I wanted a convenient tree to climb today. I had put it off and my clay class, which starts at 6 PM and ends at 9, (when it’s getting dark) was soon. So I headed down the Mount St. Francis main drive looking for one of those large trees that line it. I chose one right in front of the Friary next to the tree I installed my first cicada body. It was another big, old tree with crumbly, mossy bark and dying limbs here and there. It did have a nice low branch, which made it easy to get in, but as I went up my options became fewer and further apart. I kept pushing myself further up but at one area I just ran out of options. I wasn’t at the top, and it was a little disappointing but I did get high up. I tied my ribbon, but feeling as though I needed to get ready for class I didn’t sit long. I made my way down easier than I made it up and jumped and rolled out of the tree. A good climb and challenge but a little clouded by being rushed and not getting to the top.
6-28-08: I miss clay class. Even though this pitcher I am about to show you is from my second clay class later in the year, I thought I would stop teasing you guys with talk of future images. I made this little guy to be used for serving hot syrup on pancakes. I gave it to my parents as a gift.
That feeling I had of disappointment from not reaching the top can be strong now. Unless of course the tree is incredibly difficult and I figured I wouldn’t be able to reach the top anyway. But if I see a tree that I think I can get to the top and then can’t, I am hugely disappointed in myself. And then I have to remind myself to look for the positives in the experience. Then I feel better. I think, “hey, I still climbed a tree, the day is beautiful, and I didn’t fall.”
On my first day at Lake Michigan with the McChesney’s I decided I would reclimb the first of two trees that I had climbed last year. I had been warned by Drew the night before that the tree I had climbed had been topped (or the top limbs had all been cut off) and that I might be screwed. I immediately doubted it and was happy to see that they were mistaken. My beech was intact and waiting for me to climb. I went out and walked to the trunk and suddenly realized I was surrounded by a swarm of mosquitoes. I ran inside flailing my arms and legs. After some funny looks I put on pants and my hoodie, despite temperatures in the mid 80’s, and went back outside. I even tied up the hood tight around my face leaving little flesh exposed for those damn blood suckers. I tip-toed over to the trunk and quickly jumped up for the small limbs to start my ascent. Once up about 20 feet I loosened my hood for I no longer saw any mosquitoes. I climbed quickly to my previous high point and saw there was no ribbon. I guess I figured that I wasn’t going to reclimb this tree so I wouldn’t tag it. Various McChesney’s and their guests looked from below and made comments to me. I commented back and tried to quell their worries. Then I took some photos. I remember from last year being able to see the lake from the top of this tree. But, oddly, the thick fog that hung over the water obscured the waves. Tell me if you can see any water?
Then, for a matter of record, I photographed that topped tree everyone was so concerned about.
And finally, I took a picture of the house we were staying in (the house the McChesney’s stay in every summer) the Woody Aberdeen. It also gives you a good sense of how high I was. This is a big two-story house.