Sunday, December 13, 2009

Late Fall Fruit

November in Heather Farm Park--some kind of colorful fruit--not for eating.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mayan Drum Tree

My friend Tuckers sent me these photos from his trip to Mexico last week. His words:
It’s called a Maya Drum Tree. I couldn’t find much about it online, but the trunk is hollow. And they planted them in the square at the pyramid and beat them to communicate with the town. When you hit it it does make a fairly loud "tonk."

Note the banged-up trunk, used for Mayan long-distance communication.

If you have a tree to share, send it my way: captiveww (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Monday, September 7, 2009

End of Summer

This will be the last post (until further notice, or until I get my hands on a digital camera, rather than a camera phone). I started "Your Daily Tree" one year ago and it was always meant to be a four-seasons thing.

When we first moved to the Northwest, I was amazed by the gigantic fauna all around us, particularly the evergreens, which literally surrounded our property like a mini-forest. The sound they made in the wind was whispery and mysterious. They added much greenery during our gray, wet winters. Birds used them year round and provided me with a lot of viewing pleasure while I worked in our upstairs office (with its large picture window). Walking around our neighborhood, I noticed a tree fantasia. I thought it would be worthwhile to record it all here to see the change of seasons and to add a bit of nature to the Internet.

Now we're back in Northern California (it's a recession thing) and it's also beautiful but in a different way, of course. It's sunny nearly every day at the moment and the trees are less varied in this part of the country. We're just as surrounded, but I don't have the awe factor needed for the blog. Though I marvel at the California Oaks and their gnarly, twisted brand arms, reaching out in huge canopies all around us. I can only take so many photos of an oak (while sweeping up the acorns that the squirrels chuck onto our deck every day).

Here's a few from the park near our house. I'll leave the blog up so I can look back and remember...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tree by the lake, Heather Farm Park

This is where I go to do some bird watching when I have a few moments to myself. I'm hoping to start hiking more when Jackson gets in school.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Snowy Egret - Heather Farm Park

I think this is a snowy egret. Could be an immature blue heron without the blue yet. There's a very large blue heron hanging out here as well, all within a five-minute walk from our new abode.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Creeping Fog

Driving toward the Caldecott Tunnel on 24--wall of fog up ahead, stopping just short of Orinda.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Symbolic Trees of Cinema - Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton recently showed a trailer for his Alice movie (coming out in 2010) and here it is, featuring a big tree stump/rabbit hole and an older Alice revisiting her childhood haunts. Burton understands the imaginative world of trees from a child's point of view. Remember Sleepy Hollow?

Saturday, July 18, 2009


These happen frequently around here in the summer and through September--as long as there are clouds. Otherwise--forget it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We are hot

It was 100 degrees today and it's been in the 90s for the past few days. Should cool off in the next couple of days, but I'm good--swimming in the pool a lot. Getting tan for the first time in years. I used to get coffee-colored when I was a kid, growing up in the East Bay. This is reminding me of that. Tree and fountain from Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Former Tree - Walnut Creek, CA

What's left of a giant Oak along the Iron Horse Trail. This trail, along with the Contra Costa Canal Trail, runs near our house and allows us to bike, run or walk throughout the city without hardly using an actual street. Yes, including to downtown. I'm biking to Macy's next time there's a sale.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Geodesic Dome at Canyon School

The dome is made of railroad ties and resides in the playground of the rustic Canyon School in Canyon, California; originally established in 1918.

