Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Arizona
Would you look at her? The glorious yellow number on the left. She graced the property we stayed at while we were in our cabin that had a hard, dangerous, precarious winding staircase that Cooper refused to navigate. I asked her one morning what the heck we should do and she stared at me for a while before gently saying, “Turn off that Thought Circus of yours and carry your boy up and down that magical, unruly set of steps if that’s what you have to do.”
I think trees give the best advice, don’t you?
Yours In Listening Closely,
Sycamore Canyon, Point Mugu, California.
Every single time Mister Cupcake and I ride our bikes back into the farthest reaches of Sycamore Canyon I swear to myself I’ll find these three gorgeous broads and every single time I come within an inch of being heartbroken because I can’t find them—until the very last minute, when I do.
A photograph doesn’t capture their scalawag, brazen quality, really and words can’t describe what it’s like to be near the three of them except for sharing the fact that the middle dame, I’m convinced, is related to Phyllis Diller and the other two lookers are her snappy sidekicks.
I could swear, when I ride past them, I can hear them laughing their asses off, cracking jokes and making the world a better place.
Here’s To a Good Guffaw,
Sara the Snort Giggler
Everywhere you go in Carmel there are these phenomenal Cypress trees overlooking all that is going on. I think of them as the security guards of the Northern California coastline. The way they reach their arms out to survey the property and people nearest them, making sure everyone is all right. Making sure that all that is right includes everything.
I have small, unobtrusive conversations with them every time I come near them. Not an over-the-top How Ya Doin? type thing but more like a respectful and lovely How Do, Sir and Madam—it’s nice to see you on this fine day. And they never fail to answer back with that effervescent glow that seems to surround them, along with a festive curtsy or two.
Yours In Gorgeous,
Tammy the Tree Dialoger
Somewhere along Highway 128 on the way to Mendocino, CA
I am fully aware that I am prone to hyperbole but I must tell you that this tree right here—she’s my favorite tree of all time. In the entire universe of any tree I’ve ever seen, she is the tree that takes my breath away most. She is the tree that leaves me feeling weak in the knees.
Look at her.
She lives in the middle of a field off Highway 128 and I see her every time we drive up north on the 101, toward the Mendocino coast. I anticipate seeing her for miles. I sometimes wonder if maybe one time she won’t be there. Like, she’ll have packed her steamer trunk and boarded a ship bound for glorious.
I know I sound insane. But you haven’t seen this tree.
The ironic thing is that I can’t get near her. She is, like I said, the sole giant Oak in the middle of a large patch of marshy grass that is surrounded by a fence that is unscalable so even though I have taken ten thousand portraits of her and waved to her and discussed her beauty with my family—she is, on some level, forever aloof.
I’ve taken so many photos of her and never shared them. Because I am mentally unstable when it comes to love affairs with trees and I was hesitant to show her to anyone because there is NO WAY to capture her magnificence and stature and beauty and radiance and old woman wisdom without falling short. But today I got this shot that comes within fifty five galaxies of capturing her grandeur and I decided fuck it, the time has come. The world has got to meet Doris.
Hot Damn She’s a Beaute,
The Starry Eyed Staring One
Temescul State Park, CA, 2013.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that there are certain trees I’ve known since the beginning of time. Since I’ve hiked a certain canyon back when I was alone or coupled or alone or single or alone or afraid or brave or out of shape or in shape. I tend to find places that make me feel invisible and seen at the same time. I tend to hike alone and I tend to hike happy.
The Big Bad Gorgeous Dame here has been my friend for a million years. She is at the end of the straight UP-straight DOWN trail at Temescul and every time I see her I think she’d love to sit down with me, have a cup of Earl Grey and then have me tell her what is happening at the top of the mountain.
Instead I walk past her and I wave and I tell her that she is just about as glorious as glorious gets and she, for her part, holds her majestic ground there, like a Ziegfeld Follie and spreads her arms out as wide as the eye can see.
I think trees make the best greeters, don’t you?
Your Biggest Fan,