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an intimate look at trees

Call me emotional. Call me intense. But, the wild beauty of Nature makes me gasp. I practically break out into fever and the blood runs faster in my veins. I wish my voice, my body, my presence could be as magnetic..I want to merge with the elements. My daily forest walks are as neccessary as breathing. Being surrounded by trees and forest animals and the clean, green pine scented air reminds me of being a kid when life was not seperate from me and everything was so big and expansive and limitless…

Recently an earth empress beauty by the name of Amber- Ohhh, how I love the scent of amber…said that she had thought of me and my deep affection for trees when she came across photos of bark from exotic trees around the world. So we have Amber to thank for this post.  And, the gifted photographer, engineer, botanist Cedric Pollet, who has spent 10 years photographing over 300 species of trees in 4,5000 photos some of which are in his book which are works of art and a gift to the world.  Thank you Amber!  Merci Monsieur Pollet!  Enchante…

Shall I tell you the names of the trees, or let you bask in the beauty in perfect silence..?

It’s ok to oooh and ahhh and squeal if you want…But I’ll be as quiet as a mouse…

(of course trees have feelings…)

(I’m wild for Birch Trees…sorry, I just HAD to mention it…Ok, hand over my lips now)

I know, I wish they would go on forever!  They do, now go OUTSIDE and play and discover beauty in Gaia’s gallery!  And when you come back in, check out Cedric’s gorgeous book called Bark- An Intimate Look at the World’s Trees, which, I hope to manifest by my birthday…A girl can dream…

All images by photographer Cedric Pollet (he’s pretty dreamy, too!)

For those who curious kittens who would like to know the names of these bark beauties, in order of appearance:

1. Mandrone Evergreen, this one makes me think what Cedric had done for tree bark what David Avocado Wolfe has done for nutrition and raw food…an explosion of color and life force- just unbelieveable!

2. Next, the pineapple princess looking one is called Madagascar Palm- which makes me think of Ani Phyo, my web guru magic man Jimbosun, and all my peace-loving vegan friends.

3. Rainbow Eucalyptus from the Phillipines, with psychedelic colors, bold and beautiful, reminds me of  my friend Kate Magic…because she lives her true colors.

4. The next tree bark is from the Francincense tree which bleeds an aromatic resin called Francincense tears…this one when I tune into it for a while, I imagine people all over the world who are suffering with illness and bodies that hurt…and I pray that the call of Nature would reach them so they can discover their true nature, which is health and beauty and joy…

5. The Birch Bark, one of a dozen species which grow all over North Amercia and Europe, which, like Maple trees has a delicious sap, calls to mind indigenous people of the earth…their natural grace and wisdom living harmoniously with plants and animals, whether they be vegan or not, inspires me…permaculture inspires me and so I’d like to dedicate this to my friends Lorena and Shantree Kacera and other permaculture warriors.

6. The one that looks like brightly colored autumn curls of paper is called Manzanita, from California; it makes me think of my children and all the young spirits on the planet right now…how free and in tune they are, living with so much color and texture- uncontainable and authentic and connected…

7. The little treasure map is called Japanese Stew Artia…when I look at this one I get lost in a whirlwind of wonderlust for travel to all the magnificent sites and people’s of this blue jewel.  Don’t you?  It looks like a little bridge, or path…everyone walks a sacred path.  Perhaps the two who led the way for so many of us on this beautiful Raw path, is Anne Wigmore and Brian Clements.

8. The ravaged yellow photo is of the Octillo tree in Mexico, a medicinal plant used by the Native Americans.  It is a cactus which reminds me of needles we have sticking out of us that makes it hard for people to get close to us when we are more interested in being right, than real.  It happens everywhere, seperation based on differences- even in the Raw Community; and it is alienating, counter-productive and, well, yellow…and fills me with a malaise of sadness…

9. Lacebark Pine is the seafoam green beauty…I dedicate this one to all the mermaids who take care of the corals and underwater flora and fauna and to everyone who brings their own bags to the grocery store to prevent more plastic from clogging up our oceans and the bellies of bird’s and fish who swallow or get ensnared in carelessly discarded bags.  I think of my friend, Angelina Elliot.

10. Haha, the Arbutus bark from Europe known as Strawberry Trees instantly makes me think of my hair for some reason…now that it rained I can wash and condition it tonight with some Lemongrass and coconut butter…mmmmm

11. OoooLaLa, what does the lime green with cone-bubbles remind you of?  Perky breasts, or is it just me?  Its the bark of the Kapok or Silk Floss Tree which spreads its seeds by bursting open and letting the wind carry away the silky puffs inside…How beautiful to live with such elegance and faith…to know the fruits of our labour are going to be scattered far and wide and will nourish and take root in ways we can’t even dream of…which makes me think of my friend and designer Amy de Wolfe who has been instrumental in me break out of my cacoon, and helping me bring beauty to everything I do online.

