Posted in Air, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Family, Gifts, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Weather, WeekendCoffeeShare, Winter, Woods

If we were having coffee: Red cedar edition

Cedar "berries"
Cedar “berries”

I was in my yard and thought that the tree was a living being.  We take trees for granted.  We don’t believe they are as much alive as we are.

~ Ziggy Marley

Debris on the Woodland Trail.
Debris on the Woodland Trail.

The difficulty with this conversation is that it’s very different from most of the ones I’ve had of late.  Which, as I explained, have mostly been with trees.

~ Douglas Adams

More debris.
More debris.

If we were having coffee, tea, water, or some other beverage, I would be happy to see you again.  And on a Monday too!  We can pretend it was a long weekend.  Hugs if you’re amenable to hugs.  Come on in!  Let’s grab our drinks and head out to the porch (which, as you may recall, is a three-season room).  It is warm and sunny today, and we should be quite comfortable there.  We can watch the birds at the feeders, the marsh grasses and trees swaying in the breeze, and the clouds racing across the sky.

Tumbled around by the wind.
Tumbled around by the wind.

How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Have you learned anything new this week or practiced something old with new eyes and new attitude?  Have you created anything?  Or was this a week to tear down and begin anew?  Have you traveled anywhere or seen any new sights?  Spent time with family or friends or both?  Read any good books or seen any good films?

Where the kingfishers perches during the winter and the turtles sun themselves in summer.
Where the kingfishers perches during the winter and the turtles sun themselves in summer.

I have nothing new to report in either the book or the film department.  It’s been that kind of week.  Oh wait!  I did start a new book. I am reading The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke.  The film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and based on the book, has been playing in theaters recently and was said to be favored to win Best Picture at the Oscars this year, but we all know now it didn’t win (DiCaprio, however, did win for Actor in a Leading Role).  I haven’t seen the film yet, but the review I read of it in Rolling Stone magazine mentions that it is intense and savage.  From what little I’ve read of The Revenant so far, I expect it would have to be.  It’s that kind of story.

On the Woodland Trail.
On the Woodland Trail.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that we had some wild and wicked storms last week on Wednesday evening.  Perhaps you noticed all the debris scattered along the driveway on your way in.  We started with a tornado watch and that turned into a tornado warning.  I read in the local news that it looks as if there was a tornado nearby, but it hadn’t been confirmed.  Whatever the case, the winds were howling, the lightning was flashing, the thunder was booming, and the rains eventually came pouring down.

Approaching the big tree that fell during the storm.
Approaching the big tree that fell during the storm.

If we were to walk out to the woods, you would see even more debris from the storm on all the paths.  We lost a large, old, red cedar tree.  I was sad to see it lying on its side, smashed up against a couple of large loblolly pines and a wax myrtle.  I don’t think the wind brought it down although it might have assisted.  I think it was water.  The ground was already well saturated before the storms moved through on Wednesday, and the wind from the storms coupled with a full moon caused higher than usual tides.  The tree, root ball and all, toppled over, leaving behind ripped roots and a large puddle of water where it used to sit.  If I were a giant with great strength, I would lift the tree back up and try to replant it.

The root of the matter.
The root of the matter.

Consider a tree for a moment.  As beautiful as trees are to look at, we don’t see what goes on underground — as they grow roots.  Trees must develop deep roots in order to grow strong and produce their beauty.  But we don’t see the roots.  We just see and enjoy the beauty.  In much the same way, what goes on inside of us is like the roots of a tree.

~ Joyce Meyer

The fallen. (I wish I'd had someone standing there to give you some perspective. It's a very big tree. M suggested I make a cardboard cutout for these occasions. Not a bad idea.)
The fallen. (I wish I’d had someone standing there to give you some perspective. It’s a very big tree. M suggested I make a cardboard cutout for these occasions. Not a bad idea.)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a wonderful and full weekend. M and I got together with M the Younger and his lovely wife for a hike and brunch on Sunday.  They were out this way visiting another family member and we decided to drive up to see them for a bit.  We hiked near a dam where bald eagles like to hang out and fish.  M and I were there several years ago, and the number of birds to be found in that area is quite a sight.  We didn’t see nearly as many bald eagles or other birds as we have in the past, but we did luck upon a few bald eagles as we hiked to the dam.  You might have seen the picture of one I posted yesterday.  They are beautiful birds, aren’t they?

