Monday, July 30, 2012


'I think that I shall never see
A poem as beautiful as a tree'.

So goes a snippet of poetry that has stuck in my mind for decades. Elm trees are at the bottom of the photo and London plane trees at the top. Fortunately our elms have not been infected by Dutch elm disease although we do have the destructive elm leaf beetle. The long drought and short sighted authorities who switched water off to the trees really knocked the trees around, but after a couple of good years of rain, they seem to have bounced back. I love most trees, in all their shapes and sizes, with or without leaves. Elms in particular look quite majestic without leaves.

A recent Sunday morning saw our street as the route for a charity run. I refer to them as MBs, that is mad bastards, who get up early on a Sunday morning to run. It is enough that I manage to be up to take a photo of them.


  1. I enjoy your spelling of 'short sited' - whether deliberate or unintended. There's something about locating the 'short sighted' powers that be in a place called 'short' that appeals to me, as do those magnificent elms.

  2. Anonymous8:23 am

    They look like ghost trees in winter.

  3. Martin11:05 am

    In the original I believe it goes "a poem lovely as a tree" but I get your point - I'm just being a little pedantic, perhaps, and hoping you won't be offended.

  4. Elisabeth, that was a mistake. Given I had to fix the glaring gap at the top of the post, I fixed that too.

    Anon, yes, that is what I think. They really should have some snow on them, but I will forego the picture postcard scene and stay a bit warmer.

    Martin, at first I typed 'a thing as lovely', so I did correct that at least. No probs.

  5. 98% of all poetry is rubbish. Twaddle. Numbskulls writing it nowadays could be useful planting trees.

  6. Love an elm or any tree for that matter too. LC and I still get excited at some of the pine trees we see here. "Oh, well I guess that's where 'Alpine' comes from."

  7. Hello Andrew:
    Years ago we lost all of the Elm trees which we had in the garden on account of the Dutch Elm disease. A great sadness. We are so pleased that those trees which you show appear to be doing well.

  8. Nothing beats a nice tree. many are so artistic as well as poetic. Your trees must look great in Autumn. Are you a couch potato?

  9. There are morning people in this world (insane, unstable, exhausted by lunchtime) and there are evening people (thoughtful, creative people with staying power). You are clearly not a morning person.

  10. I always knew that poem as :
    I think that I shall never see,
    A billboard lovely as a tree.

    I love trees, especially the ones with broad branches low enough for climbing and sitting in. Wide spreading branches, dense with leaves, throwing circles of cool shade onto hot footpaths and gardens.

  11. Anonymous8:21 pm

    Did I tell you that I'm going to Yakushima island on my upcoming trip? The whole island is a designated World Heritage site and has trees over 1000 years old. It also has a special breed of Japanese monkey. Beautiful magestic trees and monkeys - what else does a girl need?! V.

  12. RH, Lawson and Patterson were poets. How dare you.

    Pine trees Kath? While I don't mind a Blue Spruce in a front garden, generally I only find pine trees useful for their dried needles and putting them into school milk straw to smoke.

    JayLa, we do have some spectacular elms. There is a volunteer group dedicated to keeping our elms free of the disease. I tried to find a link to the group, but I could not.

    Diane, I am more of a computer chair potato. Not really though. I walk quite a bit and swim when our pool is not undergoing renovation. Grrr.

    Hels, all I can say is a hedge my bets in both directions. I am disciplined by work, but I am not sure what sort of person I will be when I don't work. I think I will alternate between being a morning and night person. That means resolutions that I will get up earlier tomorrow and get some things done. From what you say, I should become a night person. I rather like the song, In the Evening, The Real Me Comes Alive.

    River, I did google the poem before I posted and I came across that. It is good hey. I have great tree climbing memories.

    Not that I recall V. No chipping off bark then, and writing 'V was here, 2012'. I wasn't keen on the Batu Caves monkeys but I know some can be very amusing and interesting. Actually the BC monkeys were interesting, just a bit too aggressive.

  13. I love how stark the trees can appear in winter. Sometimes I wish I was co-ordinated enough to run, then I get over it!

  14. Fen, stark trees often look fantastic.

  15. OMG Andrew I'm supposed to be one of those MB's in a few weeks, hmmm! knee 'heal thyself pronto'!

  16. Good luck to you Grace. Don't slam the door on your way out. Actually, I admire people with the will to do such things.