Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The green season

Wearing of the green--California has been doing that a wonderfully long time this year.

There is a lot to celebrate in this. Relief from years of drought. The color itself, which is refreshing and lifts spirits. Blossoming of rare plant life. And such a fine raiment to be wearing for Earth Day tomorrow.

I have fun finding belly flowers--the little ones you have to get down near the earth to see properly, and which sing of joy and wonder if you listen just right.

And I absolutely adore trees for their majesty, mystery and longevity. If I was reincarnated as plant life I would want to be an evergreen tree--to stand for centuries on the edge of the tundra or a wind-whipped sea cliff and watch the shift of seasons and terrain--to sink my roots deep into the earth, finding support and nourishment.

This photo, by the way, I have posted before, but do again because it is so extraordinary the way the tree grows on a little patch of earth in the midst of a lake. Have you ever noticed how plants can find the tiniest sliver of soil and flourish there sometimes? They are efficient survivors.

I am excited to add my blog to the Carbon Neutral initiative, which means a fir, cedar or pine will be planted in Plumas National Forest in Northern California this spring to offset the carbon dioxide emissions created by running my computer.

Plumas suffered a devastating wildfire three years ago. A German organization, Make it Green, created Carbon Neutral as a way to neutralize our blogging emissions by contributing to reforestation programs. One project is the non-profit Arbor Day Foundation working in concert with the U.S. Forest Service to plant more than 790,000 trees in Plumas. Make it Green also contributes to a tree planting effort in the Harz region of Germany. By the way, since I am a former news reporter and wouldn't post without verification, I called the Arbor foundation and confirmed the project.

How does planting a tree make a difference? Trees absorb carbon dioxide emissions which have been adversely affecting our atmosphere and oceans. So while it is necessary to reduce the emissions we make, we can also offset those we do create by planting trees.

Are you doing anything to replenish Mother Earth? I humbly suggest checking out the many environmental groups to find one that has a project that is a match for your belief system and resources. This isn't a one-size-fits-all world, but it is our planet and it needs help.

P.S. Here's a link to Nicole Ducleroir's excellent list of things we can do. Check it out!


Shannon O'Donnell said...

"This isn't a one-size-fits-all world, but it is our planet and it needs help." Beautifully said, Tricia!!

I love the belly flower picture. :-)

Suzanne Casamento said...

I love the photo of the tree on the tiny patch of earth. It shows such resilience.

I'm going to check out the Arbor Foundation tree planting initiative. Great idea!

Suzanne Casamento said...

BTW, I love the term "belly flowers."

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Things are greening up here in Utah now and it is oh so beautiful. (Speaking grass & trees not environment lol)

Jackee said...

Like Saturday's post, this one is beautiful and a great tribute to our planet. I'm joining up Carbon Nuetral too, but I hadn't heard of the German Make It Green program. Thanks!

And belly flowers are my favorite too. My especial favorite: rock jasmine.

Thanks for sharing!

Cynthia Reese said...

I shall tell The Husband that, no, he may certainly NOT cut down the oak tree in front of our house. He keeps threatening to, and I keep telling him about all the good it does.

Aaargh. Husbands. :-) My word verification is "restle," which sounds so appropriate, don't you think?

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Shannon: Thank you so much. I know we all have different world views, but I sure want everybody to acknowledge this problem belongs to all of us.

Suzanne: I'm a sucker for flowers and trees. For such a nature gal, it's crappy that I've got allergies. Sheesh.

Karen: Ha! We'll take green any way we can get it.

Jackee: I'm glad you are joining, too. How great is that program! I just love thinking my tree is getting planted to restore that forest. As for the belly flower, I confess that the one I picture is a little bigger than a real belly flower. But I did get on my belly to shoot it!

Cynthia: Oh. Yes. "Restle" for the tree. :D Unless, of course, it's diseased, in which case, plant a new one in its place. I love old trees. Some of my favorites are clearly hundreds of years old.

