Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Thursday Tree Love: Breathe, a Poem

Thanksgiving Day 2021

For this edition of Tree Love, I offer a poem by Becky Helmsley interspersed with tree photos.

Breathe, by Becky Helmsley

“She sat at the back, and they said she was shy,

She led from the front and they hated her pride,

They asked her advice and then questioned her guidance,

They branded her loud, then were shocked by her silence,

When she shared no ambition, they said it was sad,

So she told them her dreams and they said she was mad,

They told her they’d listen, then covered their ears,

And gave her a hug while they laughed at her fears,

And she listened to all of it thinking she should,

Be the girl they told her to be best as she could,

But one day she asked what was best for herself,

Instead of trying to please everyone else,

So she walked to the forest and stood with the trees,

She heard the wind whisper and dance with the leaves,

She spoke to the willow, the elm and the pine,

And she told them what she’d been told time after time,

She told them she felt she was never enough,

She was either too little or far far too much,

Too loud or too quiet, too fierce or too weak,

Too wise or too foolish, too bold or too meek,

Then she found a small clearing surrounded by firs,

And she stopped…and she heard what the trees said to her,

And she sat there for hours not wanting to leave,

For the forest said nothing, it just let her breathe”

Becky Helmsley

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit Parul at: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-121/


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Thursday Tree Love: Trees Along the Creek in Late Afternoon

A pine tree? or maybe a cypress? dressed in Spanish moss

I took this photo last week as we walked our new dog, Marley, along the creek in our neighborhood. I love how the trees and Spanish moss filter the sunlight. On winter nights the leafless branches make the starlight twinkle. Our sun could be someone else’s starlight. Writing in stream of consciousness mode, I think of the Charismas song that goes: Star of wonder star of light …… Guide us to thy perfect light. It’s the holidays here in the US where I celebrate Christmas. Some have celebrated Hanukkah, some celebrate Kwanza. Let us all celebrate trees!

Here are more trees along my neighborhood creek.

Thursday Tree love is hosted on the second and fourth Thursday of each month by Parul Thankur. For more tree love, visit Parul’s post.


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SoCS: Trees! Plus, a New Family Member

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ….. “tree.” Use the word “tree” or write about a tree. Any kind of tree. Enjoy! You can learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday and find more streams at the blog of our excellent host, Linda Hill.

Woohoo! I get to write about trees two posts in a row. So many possibilities, but I’m not to plan. Hmmm. There’s a sycamore in my yard close to the house. Who’s been leaning for years since a hurricane whose name I’ve forgotten. She’s sent up a slender new trunk, there’s probably another name for this skinny spike, not really a trunk, but the point is, for balance. In 50 years, it might be another trunk. The tree leans over my neighbors back yard mostly, not her house, and has survived and stood strong for many subsequent hurricanes. I bet the roots go under my house and her house, maybe even across the street, joining with other roots of the many trees in my urban forest.

I’ve been reading the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Understory. Almost finished. Slow reader. It’s disturbing and beautiful. At first, being trained first as a technical writer (well one class), I thought the book was wordy. I’ve had to look up a word almost every time I pick it up. But now, it’s become poetic. The book is about several people from all over the country/world who come to love trees and desire to save them. The scientist writes about how trees communicate with each other in the air and underground, which brings us back to my urban forest. So many leaves on my pathways now, making them soft and covering tiny animals and plants.

The larger animals, like squirrels, who have had the run of the yard for a couple of years since we have not had a dog and Mama Cat lives inside. Now we have adopted a dog. A big one. Bigger and more energetic than we would have chosen. It’s a longish story and related to the fact that my daughter and her fiancé already have two big dogs in their apartment. Marley is their brother. Their mother, Leilu, my grand dog, just crossed the rainbow bridge at age 7 due to cancer. Marley’s first adopter called Ayla to say she could no longer care for him for financial reasons. Last night was his first night here and he whined enough for David to go get him from his crate (which he supposedly has slept most of his 6 years) and slept with him in the spare bedroom. Marley is going to be a challenge, especially where Mama Cat is concerned. I’m reading about that, scheduling obedience consultations, and we go to the vet Monday.

Yesterday, during his first run in my backyard, Marley rolled in the leaves and something very stinky. I’m glad my daughter gave him a bath. He’s a husky / pit bull mix (a pitsky), very energetic and LOVES to be with people. He’s very curious about the smell of the other animal in the house, but we’re taking that slow. Marley is not allowed in the cat side of the house.


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Thursday Tree Love: Golden Ginko

The ginko I adopted seems to be doing well. She hasn’t grown much above ground, but hopefully, her roots are growing deeper and stronger.

I love her golden leaves with their unique fan-like shape reminding me of butterflies. Click the photo for a better view.

Below is a mature ginko in front of a church a couple miles away. I was in a hurry so snapped this through my car windshield.

