old trees

April 11, 2016

Another picture from Lake Quinalt:

sitka spruce

This is the World’s Largest Sitka Spruce tree.  Neat, huh?  So when I was hiking up the trail, I looked for a tall tree.  I mean a really tall tree.  One that towered over the forest around it.  But this, looking across the bridge, was my first view.  It didn’t really tower.  It’s not too much taller than the trees around it.

But it is bigger.  It’s heavy.  My favorite thing about it is how the branches droop.  They’re heavy, and gravity has been pulling at them for a thousand years.  This tree embodies the weight of the world.

It made me think of another famous tree:

Major Oak Dec 93

This is the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. That Sherwood Forest.  Legend has it this is the tree Robin Hood and his men sheltered in during their exploits.  Except, as the guide pointed out, assuming a historical Robin Hood, this tree would have been just a slender new thing at the time.  Not this giant.  (I took this picture in December ’93, which is why it has no leaves.  Not dead, just sleeping.)  But one might assume there were huge ancient oaks in the forest during Robin Hood’s time.  Ones that had been saplings when the Romans occupied Britain.

This tree is also estimated to be 800 – 1000 years old — roughly the same age as the spruce.  Scaffolding has been propping it up for the last hundred.  Like the spruce, it’s not tall, but it is big.  Heavy.  Gravity has thickened it, twisted it.  I feel old just looking at it.

These trees are age and time made visible, tangible.  I love it.


3 Responses to “old trees”

  1. Jazzlet Says:

    I adore old trees, some of my favourites are the oaks in Whistman’s Wood on Dartmoor. It’s a relic of the ancient forests that covered Britain after the last ice age that has survived because the trees grow around big chunks of granite, this gives them a chance to get going as the sheep that graze on Dartmoor can’t get at them. The soil is thin, and the trees don’t look old, but they are! They are covered in moss and lichen and are just what I imagine parts of Fangorn would be like.

  2. carriev Says:

    Living where I do it’s semi-arid so we just don’t get big lush forests. I really love going to forests that make me think of Fangorn, Lothlorien, anything from Tolkien really. They *feel* different.

  3. Jazzlet Says:

    Woodland does feel different, different sounds of course, but the air feels different too. I seek it out to walk my dogs in partly as woodland walks tire them out far more than walks in any other kind of habitat, but mostly just because I love woods, even scrubby little ones.

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