A closer look.
A closer look.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that M and I did some hiking on Saturday, too.  We ascended and descended, something we don’t do much of here at the ranch because we are flat-landers here on the Eastern Shore.  Hills are hard to find.  I think we hiked around ten or eleven miles all together on Saturday and Sunday, and boy, my legs and feet are sore!  I took lots of photos, but it will probably be a while before I can sort through them.  We also walked on a beach by the Chesapeake Bay where there was a lot of sea glass scattered about.  I brought a few pieces home with me.

The top of the tree.
The top of the tree.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that about a week or so ago, after I posted about how walking the Appalachian Trail was more fantasy than dream for me now, I decided that doesn’t have to be entirely true and I have challenged myself to walk and hike more.  I am aiming to be able to walk 8-10 miles without feeling like I’ve walked the entire 2100+ miles of the AT.  To help with hills, I’ll be using the treadmill occasionally since I can increase the incline.

Broken.
Broken.

If we were having coffee or something else to drink, I would ask if you’d like to take a walk with me now.  I haven’t been out yet, and the day is getting away from me.  We don’t have to go too far since today is not a training day.  In fact, after all the weekend hiking, it is a rest day.  A nice, slow stroll will feel good, and the day is too pretty not to get out and enjoy it.

Climbing around the center of the tree.
Climbing around the center of the fallen tree.

Thank you so much for visiting today, and joining me for another coffee chat.  I apologize for the lateness.  I’m behind in most things lately as life is just so FULL.  If you’d like to hang around for a while after our walk, we could watch the sunset from the dock or from down at the Point.  Your choice.  Sunset is at 5:55 PM today.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Turkey tail fungus.  Just because.
Turkey tail fungus. Just because.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Thank you to Diana for hosting it.  Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

newcoffee

 

 

 

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

34 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Red cedar edition

  1. I am a tree talker – and now and again a hugger. Not for what I can take from them in the moment, just out of love and appreciation. Mind you a tend to talk to most everything – even the inanimate things in my life ……… I suppose that makes me bonkers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your photos are spectacular, as usual Robin. Sorry about the downed tree. We also had the storm and tornado watch Wednesday afternoon and night. It got scary, but fortunately we did not have much damage. Your brunching, hiking, and eagle-sighting weekend sounds wonderful. We saw moms this weekend–my mom on Saturday (took her to a winery), and my husband’s mom on Sunday–took her out for a belated birthday lunch. Then I worked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 So glad to hear you didn’t have much damage after that wild Wednesday of storms. Your weekend sounds wonderful, too. Well, maybe not the work part unless, of course, you enjoy your work. In which case, that part is good, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I want to see Revenant, either, Merril. I’m withholding final judgment on whether or not to add it to my Netflix queue. I want to finish the book before I decide. Spotlight is on my list of must-sees.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve been cleaning winter debris out of flower beds. I’m working my way around the house, building piles of debris as I go – which I’m hoping will magically transport themselves to the burn pit. I’m making progress, working on my hands and knees and this morning my knees are complaining. It’s probably good I have to go to town today.
    I thought about seeing Revenant, but was concerned about the gore, so did not. I am glad LeonardoDiCaprio won the best actor award though – he’s turned in so many great performances, he was due.
    Trees are precious, and it is sad when one is lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you are inviting in Spring, Carol, with all your hard work. I need to get out and start doing the same thing. 🙂

      I was glad to see DiCaprio win, too. As you said, he was due.

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  4. Hi Robin. You have a great knack of writing enough detail to make me feel I am really on a coffee break/walk with you. Our Eagles this week were at our local landfill. The adults and young hang out in the trees and watch for vermin-food. There has been a population serge of Bald Eagles in this area during the last three years. Makes the visit to the landfill debris dump almost fun. Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane. 🙂 Our landfill is almost fun, too. It’s amazing the number of birds that gather there. The usual suspects, such as the vultures, but all kinds of gulls and raptors show up, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These are lovely shots, and enjoyed our coffee….it’s incredible to see the power of a storm among trees, but equally how amazing that all the others are still standing….they were flexible enough to somehow cope💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Seonaid. 🙂 Yes, that’s true about the trees, both the fallen and those that are standing. I watched one of our taller pines during the storm and marveled at how it could bend and sway in such strong winds.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, I’m blown away by that Ziggy Marley quote about trees. How true! Sorry for you to lose a tree–that’s always sad, but I remember that once I mentioned, wrote about dead trees and you told me that they were called “nurse trees,” which I had never heard before. 🙂

    We just drove back from the Panhandle and through an area in the Blue Ridge Mountains which had lots of downed trees.

