Among trees

Lorianne has assembled a rich array of links at Festival of the Trees #19. Go look.

red maple from above

This morning I spent some time sitting in a tree. It was cold, and the views were mostly of other trees. I felt like a fly at a rather dull cocktail party. The only conversation I could hear was between a dead tree and a live one about twenty feet away — a shrill squeal. Perhaps it was really more of a seance.


As I looked down at my own footprints leading away from the tree, I felt a sudden pang of what can only be described as pity for the rootless sprout that made them. A strong gust of wind set my tree to rocking, and I gripped the hand-rail of the hunter’s tree stand. Heeeeeeee, said the dead one.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. This is quite fun! I love the first paragraph, and I love “. . . my own footprints leading away from the tree . . .” Seance or out-of-body experience?


  2. Mystical and naked Walt, pondering your sprout and dead-but-speaking tree:

    The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
    And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
    And ceased the moment life appeared.
    All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
    And to die is different from what anyone supposed, and luckier.


  3. Ents whispered around you protection for this feeble sprout – they sensed the sap in your veins was good.


  4. Thanks for the comments, y’all. Marly, I’m afraid I don’t agree with ol’ Walt about that (or much else, actually).

    mermaidate Seery – Welcome!


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