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 to 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 “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”

As I walked through the now overgrown 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 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 visitor’s center

Morton Arboretum visitor center w/restaurant next to Meadow Lake

Morton Arboretum visitor center w/restaurant next to Meadow Lake

Morton Arboretum's visitor center across from Meadow lake

Morton Arboretum’s visitor center across from Meadow lake

Interior Forest #1

Interior Forest #1

This squirrel wouldn't give me his name-he was busy with a mouthful of acorn.

This squirrel wouldn’t give me his name-he was busy with a mouthful of acorn.

Trail #1

Trail #1

This acorn was on the look out for squirrels.

This acorn was on the look out for squirrels.

Berries du jour

Berries du jour

Morton Arboretum 9-5-2015 SP10

Prairie Meadow

Prairie Meadow

Prairie Meadow

Prairie Meadow

Prairie Meadow Flora

Prairie Meadow Flora

Morton Arboretum 9-5-2015 SP14

Woodland Interior #1

Woodland Interior #1

Woodland Interior #2

Woodland Interior #2

Avant-garde tree

Avant-garde tree

Interior Woodland #3

Interior Woodland #3

Spot the spider?

Spot the spider?

 

Forest Glen #1

Forest Glen #1

Forest Glen #2

Forest Glen #2

Morton Arboretum Brochure

Morton Arboretum Brochure

Fall Fashion?

Fall Fashion?

Mushrooms à la dead tree

Mushrooms à la dead tree

Flora #1

Flora #1

Wetlands

Wetlands

Homage to Eliot Porter

Homage to Eliot Porter

"No Runners" Bugs have the "Right of Way"

“No Runners”
Bugs have the “Right of Way”

"If a tree falls in the forest does anyone..."

“If a tree falls in the forest does anyone…”

 A Japanese tree? How multicultural!

A Japanese tree? How multicultivating!

Stonehenge Green?

Stonehenge Green?

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

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

A Tanyosos Pine - a Japanese Red fir

A Tanyosos Pine – a Japanese Red fir

"Walk to Paradise Garden"

“Walk to Paradise Garden”

In case you miss plastic here is a LEGO presentation by Sean Kenney.

In case you miss plastic here is a LEGO presentation by Sean Kenney.

Plastics, Part two

Plastics, Part Two

 

 

 

 

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