Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Scribble Picnic. . . . . . . . .Tree

"Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky" 
Kahlil Gibran

TREE - quite a simple word for such complexity of form and function.
I'm definitely a tree lover. . . . . and, if totally honest, I guess a bit of a 'tree hugger'
 too. Yes, I might just hug a tree if I thought it was to be cut down or injured for
 no sensible reason.

I've viewed many trees in my travels around the world and it's quite amazing 
how varied they are. I've loved them all, from snow covered swathes of silver birch in
 Kamchatka, Russia, to tropical island palms blowing in Hawaiian breezes.
The towering redwoods I viewed in Northern California last year will never be forgotten.
Billowing pink flowering chestnuts in the Lake District of England, so beautiful.
Mighty ancient oaks and copper beech trees in the forests of my real home in Devon, 
bring back childhood memories of conker fights and nibbling beech nuts as I walked 
through the woods. I have always, yes always, loved the countryside for its trees.
The only place I've visited that lacks trees of any kind is of course 
Antarctica.  Did I miss them and their shades of green, yes of course, but other
 breathtaking land and seascapes brought a different beauty in cobalt blue, 
aquamarine and white to the eye for couple of weeks.

Oh I could definitely bend your ear with tree stories, including a few less loved
 ones that fell on the cottage roof and my car during a couple of infamous
 North Carolina hurricanes. . . . . . . . . but today, for Michael's theme
 for Scribble Picnic I chose to share a lonely tree from Kenya's Masaai Mara.
Please visit this week's participants at the picnic - I'm sure there will be some 
beautiful trees to view by talented artists from around the world.

On last September's safari to that beautiful area of Africa, the animals were 
unbelievable, however I was also struck by the trees. So few scattered
 across the plain, so little shade provided, but sometimes a home to birds who
 wove incredible colonies of hanging nests, whose trunk hid a sleek cheetah waiting
 to make that incredible lightning speed run to grab its meal for the day, and a place
 for the leopard to climb and hang its prey across a branch out of the reach of other
predators, then returning and climbing the tree for several days to eat.

One of several Maasai Mara desert date (Balanites aegyptiaca) trees I
 photographed - here you get the true feeling of how few trees there are. 
Edited to a sketch, with watercolor pencil scribbles for color.

"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a
 singing bird will come"
Chinese proverb

 I'll be away for the next couple of weeks and unable to join the picnic party. 
Internet access on ships is usually sporadic and terribly expensive. I know from
experience that even if you are able to connect, it's so slow and costs a small
 fortune to post anything, especially pictures. I take my laptop really just for
 e-mailing family to keep in touch, and as an additional backup for new
 photos. Sadly I may have to take a short hiatus from blogging. . . . . . 

. . . . . . . but I hope to see you here later in May!


  1. I love trees, their smell, form, function and grace. A favourite has to be the wonderful Cedar of Lebannon. All the best with your travels, Mary; stay safe and enjoy.

    1. Thank so much Mike - glad you are a tree lover too. Yes off again next week - it's getting a bit harder with all that's going on in the world, but hopefully all will go well with calm seas and sunshine, along with the camaraderie of good friends to share the beauty of Sicily and Malta.
      Mary -

  2. Mary, that is beautiful. I am so happy you are such a traveler so we can see (and sort of experience) your adventures.

    1. Wish I could take you along Latane - I love how you are always up for a day out!
      Like you though, some days it's harder than others for me too, but I can't give up the travels quite yet as there are more wonders to see. God willing!.
      Mary -

  3. Mary your piece is so beautiful and calm, I love it. You are such a good writer too.

    1. You are very kind to say that Christine - thank you.
      Mary -

  4. Be thinking of you Mary. I too am a tree hugger and used to climb to the top of the tallest trees around. Conkers for girls? I thought that was a snips and snails and puppy dog tails things...

    1. Oh yes, we naughty little British girls often enjoyed an Autumn conker fight with those nasty school boys in short trousers!

  5. This picture is so beautiful and takes me back to all the Alexander Smith McCall books I've enjoyed from Africa and the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. Going on a safari would be on my bucket list.

    Safe travels and take lots of pictures to turn into paintings. Hugs.

    1. Thank you Wanda. Don't you just love his 'No.1 Detective Agency books? Did you see the movie too - it's fabulous - as is the documentary 'Botswana: In the Footsteps of the No. 1 Ladies Detective' with Alexander McCall Smith himself. Both available on Netflix.

      Yep, will be taking lots of pix in Sicily for certain!

  6. A beautiful image and editing of this tree, Mary. I love trees and am always noticing them in my travels even to and fro to the city. I watch the foliage come and go and when a limb is broken or a tree is downed for some reason. They provide shelter and shade to wildlife and humans. What would we do without trees! xx Pam

  7. "Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky"  - love that.

    I like the lone tree in such a vast space, it just somehow speaks of peace and quiet.

    have a lovely day.

  8. Happy travels! We will be here when you return. Looking forward to hearing about new places and more trees on your adventure. Love, love your drawing.

  9. Your style could become a whole new art medium. The overlay of sketching and watercolor from photos is genius, and this one is framable.

    Bon Voyage, Mary. I hope you and Bob have the time of your lives!

    Jane x

  10. Thanks for sharing the Mara tree, which I didn't know before what they were called. I've always been fascinated by the lone trees one sees in pictures of African landscape. Will look forward hearing about your trip upon your return!

  11. Beautiful tree pic/sketch, Mary! It makes me think of the lone tree I painted in an African-themed sunset for my youngest son. Here is the link if you are interested in seeing it -

    You have such a beautiful way with words, reading your posts.

    Wishing you safe travels and a lovely trip to Europe. I will look forward to 'seeing' you again in May. Don't forget the camera. :)

  12. I wish you a wonderful time away!
    Your tree landscape is lovely. Somehow it is striking to have a barren landscape but for one tree.
    I find it rare to be able to photograph one tree without anything man made in the scene. I look for trees like that.

  13. I love your image of the solitary tree. One singular beauty. I think you feel about trees the way I do. Hope you have a wonderful and safe trip. Looking forward to hearing about it!

  14. Mary,
    What a delightful post on trees. I loved your descriptions of each different part of the world. You made me feel as if I had travelled there. And what a beautiful choice for this week's #Scribblepicnic. The vastness of the savanna - and one lonely tree. Awesome.

  15. Dear Mary,

    This is a fabulous photo and nicely done sketch colour for scribble picnic. A great pic! I love your write up too and knew you;d love trees as much as I though I dare say you;ve seen far more kinds too. :)

    I so enjoyed your write up on my piece. Thank you. You are so right too with all of that. Gladly woudl I prep and serve such sandwiches! ...and fill you glass as needed. i do like to take care of our guests, you know.

    Sicily wil be AMAZING! I can't reclal if you;ve ever been there before but I'm thinking not, though of course, you have been to Italy. Enjoy, enjoy! Don't worry about anything with the picnic but enjoying that precious time with hubs and keeping in contact with the fam.


I would enjoy reading your comment - thanks so much for stopping by.