The Tree

Two years of pain leading to depression, and two small strokes was not half as hard as my life in the early years.

13th February 2019. It’s 5am. Ice lays on the path as I walk the streets listening to music as I did back in 1967, Life on Mars to Valentine by Richard Hawley.

I wake up and my music plays. I know the words to hundreds of songs not a word wrong. When I met Ruth she would say “If you haven’t heard that song since 1972, how do you know the words?”. I just sing and the Hard Drive does the rest.

With my mind mixed up thinking of sad thoughts, crying everyday, not knowing why. This is my way of dealing with the demons when they come back. I seek peace with Vangelis as he sings with Jon Anderson the Song The Friends of Mr Cairo.

It was then I realised that I had failed to get Ruth a valentines card. She was in bed at home so I knew I couldn’t get to a shop and get one.

As I walk I picture a tree in my mind. The tree then becomes the Poem to Ruth .

I call it the Valentine Tree.

I need more time to finish the poem, so I turn and walk around a field.

I arrive home with a beautiful gift to my wife. She wakes up and I make a cup of tea and tell her “I forgot to get you a card, but I would like to read you a Poem I have just made whilst I walked the streets.”

She gets very emotional and we embrace. “Thanks Ron. Where did that come from?”.

I tell her 🌳 are a big part of my life. I live next to many, only feet away. They’re in my photography with birds, they’re part of my portrait photography.  They’re in scenery images I take.

The tree falls and I make wonderful carvings for people to enjoy. My nest boxes are sighted on trees. I used to climb them as a child. I took shelter under them from the rain. I made a rope swing and played on it over the river. My Army Basha was roped off to make a shelter. My Hammock in Belize was between two Palm Trees 🌴.

The tree in Cheadle where as a boy I tried to hang myself. The tree we put decorations on every year. The trees in Thornton where I live that have flowers at the base, put there by the grieving families to a Teenager who took their own life through Social Media pressure.

Trees my dad would take me to when the winds were high, carrying plastic bags to collect the Apples and Pears. The song I love to sing by Bobby Goldsborough, ‘See The Tree, How Big It Grow.’

The Tree I sit under on a bench in Surrey years ago when I was sad through arguing with the ex. The BBC short story about a Tree that tells a Beautiful Story about all the History it has seen come and go, all the different generations it has seen, wars, peace, Queens past and present.

The Tree the Osprey uses year after year to raise the family. A Tree in my life now that I have built a Wildlife Tower using it, the tree as my support to build round.

Blackie’s Tower

The Tree where I had my best Wildlife encounter with the Barn Owl Family.

2015 Barn Owl Chilling

The Barn Owl nest box tree 🌳 made by and put up by me and Ruth to help the Owl to breed as the few remaining Barns and old buildings are being either knocked down or made into dwellings.

The trees 🌳 on Isle of Mull that looked like something out of a Harry Potter movie. Branches coming out from all directions, reaching for the Light and the Sun.

Trees on Mull

The Tree I climbed as a boy to drop my little plastic Soldier attached to some white material and Cotton. Dropping him so he floats down to the ground like a Parachute man.

The two 🌴 trees in the Dominican Republic we sat under when I asked Ruth to marry me as the Sun came up.

The Tree Ruth sat on in her wedding dress, happy, with love surrounding her as she looked at her Husband as Man and Wife.

My Beautiful Ruth

The 🌳 we sat under on our first picnic up in Beacon Fell next to a stream, a stream flowing with the new Love these two people were feeling ❤

Our first picnic

The Tree I camped under in my Biking days.

My BMW bike and Sidecar

The T-Shirt I wear with a Tree of Life image on. Trees that fell when the bad storm hit years ago that fell in our garden only to be cut up and burnt

The first Bench I made from Pine and Beach, engraved with all the Children’s names on, dates of birth and star signs.

The Family Bench

My little Lamb tree 🌳.

The Spring morning Barn Owl Tree, where I watched and filmed the White Angel fly so close to me, not scared, knowing no harm would come to her as she carried one of 5000 meals back to her young Owlets that didn’t leave the Old Barn due to the Rain that came at the worst time it could this year.

