This post will have nothing to do with academia and everything to do with trees. Ok, maybe not nothing to do with academia: if I hadn't moved to Leamington Spa and then to Winnipeg, I'm not sure I would have been quite so taken with the different kinds of trees out there in the world. Much of it has to do with age too, though. I appreciate plant life much more now than I ever did when I was younger. Sure, I appreciated a good maple tree and even saw the beauty in the red (and multi-coloured) maple leaves. But it's on a much deeper level now. In fact, the one tree I miss most here is the great maple - though I also now know that there isn't such a thing as a maple, but rather many different kinds of maples.
Anyway, so this post is a just some photos I've taken over the past nine years or so of trees I've loved here (mostly - Manitoba) and occasionally elsewhere. It doesn't have some of the big, wonderful trees I saw in suburban/exurban Atlanta in October, the riverbed trees of DC, the maples of southern Ontario, or those cool evergreens (not sure what kind) of Carmel, California.
Also, with the exception of the two at the end, it's less about specific, individual trees, and more beautiful, collections of trees (re forests/woodlands). Obviously, it's Manitoba-heavy, given they date from the last 9 years or so.
The first one, below, is a view of the mixed coniferous and deciduous trees of Spruce Woods Provincial Park, which is better known for its "Spirit Sands", not depicted here.
The next vista comes from atop the valley of Pembina Valley Provincial Park, which lies astride the US/Canadian border (North Dakota/Manitoba). In fact, the few times I've made it down there my phone often picks up US cell coverage. It's a beautiful valley, like the one above. Both make for a nice change from Winnipeg, which is flat as a pancake.
I don't remember exactly where this next one is, but I think it's Hecla Island Provincial Park, one of my favourite parts of the southern half of Manitoba, best visited when it's quietest. It's got a good mixture of trees, and each of the next few shots comes from the park (next four after this one for sure). I've got more, but this seemed enough for now. One of the shots comes from the large wildlife-viewing tower located in the northern tip of island - that's the top of the trees view (surprisingly). The rest, so far as I can tell, all come from the northern trails of the island, which is actually a little more settled, though only a little, than the photos imply. One of them includes the lake, so you get a taste of its "island nature".
I believe the next one, and the two after it, come from parks just outside of Winnipeg. I might be wrong, but I believe the next one comes from the little bunch of aspens (love aspens) in Beaudry provincial park, one of the most beautiful spots around Winnipeg, especially in the fall after the bugs have buggered off.
The next two come from Birds Hill Provincial Park, which has some remarkable patches of aspen trees. The first, obviously, comes from the fall - with my dog, Don, in the bottom, centre of the shot.
This one comes from later in the fall at Birds Hill, when you get this beautiful contrast between the white trunks, golden leaves, and blue sky.
Sadly, I don't entirely remember where this next one is, but I believe it's in and around Cantebury Hills in the Greater Hamilton Area of southern Ontario, the part of the world I'm from. It's got this wonderful Carolinian forest, as they call it, on the western edge of the urban area and nestled along the Niagara escarpment (of Niagara Falls fame). Hamilton's usually better known among the unknowing for its steel mills, which is a shame because it's got some remarkable natural landscapes.
The next four, and final, photos come from the UK (work and family visits). The first comes from Cornwall and the remarkable Lost Gardens of Heligan, truly a sight to behold. A wide assortment of trees, many vaguely tropical, due to the very mild weather. Worth a visit.
The next tree comes from just outside the Roman legionary fort at Caerleon in Wales. I vaguely recall some sort of Twitter conversation about what it is. Suffice to say, it reminded me of the tree from Game of Thrones.
The penultimate green space is from just round the corner of the fantastic museum at Vindolanda up by Hadrian's Wall. That part of Britain is just about one of the best places on earth, and wall or not, worth a visit.
The last tree is some sort of mysterious, old, and wonderful coniferous tree located on the green-space just south of the council offices (main ones?) of Sidmouth, in Devon. There's talk of this area becoming flats or something, and it may well already be going ahead. It'd be a shame, for it's a beautiful little park, with these amazing trees. I have other shots that give the full scope of their breadth, but they include who don't want me to share their likenesses on the interwebs so you don't get them.