tree to count its rings. To his credit, he realized he had gone too far and became a conservationist as a result.

Knowing what to expect, I made it though the introduction a second time without any tears. But reading again about this tree called Prometheus (yes, some trees have names), got me to thinking about our relationship with trees. Continue reading