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Tree Talk
   I'm not perfectly comfortable admitting this, but I've talked to a few trees in my time.
   I try to be as unobtrusive as possible.  You never know who - besides the tree - might be
listening.  I learned that the hard way.
   Once, years ago, I'd planted three young maple trees.  Two were flourishing, but the other was
not.  It looked as if it needed a little encouragement, so one bright Spring morning found me
offering some comfort, telling it to hang in there because, one day, it was going to grow into a big,
strong, beautiful tree.  That was when I sensed I had company.
   I turned to find my neighbor (who had moved in only a few weeks before) standing at the fence
that separates our backyards, staring at me with a look that was something between incredulity
and suspicion.  Even after I turned around, he didn't say a word, didn't smile or change
expression, just kept looking.  At first, I thought to explain what I was doing.  But, let's face it, once
you've been caught talking to a tree, there aren't many explanations you could offer to a person
who doesn't talk to trees that would make a lot of sense.
   So, I gathered myself to my full height, smiled brightly and said, "Good morning.  Looks like it's
going to be a beautiful day."  And, with as much dignity as I could muster, turned and went back
inside.  I told my husband that, at that moment, our new neighbor was in his house, saying to his
wife, "Thousands and thousands of houses, but we had to pick one next door to a crazy lady who
talks to trees."
   I recently heard about a research study concerning the different ways trees communicate with
each other.  The results are very interesting (some might even say amazing, given that most
people didn't know they communicated at all).  It seems that when a tree becomes diseased, it
sends out messages to neighboring trees, warning them, not just of danger, but of the specific
danger.  They, in turn, start building up an immunity to whatever affected the first tree, long before
any of them have actually been affected themselves.  I guess you could think of it as tree texting.
   I couldn't help feeling somewhat vindicated when I learned this, thinking of the trees I've had a
word with now and then.
   It's true that none of them have ever talked back.  But maybe that's just because I didn't
recognize the language.  -- Nancy
With one exception, the photos on this page were taken in the state of Wyoming.
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to listen to them can learn the truth.
They don't preach precepts, they preach the ancient law of life.
-- Hermann Hesse
Remind us, when we long for life without difficulties, that oaks grow strong
in contrary winds.  
-- Peter Marshall
No human manages his affairs as well as a tree does.  -- George Bernard Shaw
Trees, proud standing people,
stretching fingertips to the sky;
strength
shelter
timeless confidence
bending and firm
comforting
dancing with the moon, the wind
tender rugged celebration
absorbing and releasing life,
each branch holding
the power of the universe.
-- Author Unknown
If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.  -- Hal Borland
Trees outstrip most people in the extent and depth of their work for the public good.
-- Sara Ebenreck
Will the time come when people, intent on their iPads and tweeting and texting, lose all
touch with nature?  When the only trees children will touch are the fabricated plastic
evergreens that shade their gifts on Christmas morning?  
-- Frank N. Ikard
The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson