Saturday, March 8, 2014

My tree goes live! & other news

Cottonwood just west of the Laramie River, Wyoming, USA.
My tree on Google Earth (click image to view).  The Laramie River flows north through Laramie and continues on to join the North Platte, Platte, Missouri, Mississippi and finally the Gulf of Mexico.
I’m one of the Tree-followers.  This is a cadre of folks who have chosen a tree to track through the year.  Our adventure is kindly hosted and organized by Lucy Corrander of Loose and Leafy, at her tree-following site.  During the first week of each month we post news of our tree, such as new leaves, flowers, bird nests, sunsets, rainstorms -- basically anything that happens, including reactions, inspirations and visions.  The field is wide open and our imaginations can fly free.

Lucy recently pointed out that “Although you may not be conscious of it, what you hear when you visit a tree will influence how you relate to it.  Trees inspire emotions and emotions are inspired by sound as much as by sight.”  Here’s video and audio of her tree, a pine.

Inspired, I read through the movie section in the camera manual and walked to the river to film the cottonwood I’m following.  The first try was a bit rough.
It appears the tree hasn't changed much since my post last month.  It’s still bare of leaves and flowers, but has lots of buds that are waiting, waiting, waiting -- until?  To find out, we have to wait as well.
I was passed by a group of young men all wearing the same kind of shoes and various kinds of camouflage and khaki clothing.  They walked briskly, intently.  I wandered around.  I found a good vantage point and shot another movie.  The soundtrack was provided by a light breeze from the west carrying the hum of semi-trucks on Interstate 80.  You can see the steady stream of trucks.  I often think of I-80 as a main artery, with trucks as red blood cells carrying life-sustaining goods across the USA.  [Well, not really.  They mainly carry objects of desire.]
I crossed the river for a closer look at the tree.  That’s when I saw it.  There was something new after all ...
... a beat-up plastic grocery bag caught on a branch, not unusual in windy Wyoming.

When I turned to go home, the sun was starting to peek over cottonwoods and clouds on the east side of the river, creating curious rainbow-colored lights.  So I stayed awhile longer.  You might be surprised by what you find when you follow trees ... you might want to give it a try.


  1. This is what I love about Lucy's meme, I will get to know trees that are currently strangers to me, cottonwoods being an excellent case in point. Looking forward to it!

  2. Excellent post - and it has given me a few ideas for my tree, too, such as the aerial view!
    I look forward to getting to know your cottonwood all year...
    best wishes :)

  3. I find this a very illuminating post - seeing those lorries go by. I tend to think of you right out in the wilds, far away from other humans, maybe with one other companion but otherwise alone. And there's that huge connection with the rest of the world and the lorries rolling seamlessly past, an apparently never ending stream. Or perhaps it was only at that moment?
    And you are right about things like the plastic bag - they show something extra about the tree's environment.

    1. Lucy -- the stream of trucks/lorries is amazing, steady all day long and well into the night, unless a blizzard shuts down the road in the mountains to the east and west. Then they all end up parked along the highway and at all the gas stations nearby, it's impressive!

  4. I really enjoyed reading your intro to your Cottonwood. I love the way you've set the tree's 'scene'. It's alien to me - mostly - but on the other hand, the guys in camoflage sound suspiciously like French hunters 'taking their guns for a walk' - as a French friend who hunts describes it. Different continents but some things remain the same. I'll look forward to seeing how your tree progresses. Best wishes, Carole

  5. I've never heard of a cottonwood tree. I love your last photo with the clouds behind the tree.
    Sorry to see plastic could up in it's branches.
    I look forward to seeing what a cotton tree looks like in leaf.

  6. Janet, squirrelbasket, lafosse and chloris -- thanks for your comments! I didn't realize that cottonwoods were so provincial, as they're so common here in the western USA. Lucy, this tree-following is wonderful. I'm enjoying learning about trees and tree-lovers both!

  7. I look forward to reading more about your Cottonwood tree - a fascinating choice. Greetings from Suffolk, UK (and my Silver Birch).