Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Follow that tree in May

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The seventh of May follows closely on the heels of 5th May. In The Netherlands that’s Bevrijdingsdag or Liberation day. This day marks freedom in this country after WWII. The day before is Remembrance Day.

There is a very big link to trees for me. Recently we visited a saw mill near our house. It uses the power of the wind to power a set of huge saw blades.

The blades are positioned vertically like a giant egg slice and the trunk of the tree is fed through the blades in a tremendous system made of wood. It’s something spectacular to see.

So how does that relate to the beginning of May?

While we watched the preparation of a huge trunk, the volunteers in the mill worked painstakingly with a metal detector.

A trunk this size has to be more than seventy years old. In that time the tree tells a long hidden story. Hidden beneath the bark are the wounds that tree silently bears.

In The Netherlands trees of this girth are normally sourced in the east of the country.

In the 1940s, that area and close woodland was the location of intense combat between the opposing sides. The trees around the soldiers absorbed many bullets and shrapnel as they were caught in the cross fire.

I often find myself wondering what these ancient trees have witnessed but these great timbers have souvenirs of war.

The metal detection process is vital. A missed piece of metal could claim a modern victim if it shatters the blade in the mill. And alongside that practical problem for me it serves as a significant reminder of the things men do and the suffering and loss sustained. The trees serve as a poignant long reminder of those lost souls.

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And what of our tree? What does she remember? What has she witnessed?

Her leaves are coming through now.

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Tiny buds finally started to open about two weeks ago. Many of the other trees in the area are far ahead of the ones along the road. I wonder if that’s because the street is quite shaded.

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The street view is developing. One highlight of the year is watching these trees become greener, filling the avenue with colour.

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26 comments on “Follow that tree in May

  1. Expat Eye
    May 7, 2014

    Pissing rain here again today. Jealous πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • lizard100
      May 7, 2014

      Rain? We hinny had any rain!

      Like

      • Expat Eye
        May 7, 2014

        I don’t like you much right now πŸ˜‰

        Like

      • lizard100
        May 7, 2014

        My powers are endless but I didn’t send the rain honest!

        Like

      • Expat Eye
        May 7, 2014

        Hmm, OK, I believe you πŸ˜‰

        Like

      • lizard100
        May 7, 2014

        I will endeavour to do a sun dance and direst it your way though!

        Like

      • Expat Eye
        May 7, 2014

        Much appreciated!

        Like

  2. solarbeez
    May 8, 2014

    What an interesting way to introduce your tree. I love windmills. I was hoping you’d show some photos of how the power of the wind transfers the energy to the saw blade.

    I thought my tree was slow…I guess it’s in about the same time frame.

    Like

    • lizard100
      May 8, 2014

      I’ll see if we have some photos of the inside! Glad you liked it.

      Like

      • solarbeez
        May 9, 2014

        I don’t want to take anything away from your tree post, so think of doing a post just on the windmill. After all, most of us don’t see them actually working. (Make a video?)

        Like

      • lizard100
        May 9, 2014

        I shall try and do a series on windmills. We have many kinds!

        Like

      • solarbeez
        May 9, 2014

        Great! I’ll look forward to it. Thanks.

        Like

      • lizard100
        May 10, 2014

        So it rained today. No gardening. The mill was open. A film is made! I’ve put it on you tube. Blog post to follow shortly.

        Like

    • lizard100
      May 8, 2014

      The leaves are just coming in.

      Like

  3. Lucy Corrander
    May 8, 2014

    A profoundly affecting post.

    Like

    • lizard100
      May 8, 2014

      Glad you like it. Hope it’s still in keeping with the project.

      Like

      • Lucy Corrander
        May 8, 2014

        Absolutely!

        Like

  4. Janet/Plantaliscious
    May 8, 2014

    A poignant reminder of the price others paid to leave us free to garden

    Like

    • lizard100
      May 8, 2014

      The link came to me when I saw the flags flying for remembrance! Thank you

      Like

  5. kate
    May 8, 2014

    Lovely post – reminds us that trees not only have a natural history, they have a ‘history’ history and a social history too… Thanks!

    Like

    • lizard100
      May 8, 2014

      Wasn’t sure it would work so I’m very glad you like it!

      Like

  6. coastcard
    May 8, 2014

    What an unusual and interesting (poignant) take on the subject. Thank you.

    http://carolinegillwildlife.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/tree-following-april-to-may.html

    Like

  7. Rambling Woods
    May 9, 2014

    I thought I was the only one who pondered on what old trees could tell us…their story

    Like

    • lizard100
      May 9, 2014

      I’m always curious about what they’ve witnessed.

      Like

  8. Pingback: Following a Tree: December | Green Lizard's Blog

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