15 January 2014

Budding Arboriculturist

 
Fruit and nut specimen boxes-ingenious for a 9 year old don't you think?
 It's true, I had several childhood activities that may have been atypical.  I imagined myself a superhero named the "Tomahawk Kid" for a brief time.  My dirt bike was named the General Lee.  And I had most of the woods, pastures, fields, and swamps in a mile radius of our house mapped out with specific landmarks and trees that could be climbed.  But the one thing that I think stupified my wife, shortly after we were married, was the revelation that I had quite a large leaf collection.....and not just leaves, but the nuts, seeds, berries, cones, etc. that came along with the tree host I selected the leaf specimen from.  I think I was about 9 when I started it and I continued collecting until I turned 12 or 13.  I collected from our trips to the Southwest, California, Wyoming, and into the southern states of Tennessee and Kentucky.

My folks have been cleaning out their attic, so when a couple of boxes made their way to our house they weren't met with the kind of jubilation that one would expect due to such a great treasure-trove from my childhood.  Within the boxes were rows of drawers divided into specimen slots for acorns, pine cones, seeds, and other bearings from trees.  The drawers and slots were all keyed back to the scrapbook in which my leaf collection was kept.  The book, easily 6" thick with more than 100 specimens, found its way to our house a few years ago.

I can't say that I would consider myself a botanist.  A tree person-yes.  I remember a walk through Potato Creek with an environmental class from Bethel College during which time the ranger asked questions to test our knowledge of trees.  Before long it became just a dialogue between myself and the ranger, stumping even the professor.  What can I say....I know my trees, I'm just a geek that way.

My son and his buddies around a sycamore on a camping trip
Back to the specimen boxes.  Knowing that they probably didn't "belong" in our house, I snapped a few pictures for posterity, and for this blog post, and then offered them up as a sacrifice on the burn pile where other relics from my past have been turned to smoke and ash.  I'm hoping at least one of my kids inherits this trait of an appreciation for the environment, not that they have to be full-blown tree huggers or anything like their old man.

5 comments:

Jim said...

Shame that these artifacts don't "fit" anymore.

Anonymous said...

geek!

Mike Yazel said...

Always have trouble hunting mushrooms because I am always looking up at the trees. Like walking among old friends.

hoosier reborn said...

I know exactly what you mean Mike. I have several that I stop and ponder at the feet of often.

Anonymous said...

I dont know this looks a project done by some kids mom to me?