    Nice photos, Robin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Teresita. 🙂 I love that quote, too. I thought about “nurse trees” a day or two after I wrote this post, and wondered if we should leave this one just for that purpose. My husband is thinking of making cedar shakes/shingles, but we have so many projects going on that I suspect the tree is going to be sitting there for a long while which might make the decision for us. I’m sorry to hear the storm did so much damage, and yet… your reminder about the nurse trees makes me think that maybe it isn’t such a bad thing. I was reading something the other day about how pine trees are suffering from a beetle that normally wouldn’t have a chance to kill so many trees if the usual fires and storms had taken out some of the pines.

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  7. I love trees. Breaks my heart when one comes down, either by storm or by chainsaw. We are losing our birch, a few a year. They are old, and don’t have long lifespans, and we’ve been here over 20 years. They were grown when we got here so it’s expected but sad.

    I hope you got your walk in. 8-10 miles on the AT? That sounds like a serious goal! I used to think I wanted to walk it too until I read Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods.” Now not so much, at least not ALL of it!

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    1. I love trees, too, Dawn, and it is sad to see one toppled over or badly injured whether by Mother Nature or by humans. I’ve always loved birch trees. We don’t have them here. I think they prefer cooler climates? I’m not sure. I wanted to plant a few on the property in NE Ohio, but just didn’t get around to it.

      I’ve given up on the idea of ALL of it, as well. Then I felt a little ashamed for giving up after reading that the first woman to solo thru-walk it (which is all in one go) was a 67-year-old “Grandma Gatewood” who did it in 1957 wearing Keds and carrying nothing but a knapsack. However. I think I’ll be happy doing it in bits and pieces. 🙂

      Like

  8. A lovely post, Robin. I’m a tree talker, too… 🙂

    I am interested to hear how you like the book version of Revenant when you are done. I am guessing the book was first, and then the movie. I was stuck in an airport delay yesterday and almost bought the book version, but almost all the books on the shelf had movie images for their covers and it spoiled me to the idea. It’s like all the books being promoted were recently movies– a good thing in reverse. I sometimes like to read the book second and watch the movie first, but usually the other way around. So I picked a Toni Morrison book, God Help the Child. I have only read a couple of her books, but liked them all. So good… I’m three-quarters through Don DeLillo’s Underworld, and am amazed at his writing– all the little moments and fragments of sensation and images that he pulls out from between the seat cushions of his brilliant mind and litters throughout the pages.

    Peace
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. 🙂 I just finished the book a little while ago, and I recommend it. It’s a compelling story, a fictionalized version of historical events (which I didn’t know when I started it). It surprised me, to be honest, but I can’t say how or why without spoiling it for those who haven’t read it yet.

      Lately there seem to be so many books written with a movie version in mind. They almost read like a screenplay rather than a novel.

      I’ve read one or two of Toni Morrison’s books, and liked them, too. Underworld sounds quite interesting and I’ve added it to my reading list.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m a little behind, too. Life IS full! 🙂 I started Euphoria by Lily King. It about anthropologists in New Guinea in the 30s (modeled after Margaret Mead). I’m liking it (it’s for book club and comes highly recommended).
    Too bad about your cedar. Are you saving the wood? Aside from smelling good and deterring moths in your clothes, it makes great rot-resistant fence posts or rustic furniture. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sounds like a good book, Eliza. Another one for my reading list. 🙂

      We are going to save the wood from the cedar. My husband wants to make cedar shakes (shingles) to use on the new tool shed he plans to build. It looks fairly easy to do if you have the right tools (that might be true of most projects, I suppose).

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        1. Well, we’ll see how ambitious he is when it comes to doing it. lol! Actually, he’s very good at following through. Don’t be surprised if pictures of me making a shingle or two pop up here on the blog when he gets around to doing it. Because, of course, I’ll want to try my hand at it, too. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Loved the walk today Robyn. I have long conversations with trees often and do a lot of hugging. I have sap stains on a lot of my clothes. We have Ponderosa Pine here, and in the spring and summer they smell like vanilla. I’m very sorry about your red cedar. I love how cedar smells.
    Have a wonderful rest of your week and weekend.
    Blessings,
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary. 🙂 It must be wonderful to be surrounded by a vanilla-like scent from the pines. I must have encountered Ponderosa Pines when visiting Colorado, but I don’t recall the scent.

      Like

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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