A Post as Lovely as a Tree?

Morton Arboretum 9-5-2015 SP29

Trees

By Joyce Kilmer

 

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

 

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

 

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

 

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

 

~~~

Good. I’ve brought you back in time to grade school and to poem recitals mumbled and fumbled on a small wooden stage festooned with branches, hot klieg lights, coaching teachers and anxious whispering parents ready to breastfeed sweet flowing praise into their little sapling.

Snap! Now, follow me to…

The Morton Arboretum.

Saturday, in beastly 90 degree Northern Illinois late summer heat, I decided to trek once more through my childhood and teenage and adulthood forest. I call it “my forest” because I like to think of it as “my Illinois” before “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

They took all the trees

And put them in a tree museum

Then they charged the people

A dollar and a half just to see ’em

-From Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi

 

Start the music: As I walked through the “most ancient of conditions” those formative memories of my youth, Joni’s song resounded in some distant glen, somewhere within the silent swish of stately trees and near the stealing bases Blue jays and close to the ever-present droning life support system of the Illinois Toll Way.

A “tree museum”? Now I have to rest from my labors and ponder: after all the recitals and all of the seasons of my life, does my life’s mustard tree end up in the same place as it has for these trees-in a tree museum?

One good thing: it is clear to me that when I die I am recycled. You know, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. But this parking lot to parking lot stuff has got to stop. A bittersweet experience, this “tree museum” business is, on Labor Day weekend.

Encompassing the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois is industry and business of mankind’s doing. I expect that. I just didn’t want all that.

I want Illinois, Northern Illinois back. I want “The Prairie State” back.

So, I came. I saw trees and tall grass. I smelled musty earth and cedar mulch and the decay of rotten wood. I sweated profusely to feel alive once more within the epiphany of nature.

 

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot

With a pink hotel, a boutique

And a swinging hot spot

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got

Till it’s gone

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot

 

They took all the trees

And put them in a tree museum

And they charged all the people

A dollar and a half to see ’em

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got

Till it’s gone

They paved paradise

And they put up a parking lot

Hold on to your charm bracelets! Without further ado, here is a portion of my photographic record of The Trek (looking for Ents, basically, to resolve the pavement problem).

Here’s what a photographer might say: “These photos were taken during hazy midday. I prefer morning or late afternoon lighting because the contrast is more interesting and diffuse.”

As you will see, I’m no Ansel Adams or Elliot Porter but I am a visual learner. So…

… sweat glands and all I focused my attention on flora, glen and meadow, Ash, Maples, Oaks and, well, you go there. And, besides, interior forest pictures are well lit during midday. That’ll be my excuse. (Please forward all complaints about out-of-control pavement to your congressman.) Let’s WordPress on. (No parking lots were abused in this filming.)

The Morton Arboretum Visitor's Center

The Morton Arboretum’s Visitor’s Center

The Morton Arboretum's Visistor Center w/restaurant facing Meadow lake

The Morton Arboretum’s Visistor Center w/restaurant facing Meadow lake

A view across Meadow Lake towards the Visitor's Center

A view across Meadow Lake towards the Visitor’s Center

Interior Forest 31

Interior Forest #1

This little fellow wouldn't gie me his name. He had a mouthful of acorn.

This little fellow wouldn’t give me his name. He had a mouthful of acorn.

Woodland Trail #1

Woodland Trail #1

Acorn on the lookout for squirrels.

Acorn on the lookout for squirrels.

Berries du jour

Berries du jour

Trail #2

Trail #2

Open prairie meadow

Open prairie meadow

Meadow

Meadow

Meadow flora

Meadow flora

Illinois-Wilderness at Your Doorstep

Illinois-Wilderness at Your Doorstep

Woodland Interior #1

Woodland Interior #1

Woodland Interior #2

Woodland Interior #2

Avant garde tree

Avant garde tree

Woodland Interior #3

Woodland Interior #3

Spot the Spider?

Spot the Spider?

Mushrooms a la dead tree

Mushrooms a la dead tree

Forest glen

Forest glen #1

Forest glen 32

Forest glen #2

Morton Arboretum brochure

Morton Arboretum brochure

Fall fashion?

Fall fashion?

Forest flora

Forest flora

Wetlands

Wetlands

Homage to Eliot Porter

Homage to Eliot Porter

"No Running" Bugs have "The Right of Way"

“No Running”
Bugs have “The Right of Way”

"if a tree falls in the forest..."

“If a tree falls in the forest…”

Japanese tree? How multicultivating!

Japanese tree? How multicultivating!

Stonehenge Green?

Stonehenge Green?

Jesus: "I am the True Vine and you are the branches."

Jesus: “I am the True Vine and you are the branches.”

Tanyosho Pine-Japanese Red Fir

Tanyosho Pine-Japanese Red Fir

"A Walk In Paradise Garden"

“A Walk In Paradise Garden”

In case you missed plastic during this montage here is a Lego Bird scuplture by Sean Kenney

In case you missed plastic during this montage here is a Lego Bird scuplture by Sean Kenney.

More plastic...

More plastic…

~~~

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