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The other creatures with which we share this world have their rights too, but not speaking our language, they have no voice, no vote; it is our moral duty to take care of them. –  Roger Tory Peterson

Mindo Ecuador –    Sentinels of our communties, trees posses a strong power.   They plant their feet firmly and stretch their arms toward the heavens as if tickling the sky.  Horizontal branches provide support for a child’s  dreamy afternoon respite or a house cat or even a jaguar! In the Neotropics, trees provide a unique ecosytem, where bromeliads, orchids, vines and ferns provide food and shelter for insects, birds, reptiles, mammals, etc.    The dense shade cloaks the ground with welcome relief from extreme heat.  Ah, who hasn’t expressed gratitude when stepping beneath the canopy of a large tree on a sultry day?

The people in the tree had the best seats for the game!  The ones on the ground clustered beneath any shade! Jama Ecuador

One friend long ago mentioned ‘custom harvesting’ a tract of land, and he knew that it bothered me.    He explained, “But the trees are going to die anyway, so we might as well harvest them while the wood can be used. ”

I mentioned the dead trees’ importance and reminded him that dead trees were important habitat for the presumed-extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker.  “Where will YOUR chidren take their children to see a really-big tree?”  

This past week while sorthing through old drawings and sketches, I paused when reviewing three or four pages of attempts to illustrate a quote.    Then Rebecca Budd /Clanmother shared a quote about trees, which nudged me into bringing that sketch to life.

Those lovely sentinels watch over us, yet many times we forget to acknowledge their presence or worth.

Join me in this celebration of trees!

“Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, Only when the last fish is caught, will they realize that you can’t eat money.” – Native American Proverb

The endangered Gray-cheeked Parakeet nibbles flowers and buds of the Royal Poinciana.  – Jama Ecuador

The petite parakeets foraged for flame-colored blossoms in front of my hostal room at Palo Santo; I discovered later that it is a gift to see them in the wild.   Some sources state that the best option for seeing these birds is in a cage or zoo.   Thank you, Ecuador, for slamming the door on exportation of this species!

“…Another example is the gray-cheeked parakeet, which has a very small range that straddles the border between southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru. This bird is rare, and declining, due to habitat destruction and the trade. Ecuador has banned the export of this species, but Peru continues to allow it.”Animals in Peril: How ‘Sustainable Use’ is Wiping out the World’s Wildlife – John Arthur Hoyt

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.” – William Blake, 1799, The Letters

Almost sunset near Mindo Ecuador:  The quiet trees often have the most interesting residents!   The Common Potoo holds its motionless pose until dusk nudges it into activity.

“A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”  – William Blake

How strange that nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!” — Emily Dickinson

Near the community of Don Juan/Jama Ecuador

“Modern man talks of a battle with nature, forgetting that, if he won the battle, he would find himself on the losing side” – E F Schumacher

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.” – Chinese proverb

“Trees are Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.”  Rabindranath Tagore — Rebecca Budd shared this quote, which prompted this post!
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“We abuse the land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” – Aldo Leopold

“If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”  – Henry David Thoreau, American writer (1817-1862)

I shared the above quote with my friend who – long ago-  wanted to harvest the old trees.

One of two waterfalls at Rio Bravo Reserve near Mindo Ecuador.

Dawn near Mindo Ecuador.

“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty, if only we have the eyes to see them .” – John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Early morning birding with kindred spirits.

“The earth is what we all have in common.” ― Wendell Berry

“Trees are your best antiques.” ― Alexander Smith
“To be poor and be without trees, is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and have trees, is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

“What did the tree learn from the earth to be able to talk with the sky?” -Pablo Neruda

“The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.” – William Shakespeare

“In my deepest troubles, I frequently would wrench myself from the persons around me and retire to some secluded part of our noble forests. “ — John James Audubon

“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise
old bird?” – Edward Hersey Richards

“I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”  – Dr. Suess

“The axe forgets; the tree remembers. “ – African proverb

The upcoming Timeout for Art will feature this quote;
“Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed — chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones. .” — John Muir

Would anyone like to join me in attempts to illustrate Muir’s quote?  The next post will show the sketches.

Thanks for the nudge, Rebecca!

 

Z

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