A mature ginko in November gold

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-119/


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Thursday Tree Love: My Adopted Gingko

There’s a lot of tree planting going on in my city. That’s a good thing, but we also need to do a better job of preserving the mature trees, the canopy. During the dry spring and summer, some of the newly planted trees were dying. I signed up to adopt one that had been planted a few miles from my house. My job has been to give this tree five gallons of water during any week that lacked significant rain. Sometimes, I give a little water to the tree nearby who has supposedly been adopted by another person.

When I first visited my adopted tree in the spring, I was surprised to see it terribly bent over from the wind. Someone had put a stick next to it to try to prop it up, but it wasn’t working.

My first visit.
I tried to prop it up after the first watering.

Within a few days, I got David to help me put in some better support.

I visited yesterday and it was still doing okay. Greener than the other trees in nearby.

I’ll try to get another photo when the leaves change.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit Parul ‘s blog here.


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Thursday Tree Love: Trees as Artists ~ with Faces, a Wing, and a Heart

Do you ever see shapes in tree trunks? Are these just random shapes that our mind interprets as meaningful images, a psychological phenomenon called, pareidolia? Or is it possible that trees are creating art or maybe sending us signs? Who can say for sure? Here are some examples I’ve seen recently in my neighborhood…

I see at least three faces, two in profile, and a wing.
What do you see?

The hemlock below is one I’ve shared before, but I had not noticed the gnarly face until recently. The face in the photo on the right reminds me of an alien wizard type character I’ve seen somewhere before, but I can’t quite place it.

The eyes in the face I see are set far apart like a turtle. The mustache reminds me of the owl in the Secret of NIMH. My husband sort of sees a grumbly face, but he also sees a person’s body emerging from the tree with my “mustache” as legs.

Many dogwoods in my area have succumbed to a disease. I’m still in denial about my dogwood being dead as a tall evergreen shrub nearby hides its bare branches. My neighbor’s deceased dogwood stood alone and was clearly not coming back from the dead, so she had it cut down. Here’s a heart that could not be seen until after the tree was cut.

What signs have you seen from trees?

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit Parul’s blog here.


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Good News Tuesday for Sept. 28, 2021: Saving the Largest Tree in the World, Honest Labeling for Body Image, A Rescued Food Market, Empathy on the Field, and Transforming Beach Trash

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Firefighters are Working to Save the Largest Trees in the World

California firefighters have been working to save the largest tree in the world (and others) from fire. They’ve wrapped the base of the giant sequoia in an aluminum fire-resistant blanket. Saving this great grandparent tree with an extensive underground support network will help the overall well being of the forest if fire does come. I’ll be looking for updates, but for now, here’s an article from NBC news. This article from The Good News Network, seems hopeful and reports that sprinklers are going most of the time. I send deep gratitude and prayers to all firefighters and support teams.

Norway Fights False Body Advertising

Hoping to reduce unrealistic body expectations, Norway has passed a law requiring influencers and advertisers to label their retouched photos. Learn more here.

Pay What You Feel

A “pay what you feel” Rescued Food Market is opening on Oct. 1 in Vancouver. The Good News Network has details.

Empathy on the Field

At a recent high school football game in Iowa, wide receiver Mario Hoefer helped his opponent who was having a leg cramp. Read more about this act of empathy and sportsmanship from Today.

Transforming Beach Trash

Humberto Less collects plastic trash from his Spanish home island and turns the waste into furniture.

Got Good News?

Share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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Thursday Tree Love: A Bowl and a Bend

I can only begin to imagine what might have given this tree such an unusual shape with a bowl at the bottom and a slender trunk bent back into an arch, yet still growing leaves. We discovered this unique individual on my daughter’s May birthday hike through a nature preserve in southeatern North Carolina. I do not know what kind of tree it is, perhaps some kind of laurel, but I do know that it is a survivor. Here are some close ups:

The Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve contains a variety of habitats and diverse terrain:

~~~

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the secon and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-115/


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Thursday Tree Love: A Poem and a Willow

WHEN I AM AMONG THE TREES
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

I love weeping willows and looked for at least a year for one to accompany Mary Oliver’s poem that mentions them. What a surprise when I noticed this one hiding in plain sight behind my pharmacy which is located on a busy street. The willow, along with a water loving cypress, seem to be part of a small retention pond and drainage system created behind the pharmacy. There’s an auto repair business to the right, so this system probably filters a lot of city waste.

It looks like somebody’s mowed the grass recently near the cypress.
I wonder if the cage like structure could be a trash collecting device.
One day, I’ll investigate further.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and forth Thursday of each month. For more tree love visit Paurl at the link below:


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Thursday Tree Love: Spring Red Buds in a Parking Lot

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Reflection in the Car Bumper

I took these photos in March when the redbuds were among the first to bloom. This one added color to the gray parking lot.

If you look up, you can forget for a moment you’re even in a parking lot.

We still need to leave more trees in parking lots.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.

For more Tree Love, visit: Parul’s post.