Thursday, April 08, 2010


Back in August of 2009, Julie at Land of Lost Luggage,

suggested an Arboreal Collaborations project, call Getting Arboreal: A Nature Collection. At her site you can see the list of names of participating artists.
This is my tree. It's a Bur Oak, common to my area. It's family is Beech (Fragaceae)
The tough cork like bark can withstand prairie fires so you will find many of them, quite old, 150-250 years old, standing along side fields or in the middle of prairies.
This one was by the side of the road along Old Military Ridge Road. There was something about it's huge comforting shape that always caught my eye. I didn't travel this road on a regular basis but when I did I always seemed to be drawn to this tree.

These huge burls were wonderful.

My Summer shot showed that some of the old limbs were dead but the tree still seemed healthy.
The winter shot.

This morning, Murphy and I set off to take our April picture of OUR TREE. Imagine my surprise, first of all when we drove out of Verona, covered in snow, to find that five miles down the road it hadn't snowed at all! As we approached the tree I could tell that something was wrong. The shape was different. Somebody had trimmed off limbs and burls. I'm sure the tree is healthier now with dead wood that could rip off as it fell gone. I'm sure that the burls will be used by some artist to create gorgeous bowls. But, I have to say, I was very sad. It was as if a dear, dear older friend had decided to have a face lift. Gone were her wrinkles of age and character. Gone were the laugh lines, the concerned lines, the lines that told me that she had lived life.
Well, she's standing tall now and a little thinner and straighter and that's a good thing. But, I miss her old shape and you know, I'm really glad I participated in this project because I have pictures from BEFORE. I have a record of what was. Even if I'm the only person in the world that was interested.

:)Bea Tree hugger and creating all the time.


  1. Oh my....a facelift! I can only be a little happy to know that she is healthier now and that maybe she will live on much longer than us to continue to tell her story. Thank you so much for playing with us!! I am happy to know you have this record of her too.

  2. Your post mirrors mine in many ways. I too selected a dear old tree that I loved. One day coming home from work, i was shocked to find her major outstretched branch cut down. She looked bare- and have to admit, at first, it felt as if something was taken away from me. But, as I thought about it, I do think it has made her healthier and her huge branch that hung over the road was dangerous to passing cars and people. So, i look forward to her continuing new growth and am so very glad that I had the opportunity to have taken pictures of her- in her previous glory!

  3. Well that is rather sad, isn't it? As you say, at least you have taken photos of her 'before' look. I guess she will grow stronger for the face lift, but I agree with you, I prefer the 'before' look.

  4. What a beautiful old tree even after it's "face-lift"....maybe it will last longer and be healthier with some of the dead branches trimmed. And as you said, at least you have the before photos to remind you.

  5. The first words out of my mouth was - Oh My - and then I read Julie's comment. Ahhhh, I know what you mean but what character she had. . . and now altho slimmer, I kind of missy her knarley self and I only met her last year. I too am glad you had this time when she was in her "character" bloom of her life. She was and is your tree and a beauty.

  6. You know how I feel about trees. Your story reminded me of feeling the loss when a dear tree has had an appendage amputated. This was a bitter week as about 10 regal, old trees came down in the median next to the Mariemont Inn. It was tragic--Emerald Ash Bore. Makes the photos you take and the watercolors I paint all the more important and precious.

  7. How sad to lose so many trees to the Ash Bore. I lost three at the old place to that same disease. They were Purple Ash trees, beautiful in fall. :)Bea

  8. Sad yes, but you're right ~ necessary to keep her going. What a beauty, even thinned out! Wouldn't it be cool if someday you happen to meet an artist who happened to create something from your old tree-friend?