Remembering the Trees

Hemlock trees under assault by wooly adelgid—Trebbe Johnson & Andy Gardner

Thompson, Pennsylvania, United States—Hemlock trees under assault by wooly adelgid—Trebbe Johnson & Andy Gardner

We had our Global Earth Exchange at Florence Shelly Wetlands Preserve, where the native hemlock trees are being attacked from the top down by an insect, the wooly adelgid, which has killed these beautiful trees all over the east coast and the south and is now known to be present in the tops of these trees. We sat in the forest and, after eating our picnic lunches, we shared stories about important trees in our lives that we had loved and lost. Then we took some time to wander alone in the forest. Here are some of the things people said and noticed:

“I know that there are all kinds of diseases, pests, climate change that are affecting the Earth, but what I see is beauty. ”

“There were turtles sunning themselves on a log. I was so happy to see them.”

“I have been under a lot of stress lately, but I try not to let it show. I feel like these hemlocks. They look fine and healthy, but they aren’t what they seem.”

“There was an old dead tree by the pond. It was beautiful. It had retained its character, even though it’s dead.”

“Trees have a noble presence. You feel like they are watching you, cradling you.”

We all collaborated on making a RadJoy Bird out of bits of hemlock and fern.