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. Many thanks for sharing! As I think you know, we live in the edge of a forest, and we are surrounded by trees. They are so much a part of our lives that it’s hard to imagine living without them, as many people do. Trees, glorious trees!

  2. What a glorious way to show off the weird and wonderful trees, and thank you so much for your lovely feedback and for the promotion of Heritage Open Days. I do appreciate it – and hopefully may since you at some of our online events

  3. I have been frustrated with Google because I have to scroll through so much garbage (portrayed as real information) to get to what I asked for. I don’t mind looking at a few adverts to help them pay the bills but not for them to make billions.
    Love your tree photos.

    1. Their system encourages people to create content purely so they can attach loads of advertisements. The thing that really puzzles me is why the advertisers think it is worth paying money for our irritated inattention.

  4. I just tried out Ecosia, and its returns certainly are cleaner than Google’s. My preferred PC browser, Firefox, notes that Mozilla doesn’t monitor Ecosia for security, so I’m not sure I want it as an add-on, but keeping the site handy for occasional use makes sense.

    The grove at Stowe reminds me of a famous (or infamous) image of a ‘dancing’ tree that made the rounds of the internet at least a decade ago.

    1. You’re wise to research first. I’m using Ecosia on a Mac- it’s now one of Safari’s search engine options. I haven’t downloaded it as an add-on, but it still works.

      For Mac users reading this, I did it via Safari – Preferences – Search, then selected Ecosia in the Search engine menu.

      There is a lot of movement in the grove, isn’t there, given that the trees are still.

  5. You got me thinking (again), and this time about what’s weird. Indeed there seems to be weirdness to spare about all these trees, but then I wonder if the trees think we are weird. Everything in the photos is so interesting! Trees make so much more sense than does the Internet.

    1. I am sure they do. Our umbrellas must surely make them smile and the way we dash from the car into the house when it’s raining even just a little bit.

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