Sue likes that there's a tree growing in the middle of it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mystery Fruit Tree

My new landlord likes to garden in our yard and we happily comply. We've got a bunch of fruit trees going on back there: apple, lemon, orange, plum, and this mystery tree. He told us he doesn't know what kind of fruit it grows, "But it's sweet." Anyone? Anyone?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cloud on I-5

I tried posting this twice already and Blogger swallowed it whole. I guess Blogger knows best because there's not a tree in sight. But that's the way it is driving in the valley in California. If you must drive 5, try to stick to Oregon and the very northern-most section of California. That is my advice to you. We liked this cloud because it gave us something to look at for many miles and it never rained on us once.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Juggling in Pleasant Hill, CA

We came out of Pasta Pomadoro the other night and found this guy performing in Pleasant's Hills' newish downtown development. Pleasant Hill is a Bay Area suburb that actually did a creative job, building a downtown center. It's kind of a half-round street full of restaurants and stores (mostly chains that I can see), but it's got lots of walking space, trees and a "public square" feel. It's a nice hang-out. (Jackson took this photo. He's crazy about juggling.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


On the way down to California, we were followed by multiple cumulus clouds. At one point I dozed off in the car, woke up slightly and saw some very animated and funny characters in these clouds.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mental Hopscotch

Some ambitious chalk-wielding child in our neighborhood has a lot in common with my ambitious chalk-wielding child.

Monday, June 8, 2009

We'll miss you, Vancouver Parks & Rec

Nautilus Equipment has their world headquarters in Vancouver, WA and they let everyone use their sports field, which includes a baseball diamond, a football/soccer field, two basketball courts and a track.

Pacific Community Park has a skate/BMX bike park, a dog park with its own grove of trees, a walking trail through a forest and new playground equipment for climbing and balancing. Baseball and soccer fields are next on their agenda.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Oak Tree - 1867

I've neglected this blog due to our hectic schedule this month. We'll be moving back to California after nearly two years in the Northwest. It's recession-related, but we have a good set-up to go back to--a job, a nice neighborhood, and good schools, plus (bonus!) friends and family.

I thought I'd settle near Portland and live out my days here. I love this place, especially its natural beauty and...its trees. I never would have started this blog if I hadn't moved here and immediately noticed the character and profusion of trees. The trees keep it green, fresh and inviting all year round, whether it's raining, snowing or shining down on you.

I had planned to do this daily blog for one year so I would have a record of the seasons to look upon all year long. I don't know if I can keep going until August, which is when I started this project, but I'll give it a try. Of course there are beautiful trees in Northern California, but there's not the lush, watery rainforest effect, like in SW Washington. No matter. The seasons all blur into one another there anyway.

Meanwhile, here's a Dessau Oak taken by Gerd Volkerling, scanned from "A World History of Photography," edited by Naomi Rosenblum. Packing up the house leaves no time to photograph anything, but lots of time to notice old photographs, so here's a glimpse from the past that could have been taken yesterday.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Palouse Falls descent - now THAT'S crazy

Amazing photographs in the Oregonian today. I hope they don't mind if I show them here. First one is by Eric Boomer, showing Tyler Bradt kayaking straight down in freefall over the 186-foot Plouse Falls.

The second one is by Ross William Hamilton--an incredible photo of Washington's beauty. I wish we could have explored Washington more fully while we were here. We're constantly amazed by the stunning natural wonders of the neighboring states.

By the way, Bradt made it out alive with only a sore wrist. Video of his drop is here.

Source: OregonLive

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nature in our Nature - Ecopsychology and Mental Health

The Oregonian has a story today about the field of ecopsychology and how our mental health is affected by our proximity to nature (or lack thereof). Starting with the study of hospital patients who healed faster when placed in a room with a view of trees (as opposed to patients who looked at a brick wall), and ending with a hopeful idea of teaching the benefits of being in nature, instead of haranguing people to save the planet from certain doom (not an effective strategy)--it's good stuff. But it's not easy to find on their Website (nothing is). So here you go.

Source: Story by Joe Rojas-Burke. Photo by Rob Finch, The Oregonian.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day, Contra Costa County

I'm visiting my parents and don't have all my camera equipment at the moment. Here's a photo from The Crosses of Lafayette site. Lafayette is a smallish suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area consisting mainly of upper middle-class citizens who I believe have become increasingly more liberal in political thought over the years. From this quiet place, a war memorial sprang up on a hillside above the BART train station. It's grown as the death toll in Iraq has grown. Perhaps neighboring town, Orinda can start their own memorial for Afghanistan. And so on, and so on...