Trees, Weird and Wonderful

Acer pseudoplatanus: sycamore leaves
Acer pseudoplatanus

What a joy it has been to be able to take part in a month-long celebration of trees. Every one shared has been weird and wonderful, if approached with the right mindset. Here are a few more.

Autumn tree leaves
Autumn colour
Grove at Stowe Landscape Garden
Grove at Stowe Landscape Garden
Giraffe with Baobob tree, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Giraffe with Baobob tree, Animal Kingdom
Spanish moss hanging from a tree
Spanish moss
Trees at sunset, San Diego Botanic Garden
Sunset, San Diego Botanic Garden

Stuffed toy in a tree

With barely two days of TreeSquares left, if you’ve been tempted to join in, now’s the time. I’ve had many unexpected smiles during the month, have learned a fair few things about trees, and have seen some amazing sights, so thanks again, Becky!

History buffs might like to know about one of Becky’s other passions: heritage open days from the Hampshire History Trust will be taking place this September, so something for the diary or to tell a friend about. In her words:

It is a FREE heritage and history festival. There will be more than 100 in-person events and online events this year, so wherever you are in the world you can join in the fun.

I’ll leave you with one more thought about trees – in particular, planting them. For much of this year, I’ve been using Ecosia as my main search engine. It doesn’t return as many results as Google, my back-up search engine, but it is less actively targeted by spammers looking to exploit our attention, and it has far fewer adverts. For example, I’ve just searched for ‘oak’ using Google and was served 11 adverts above the fold (i.e. in the first bit of the screen that is visible without scrolling) plus a ‘People Often Ask’ section, designed to stop me clicking away from Google with the rather random, ‘Do oak trees grow in Australia?’ and ‘What is special about an oak tree?’ questions on top. (According to Google the special thing, in bold letters, is that ‘the boiled bark has therapeutic properties’.) We should be able to do better than this.

The same search using Ecosia produced one advert and no pesky questions.

Ecosia might not be perfect, but every search helps to plant trees. 130,688,229 of them so far, including over 1,000 trees as I’ve been writing this. If nothing else, it tells us something about the power (and costs) of search.

25 Replies to “Trees, Weird and Wonderful”

    1. It’s easy to stick with what we know. I have often wished I could specify my own search engine. I’m sure that will come.

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