Looking down on green trees
Nature Photo Challenge,  Themed galleries,  Trees, forests and woodland

Gallery: listening to trees

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.

Herman Hesse

Whatever their mood, and whatever the time of year, it’s hard not to be moved when among trees. And recently it seems we humans have started to realise this more and more. Forest bathing and tree hugging have both been shown to have benefits for our mental health, reducing stress and helping us to unwind.

But we don’t need to adopt such specific activities to feel the majesty and wonder of trees. We simply need to walk among them. For Denzil’s Nature photo challenge this week, let me take you on a walk among a variety of trees both close to home and further afield. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Costa Rica features quite heavily! My featured photo was taken there, looking down from one of the hanging bridges at Selvatura Park near Arenal.

Click on any photo in each gallery to open a slideshow with captions.

Green trees

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.

Martin Luther

Flowering trees

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough

A E Housman

Autumn trees

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree

Emily Bronte

Bare trees

This solitary tree! A living thing produced too slowly ever to decay; of form and aspect too magnificent to be destroyed.

William Wordsworth

Trunks and roots

The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Iconic trees

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Planting a tree in Colombia

A man doesn’t plant a tree for himself. He plants it for posterity.

Alexander Smith

In the coffee region of Colombia, near the Valle Cocora, we were invited to participate in a somewhat odd but rather rewarding little task. Our host at the roadside restaurant where we stopped for lunch took us for a walk on the land attached to his property. There he grows fruit and vegetables for the restaurant and maintains a small area of mixed forest. We were invited to plant a small palm tree, taken by our host from a nursery area and carried by Chris to the designated planting spot further up the trail. Chris then dropped it into a pre-dug hole and tucked it in, while a Spanish guy who was also with us on the walk did the same with his tree. Our host then said some words about linking Colombia with England and Spain in a little ceremony.

We were also introduced to his rather fun Guardian of the Forest. This seems a fitting end point for our own virtual walk among the trees of the world.

Figure made from tree trunks and branches seated on logs
The Guardian of the Forest


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