The Tree of Life

This tree is on the property of our very nice neighbours Chuck and Ruth Steele. They live in the house that Carl and Lois Gordon and their family lived in when my siblings and I were growing up in Queensborough; and I only very recently found out that that house was the rectory for Queensborough’s Anglican Church, long closed (even when we lived there in the 1960s) but still (in 2012) extant, a simple and elegant board-and-batten building. Anyway, Chuck and Ruth also own the adjacent property where Will and Isabelle Holmes’s home and garden were in our day. (That makes them our neighbours across the road – Bosley Road, that is.)

So the tree is on what used to be the Holmeses’ place, but it must have been much, much smaller back in the ’60s and ’70s or it would have dwarfed their house. While I do remember their home being in the shade of a tree, it was nothing like as large as this one is.

It is a beautiful and unusual tree. I don’t know what kind of tree it is; botany is not my specialty, by a long shot. But it is especially beautiful when the wind blows through its branches, and most especially in a late afternoon when the sun comes out after the rain and shines on it from the west while still-dark-blue clouds are behind it. That’s when Raymond took this photo.

“It’s the tree of life,” he announced to me. And the Manse faces on to it. A clear view to the Tree of Life: perfect.

8 thoughts on “The Tree of Life

  1. It is a beautiful tree! So moody with the clouds behind it in this shoot. My best guess would be a pine of some kind, judging from the branches, but I’d have to see it closer up.

    • Hi, Nicole, and welcome! I am ever so tickled that an artist – and one who has done some amazing paintings featuring trees, one of which I am lucky enough to own – also thinks that the tree we see from the Manse’s front windows is a remarkable one. When I look at the photo I have to admit that its proximity to the hydro wires worries me, but I’m going to assume the hydro folks have that under control and we will have many more years of admiring it as the wind moves through its branches.

  2. Lovely – I have a few of those giants on my property here in St-Lazare – they’re enormous. Three were felled by the ice storm and when we came back home they were broken in half and lying around on the ground in pieces – it broke my heart. However, they do suck all the nutrients out of the soil so you have to keep feeding constantly but it’s a small price to pay ;o)

    • Yikes, the ice storm – now that brings back memories! Not only of what we lived through here in Montreal and environs in winter 1998, but of my recent conversation with Ed Couperus, our Queensborough neighbour, about the advisability of buying a generator for the Manse. And then I spotted generators at Costco last weekend, and started considering such a purchase for the first time in my life.
      Do you know what kind of tree it is, Johanne?

  3. Red pine I think? I planted dozens of them on our property near North Bay years ago. Each of them was the size of a chop-stick. It’s nice to see what they might/may have become. They radiate light, don’t they? Nice photo!

    • Now that’s interesting, Lindi. We looked up red pine this evening and aren’t sure – most of the images we found didn’t look a lot like “our” tree. Their trunks were very straight, while it’s not; plus the bark on the “tree of life” is this interesting red colour. But maybe that’s what makes it a red pine? I totally defer to your superior arboreal knowledge!

  4. I think that basswood is also called linden. We have had large ones at our last two houses. They always smell beautiful in early July or late June,especially while relaxing outside on the patio on a hot humid afternoon.

    • Richard, you are absolutely right about basswoods also being called lindens, as I learned form my online research while writing the post. (I had had absolutely no clue about that before.) How fortunate you are to have had some within scent range!

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