Tuesday, May 17, 2005

the cathedral of our magic tree

The entrance to the cathedral of our magic tree.

This grand old tree has stood in this spot longer than there are houses on this city block on which we all cohabit together. It is truly a majestic large Black Walnut Tree, which sits in the back of my neighbours and our property. This neighbour and I have no fences between us and he loves trees or at least tolerates their existence enough to leave them alone, a wise decision. He controls the destiny of this tree until another person takes hold of his domain, I see myself as its keeper. I spend a lot of time with this tree throughout the seasons. I am very fond of it although I do not know its name, other than: Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) - a deciduous tree from the Walnut Family (Juglandaceae). By name, I mean of course its identity, such as mine in the name Gerard that means, “spear power or thrower”. I’d like to know its name, maybe it is just Juglans Nigra and that works for me. Let me introduce you to my friend then, Juglans Nigra.

Inside the cathedral of Juglans Nigra - the magic tree.
A composite image of the magic tree in our backyards.

This tree reaches a height of maybe 30 metres plus or minus a metre or two; suffice it to say it is huge. What you cannot see is that the leaf buds have only just come on but have not yet opened, it waits until there is little chance of frost before it unfurls its canopy.
This gargantuan tree stands in the middle of this block from all perspectives of the compass. There are a few Elms, which may be as tall in the park nearby but the reach of this tree is by far the largest of any other tree on the block. You come to understand why its strength is sought after for the use of furniture, when you see its limbs extended out over you, standing underneath it.

To get to the tree you must walk through the entrance of my large grove of Sugar Maples where the terracotta head of Buddha sits under a set large low-pitched chimes (see top image). Once you have entered under its canopy you can see that it is surrounded by several large conifers and some large ornamentals trees such as a flowering Crab Apple. At Juglans Nigra’s feet is a wall of stone made of large boulders and large broken slabs of city concrete. It is a formidable environment and this tree speaks of power sitting here as King in the middle of this block and in our backyards. I have a great deal of respect for this tree and it deserves it, with its one ton limbs reaching out over top of you. I would go so far as to say that I have cathected with this tree on the level of love, I love this tree.

As an Anti-Cartesian thinker I believe that the question “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” is a valid one, superfluous maybe but valid nonetheless. If the Fairy Folk and the animals that live on this block had a main meeting area they would be sitting near or on the stone wall around this great tree, under its canopy in the full moonlight. Thereby it is a magical tree to me. I know this as truth as I lay in the long grass of summer under its reaching limbs. My friend Juglans Nigra embraces me when I do and I in turn it.
The photo is a digital composite which I softened the overlaps using PhotoShop. I could not photograph the whole tree from a distance as it is shrouded by a whole grove of trees on every side, thus my composite. I hope you like my photos but more importantly learn to love Juglans Nigra the Black Walnut; our magic tree.



Post a Comment

<< Home