Monday, January 15, 2018

Back again

Well, that small hiatus was brought to you courtesy of the Linguistic Society of America conference.  I actually think it might be worth writing, at some point soon, about what I was there for; I was privileged to be able to attend and participate in a workshop which brought a number of indigenous scholars to the conference so we could talk about how to incorporate indigenous ways of knowing into the academic discipline of linguistics.  It's definitely worth a post (or ten).

Meanwhile, I am still playing with the camera when I can, and today's post is trees.  I'm not sure I've mentioned my lifelong love affair with trees before.  Some of my happiest memories are of climbing trees as a girl, and I used to scope out the best trees for climbing and sitting in wherever I went (I had favorite trees on my college campus, for example; finding trees that are good to read it is especially important, in my opinion).  I've somehow lost the climbing habit, but I never really lost the practice of paying attention to trees, and in the last couple of years, that habit has only gotten stronger.  I've finally given myself permission to just greet them out loud, and it makes me very happy.  For many years, my affections were given to live oaks and to redwoods - this is perhaps obvious for a Californian.  But any time that I have really become located in a place, walking the same trails day after day, week after week, year after year, trees sneak up on me.  My first memory of the bay laurel, for example, is one of scent, of walking on my favorite trail above Berkeley's campus and smelling something spicy and warm and wonderful, and thinking at first that it must be someone's cologne.  But I kept smelling it on my walks, and the day came when I finally tracked it down to a tree.  That scent always makes me think of ferns and redwoods and fog and my friend Leela and our dogs.

Recently, it's been sycamores.  I never really paid attention to sycamores before, and then I noticed this one particular sycamore, which, having begun its life in the creek bottom, decided that it needed more.  It has flung an arm up the bank of the river, planted it near the side of the trail, and hoisted itself for the skies.  You have just got to admire a spirit like that!  Nothing's going to stop that tree from claiming what it sees as its rightful share of sunshine.
One of the things I've noticed about sycamores on my walks is how they reach up above the live oaks in the river bottom.  They really do like to have their feet wet, but their branches high in the sky.

My little damaged live oak continues to recover from losing most of its crown.  I check in on it regularly.

All right.  I am knitting, and have things to show next time.  But in the meantime, low tides keep calling, and we keep going.  Here's a photo taken at the last low tide just before Tess left for London (!!).  Happy Monday, y'all!