Archive for the ‘trees’ Category

Fall is cherry blossom time?

December 1, 2015

 

While spring is the traditional time for celebrating cherry blossoms, fall is when we hear the results of the annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational contest. This year, I was excited to learn that one of my haiku (inspired by the Vancouver Canucks hockey team making the Stanley Cup playoffs) was selected as the top winner in the “Vancouver” category. And, seeming in honour of the occasion, these rather confused cherry blossoms were blooming in November when I visited Vancouver’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden.

confused cherry blossom3

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational Top Winners, 2015

Vancouver

Stanley Cup playoffs
the last cherry blossoms
still hanging on
                      Jacqueline Pearce
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

British Columbia

cherry blossoms
come and go
my seventy years
                      Dan Curtis
                      Victoria, British Columbia

Canada

Alzheimer’s ward
cherry blossoms
in the fog
                      Marco Fraticelli
                      Pointe-Claire, Quebec

United States

cherry blossoms
no room in the selfie
for me
                      Joe McKeon
                      Strongsville, Ohio

International

cherry blossoms
falling
in love again
                      Brendon Kent
                      Southampton, England

Youth

cherry blossoms—
grandma tells me about
her first date
                      Cucu Georgiana, age 12
                      Botosani, Romania

Click here for commentary on winning poems

Fall is also a time when local cherry trees are filled with beauty of a different colour.

fall cherry trees

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It Takes a Community to Bomb a Cherry Tree

March 7, 2011

Yesterday afternoon, I helped a cherry tree blossom early. Knitters, crocheters, authors, book-lovers, and other supporters of Joy Kogawa House gathered to festoon the bare backyard cherry tree with hundreds of hand-knitted and crocheted blossoms. The Sunday afternoon event and several knit-ins leading up to it (including one held at Vancouver City Hall) was organized to help draw attention to the heritage site and the Joy Kogawa House writer-in-residence program.

The house was the childhood home of Canadian author Joy Kogawa –until WW II, when the house was expropriated and the family  forced to move, along with other Japanese-Canadians, to an internment camp in the BC interior. Thanks to the rallying of community members and a national fund-raising campaign (2003-2006), the house is now owned by The Land Conservancy of BC, a non-profit land trust, and a writer-in-residence program is operated on the site, helping to connect authors with the local community and encourage an appreciation for Canadian writing (see the Joy Kogawa House website for more info).

Joy Kogawa mentions the house in her novels, “Obasan” and “Naomi’s Road“, while the cherry tree itself is the focus of Kogawa’s picture book, “Naomi’s Tree.”

As an appreciator of cherry blossoms, books, and yarn-bombing, I couldn’t resist participating in the blossom event and sharing some photos:

Blossoms were created at local knit-ins lead by knit graffiti artists Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore, and were also mailed in from other locations.

. . .

Participants at Sunday’s event crocheted chains, knitted “bark,” and attached the knitted and crocheted blossoms to the chains while authors read from their works.

. . .

Outside, others sewed “bark” around the tree’s trunk and tied blossom chains to the tree.

. . .

Vancouver Firefighters attached blossoms to the highest branches.

. . .

Overhead, an eagle soared.

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All in all, a beautiful day and a beautiful event.

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More photos of the event will be posted at Yarnbombing.com.

Blossoms will stay in place on the tree throughout the month of March, so if you’re in Vancouver, stop by 1450 West 64th Ave to have a look.

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(Hidden among the blossoms in the final photo are three that I knit, and there is also a glimpse of the “bark” I knitted for a very skinny branch in behind.)

Woven through with crows

December 30, 2010

Late this afternoon the setting sun lit up the trees behind my house. It’s hard to see them in this photo, but as I looked up through the branches, wave after wave of crows passed over as the birds headed to their nightly roost (if you look closely, you can make out at least four blurry crows, but there must have been close to 100 flying over).

 

sunset painted trees
bronze threads woven together
by black crow stitches

Trees I Have Known

July 20, 2010

Anyone else have a favourite tree from childhood? The tree in the photo is one of several Broadleaf Maples that I grew up with. Its branches have held a Tarzan swing (placed there by my dad) for over 40 years, entertaining neighbourhood kids for two generations.

The branches of one Maple reached right to my top floor bedroom window, its broad green leaves playing with sunlight in summer, rustling orange-yellow in fall –always nourishing my spirit.

Another Maple tree supported a sturdy playhouse built by my dad, with the trunk of the tree growing up through the middle of the house and offering the perfect climbing route to the playhouse roof and from there further up to where my brother later built a smaller, more precarious-looking tree house. The small tree house was like a crow’s nest at the top of a ship mast, offering views of all the neighbouring yards and the prefect retreat for hiding away with a novel or a notebook in which to scribble story ideas and secrets.

The Broadleaf Maples were like good friends throughout my childhood, and I missed them when I moved away –especially when I moved back east where Broadleaf Maples don’t grow. When I returned to the westcoast, the familiar large rounded canopies, huge leaves and companionable wind-stirred rustle called out to me like old friends, welcoming me home. They still call.

(The same tree in the 1970s –you can glimpse the treehouse my brother built in the tree behind at the bottom of the photo)

(A fall leaf from a Broadleaf Maple tree near my new house –gives you an idea of how aptly the tree is named)

What I like about winter

March 16, 2010

Winter in Vancouver is damp, grey and colourless. Or is it? There are so many subtle colour variations that I enjoy in winter –muted greys and browns, unexpected yellows and purples.  Nothing bright and showy, but perhaps more rewarding because you have to look more carefully to see them. I also love the shapes of trees in winter and the secrets the bare branches reveal. I don’t think of their shapes so much when they are covered with leaves, but with their branches exposed, the shapes seems more emphasized to me — like hollow wire sculptures or woven baskets.

 

row of bare-branched trees

each, a lacy sphere or cup

to hold a bird’s nest

 

(photo of trees along Marine Drive, taken out the bus window)