Fly Oh Beautiful One

The Tree we engraved our names in Was Here? Trees with remains of old rope that once held a Swing that all ages played on, laughing as they went round in circles when someone twisted the rope. Images of Trees on the Somme, blown up, splintered through man’s greed for more.

Hundreds of Christians stand in peace along a road stretching into the distance as far as the eye can see. All because of their love for a man of Peace; every Cross a tree. More will follow, until one day a man will walk with a Wooden Cross made from a tree, get stabbed with a Spear made of wood from a 🌳,

Trees in films, sniper in a war film, spaghetti western Hangman’s Tree, trees cut down by Lumberjacks hurtling down the hillside to hit the water starting another journey to where no one knows. Could be a Dining Table, maybe a chair, a cheese board, a wooden spoon.

Trees I see every morning when I open the curtains, when I walk out to put the bird food in the empty feeders that hang from the Birch. Tree branches we play fight games with when our Grandchildren come to visit.

The Bow and Arrow I make for the children to have fun with. The fires we sit next to at night at our static van. All from the remains of a Tree that started life years ago only to be burnt, but when it burns we are mesmerised by the flames it creates and we gaze into the fire and see shapes figures. The Tree still giving us enjoyment even as it makes its last contribution to us.

But wait. I have heard the Ash is good for the soil, so into the earth the Tree returns maybe to start life again.

Tree reflections in water in my glass coffee table as I sip my tea, on the canal, in the lake. The sound as I walk to my hide of Beech tree leaves like someone shaking a rattle, the sound fading as the wind drops.

As I am 37,000 feet up on my way to another country, I look down at this covering the 🌎 planted by man. Plantations cut away, creating jigsaw pieces that are missing and won’t be replaced.

The news reporter telling us all about the impact of cutting down huge areas of forest in the Amazon, or any jungle on earth that will impact on our children’s world, the forest fires of Australia, California, burning out of control, killing people and animals. Removing future habitat for birds or rodents to make a home.

We need more fence panels for our garden. Wood for the fire in winter to keep us warm. Wooden toys to play with. Chop sticks to eat with. Tooth picks to clean our teeth with. Paper for my printer to print off my latest bird image.

The African Grey Parrot stand I made from Mountain Ash for our Bella to sit, talk and play on.

Bella’s Stand

The homemade bird feeding station for the many species of birds to feed from.

My Tree View

The little wooden stool made from Silver Birch. Made for Elsa our Granddaughter, and a little fairy house.

The Balsa Wood plane I had to put together and fly round my garden when I was a boy, bringing enjoyment in a very Simple World where you played in the garden all day, or in the woods.

Looking for a nut that only grew in a certain place. I told lots of people about it, my dad told me it was called a Pygmy Nut. It had to be found first, then carefully extracted from the soil. It was White and after cleaning the soil off, it tasted sweet. No one ever believed me until a BBC documentary where a lady showed someone where she collects Pygmy nuts. I couldn’t even find a image of one on Google images to show you.

I could write for ever about the tree but I think you will understand that the 🌳 plays a major role in my life.

The Poem I wrote can’t be displayed as it’s not copyright and it’s that Original and unique I am afraid it would be copied and used without the writer’s consent. Maybe someone reading this can point me in the right direction to get a Copyright.

Written by

I am 63 years old and and since a boy have had an interest in wildlife and in particular birds. I help my Dad with the rearing of young finches and other birds. I had many small birds as pets and as i got older and joined the Military i purchsed my first Camera, and fold out Kodak. Over a 22 year period i enjoyed many countries outside the uk and observed many species of birds. When i left the military in 2000, i bought my first digital camera a Canon 450D with a Tamron 70-300 and started my journey on capturing images of birds and animals. I quickly learned that there was a lot more to getting a good image of a bird, so i started to research the best settings for my camera in order to capture a better image. Over a 12 month period i realised that needed to invest in a better camera and lens and after research bought a Canon 50D and a 100-400 Lens. It was 2013 when i really got to grips with the setup and came across a lovely Short Eared Owl. From that meeting i started to concentrate on Owls as they fasinated me. From Canon to Olympus i recently jumped ship again to Sony. The variety of birds i have captured over a 10 year period is vast and at present i have a wildlife hide in lancashire where most of my images are captured.

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