Wood in the service of mankind #13

In dusty arabian villages, by-passed by the modern world …





down narrow mud-bricked streets abandoned for a generation in search of air-conditioning and plumbing…




You will find the doors that time forgot…







...but not yet unhinged.

…but not yet unhinged.


Dear Quixotree followers,

You are a select (and very small!) group of tree lovers and others, and Quixotree owes you an apology. Quixotree has been very inactive throughout the northern winter and spring, marooned in that large brown gash on the planet that runs from the atlantic to the himalayas. It is a place where trees generally choose not to visit.

Since returning from southern europe in late October Quixotree has not left the region. By historic standards it has been a wet and (of course) warm winter here in Arabia, but still the trees do not grow. We need less hummus and more humus.

But hope springs eternal. Northern europe is belatedly showing signs of becoming habitable again. A sickly spring is slowly succumbing to an inevitable summer. There are fears of another “year without a summer” (the year 1816 lacked a  european summer, because of an historic low in solar activity and a major volcanic event at Mount Tambora in Indonesia). But summer WILL prevail. In England, it will rain at Wimbledon for the tennis, and then the clouds will clear for the short northern summer. Quixotree will be there, bathing his eyes in verdure.

And – as a sign that nature must conquer in the end – my apple tree three and a half thousand miles from here has decided that it cannot wait any longer if the bees are to be kept busy.

bees required - no previous experience necessary

bees required – no previous experience necessary

Bring on summer! *

* with apologies to antipodean friends.

Exactly one hundred years ago today, on 2nd February 1913, Joyce Kilmer, US poet, penned her famous poem:

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
(and god bless you, Joyce Kilmer)
In 1951 Ogen Nash – in his “Song of the Open Road” – came  up with the famous parody:
I think that I shall never see/
A billboard lovely as a tree./
Indeed, unless the billboards fall,/
I’ll never see a tree at all.