Bish Denham said...

That is a spectacular photo! In our little corner of the earth, barely a 1/3 of an acre we have 8 trees and will be planting another one shortly.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful, the way the earth just sits there, waiting for a bit of added moisture so it can put on a show? There are so many little miracles we take for granted. I was thinking about that yesterday at the river with the dogs, seeing how all the trees are turning golden and red for fall. How on earth do they all know to do it at the same time? (Yes, I know there's a good scientific explanation, but I just love imagining little tree hive minds making these decisions hehe).

Hmm. Too many cold meds, Wen.

Donna said...

Thanks. I appreciate the tree news as well as the lovely photos.

sarahjayne smythe said...

Welcome and congrats on joining us carbon neutral blogs. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

We're planting a tree for every classroom tomorrow. We're also putting one in our back yard :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Bish: I'm awed by your tree-filled yard and your super-green lifestyle. :D

Wen: You have a wicked imagination. I'm glad you let it run free!

Donna: It's lovely to think of all those trees getting planted, isn't it?

sarahjayne: It's a very good corner of the blogosphere to live in. I sure like the company. ;)

Jemi: *big ol' grin*

Unknown said...

Hey! That's my favorite picture!! :)

Very cool post. I'd never heard of Carbon Neutral before. Thanks for sharing!

Yvonne Osborne said...

I love that picture of the tree, seemingly growing out of the lake. Beautiful. I didn't know about the forest fire three years ago, so thanks for filling in the background information on this inititive. Just what I expect from a former news reporter...fill in the gaps and keep us all honest. Great post Tricia!! And happy Earth Day.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

It is the only planet we have. If we don't take care of it, we will not have it to take care of us.

The tree photo is lovely, Roland

VR Barkowski said...

Part of the Plumas National forest lies in Butte County where I was born and raised, where my parents were born and raised. I've seen the devastation firsthand. Thank you for this post.

Happy Earth Day.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Beth: I think it's such a great project. They are behind 150,000 of the trees to be planted. :D

Yvonne: That day the lighting was so magical I got a number of amazing shots. And, yeah, the reporter in me always digs in.

Roland: Precisely. It really is home-sweet-home in a vast universe of not so hospitable sites. Thanks so much for commenting.

VR: Ah, you have roots there. It was so terribly burned it must break your heart.

Liza said...

Your tree photo reminds me of two snakk pines that grow out of cracks in the ledge behind our house. Resiliant is the word. Nice post Tricia.

Tess said...

Wow that is really interesting. and, I agree...we have a responsibility to tend this world we have been blessed with. well said.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Liza: It's a good lesson, perhaps, for writers, too--being able to grow and hang on with the smallest encouragement.

Tess: Too often we take this miraculous planet for granted. I'm trying to change my thinking, for sure.

Phoenix said...

Fantastic post - I'm new to your blog (first time visitor, first time commenter!) and found you through Paul C, since you left a comment on his blog that your hero was the man himself, Joss Whedon. As a fellow Whedonite I had to stop by and say hi and then discovered, like me, you're also in SoCal and celebrating National Poetry Month in your blog. Very cool! Lovely to meet you and I think you're a fantastic writer :)

Elana Johnson said...

What beautiful pictures. I can't wait for the greenery to come back to Utah.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi Phoenix and welcome! Thanks for hopping over. I will forever love Joss for giving me so many hours of viewing delight. It is a pleasure to meet you.

Elana: Thanks! I guess the colder weather keeps you a bit behind, but it's glorious once it arrives.

Unknown said...

I love the tree in the water shot. It's breathtaking!

We're only starting to get signs of green in Southern Alberta. My family and I were in San Francisco a few weeks ago, and were so excited to see so much green and so many blossoming flowers. Our spring flowers are just popping up. :D

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Stina: Thank you so much! I'm glad to hear the flowers are starting to pop in Alberta.