12. Chinese Zalkova, a relative of Elm, looks like the desert with patches of cool, blue water…reminding me of the work of Dr Emoto Masaru who brought us Messages in Water, another profound gift showing us the beautiful structures of pure, water crystals and how they can change from sparkly castle structures when in the presence of classical music to murky, flabby, sad shapes when exposed to harsh words…in that we are 70% water beings, the implications are profound for us to ponder…Wayne Gendel and Daniel Vitalis are water warriors who understand and share passionately about the mysteries of precious water…

13. Spotted Gum tree of Australia with a peeling pattern that changes color as the season passes revealing orange and burgundy peelings during summer leaving behind white and green and yellow patches…which makes me think of everyone who goes on the Raw Food diet, or any diet- or who embarks upon any path of self love and growth and peels away old layers.  We go through layers of ourselves, subtle blocks and as we do, if we are brave enough and determined enough, get to revel in and reveal our beautiful, true colors.  I think of my lovely siStar, Angela Stokes and others who have transformed so much on the inside that the outside simply followed suit.

14. The next pink one withthe star shaped X I had trouble finding the name of if anyone can tell us…I loved it for its dichotomous soft coloring and striking slashes in the upper portion, and then the bubble shapes within the ledges below, which immediately brought to mind Artemis women; goddesses who can wield the sword of truth and take action against cruelty or injustice, as well as nurture and protect the innocent and vulnerable.  I immediately conjure up images of my girlfriends and women around the world whom I may never meet but their spirit I know.  And I also smile and visit in my mind women who I have met and been inspired by, sharing some of them with you in other projects: Dr Carolyn Dean, Byron Katie, Marianne Williamson, Susun Weed, Marci Shimoff, Jean Liedloff, Shazzie Love,Victoria Boutenko, Christine Arylo, Regena Thomashaeur etc. etc. etc.

Women are a force of Nature. But that’s another post.

15. The grande finale of this post is the Populus alba or White Poplar tree whose surface is covered with kisses!  Just another reminder that love truly is, all around…MUAH!


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  1. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I have a warm fondness for trees too. 🙂

    Posted November 17, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink
  2. my all time favorite tree is in your photos…ARBUTIS only grows on the west coast of canada….so i have not seen my beloveds for many years….but i can still smell the sweetness of the sap in the autumn when they “bleed”.

    Posted November 17, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink
  3. @Lauren:
    Hooray! tree-hugging sisters unite 🙂

    Posted November 18, 2010 at 1:52 am | Permalink
  4. @beedjay:
    Mmmmm…I hope to know what it is like…I love the scent of pine…

    Posted November 18, 2010 at 1:53 am | Permalink
  5. Beautiful, thank you so much. We can either glance at things, people and trees in passing, or stop, breathe and admire the beauty. You remind us to do just that.

    Posted November 18, 2010 at 3:01 am | Permalink
  6. Earth Empress

    @Tamara Messenger:
    Hmmm how true Tamara…our environment has become quite loud- there are so many distractions vying for our attention now…to breathe, and take in the beauty and vibrancy that is all around us in Nature and our nature, can help relax us and bring balance.

    Posted November 18, 2010 at 6:16 am | Permalink
  7. Gigi Creager

    Absolutley breathtaking! Thank you for this wanderful gift of art and beauty.

    Posted November 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
  8. Earth Empress

    Thank you for sharing in my obsession, Gina ♥

    Posted November 18, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Permalink
  9. Fabulously beautiful. Thank you! (When is your birthday?)

    Posted November 19, 2010 at 4:11 am | Permalink
  10. @Andrea Conway:
    WOW! Is my manifesting mojo working that fast?? It isn’t until January LOL
    I’m SO glad you loved the post Andrea…if only I could inspire you half as much as you have inspired me..♥

    Posted November 19, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink
  11. What a beautiful post Shakaya. I had no idea trees could have so much colour and detail. You are making me fall in LOVE with trees literally. Love you for sharing these pictures and all the other awesome things you encourage us to take notice of that we take for granted. Creation is here for us to enjoy, and to our pleasant surprise we can find new found strength and healing. God Bless ~ Xo

    Posted November 20, 2010 at 2:32 am | Permalink
  12. Earth Empress

    Aw Terri, your sweetness fills my heart. I’m so happy you enjoyed this post and that you LOVE trees too xox

    Posted November 20, 2010 at 3:50 am | Permalink
  13. the kapok tree is also called la Ceiba…here in honduras…it grows to magnificent heights…400-500 feet? they are dotted around the countryside, i am always thrilled to see them…it loses those “perky breasts” after it is a juvenile…and then the bark becomes smooth …. amazing amazing tree…reminds me of the one on Pandora! ♥

    Posted November 22, 2010 at 3:28 am | Permalink
  14. Fascinating Wendy! Vive Pandora ♥

    Posted November 22, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink
  15. Wow, Beautiful, thank you for sharing!

    Posted March 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink
  16. pamela rackham

    WOW! …This is what i call Art! Love it!

    Posted July 11, 2011 at 1:52 am | Permalink

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