I went into Louisville today to pick up my prints for the show, drop off postcards and posters, and pick up my lettering. I stopped off at frisbee field to reclimb the tree I have climbed many times before. Only this time, instead of a flood of memories, I was confronted with a change and a slew of distractions. First, they (meaning the park people) placed a circle of mulch and woodships around the base of the tree further altering how I picture this tree in my memory. Second, the distractions: countless cicada shells on the trunk and underside of lower limbs. Many were lined up in a row as if they marched in a single file line out of the ground and up to the tree branch, stopped, and then one by one emerged out of their shell bodies. I took a lot of pictures of these guys. I talked to them. And when I finally began climbing and accidentally knocked one off, I appologized to them. Which I then thought was a weird thing to do since they are only empty shells of an insect since departed. I climbed up easily, high into the tree. I got my ribbon and took some shots. I went down then back up another large limb like I had done last time and got very dirty as the bark crumbled off in bits as I moved through the branches. Then I climbed down, hung from a limb and dropped to the soft bed of wood chips. It was nice for that I guess. I inspected the shells some more, took some more pictures and then moved on. For a tree with a lot of memories, besides the cicadas, not too memorable of a climb.
8-29-08: I am back after a day off spending time with Stefan, Laura, and their 3-month-old daught, Robin. Stefan is a close friend from college and it was really great that he stopped here in Louisville on his way to Chicago this weekend for a wedding. They even climbed a tree with me, something I’ll share with you in the next entry.
One thing I want you to take a look at since the coincidence is eerily strange, is the similarities between the top two pictures. The larger one is from the reclimb one year ago. The small one is from the first climb. I did not chose the picture knowing it was done at the same angle, nor because you can see my truck and a person to the right of the tree. All of that was accidental and coincidental. Pretty crazy. Not to mention, the more I look at the images from this climb, the more I like the shots I got.
Okay, now speaking of eery things, I am now going to tell you a very creepy story from Wednesday’s climb. Knowing that Stefan and family were going to arrive in the afternoon and that I had to work a shift at Zephyr Gallery, I biked to Cherokee Park early in the morning to get my climb out of the way. The temperature was nice and the park was not too crowded. I decided to bike the park loop once around before going back up to Dog Hill to climb another maple tree I spotted on the first time around. This tree was just behind a bench that I leaned and locked my bike to and I sat and stretched and caught my breath for a few minutes. When I finally stood up to walk over to the base of the tree a black pick-up truck drove by, hit his brakes, and then backed up and parked right by the bench. I thought that was a little strange but was hoping something else caught his eye besides me. I was wrong. As I stood there under the tree’s canopy looking for a good branch to hang upsidedown on, the man got out of his truck and slowly walked around to the back of the tree. Then, just 20 or so feet away, he stopped and just faced my direction and stared at me. He said nothing and I got really nervous. What the hell did this guy want? I felt the urgent need to get away from this creepy guy and jumped into the branches and started to climb. I wanted to make sure I was higher than most people could get to and kept on eye on him to hope he wasn’t about to follow. If he did, I was preparing myself to starting kicking. He moved a little to try and get a better view of me as I climbed but he did not follow me. Still saying nothing he just watched me. At the very top of the tree I got out my camera and stop paying any attention to him hoping he would get the message. And thankfully he did. For the story I thought about getting a picture of him or his truck but I didn’t have the view to do so. I was just glad he drove away and I could relax and concetrate on my climb.
There are so many limbs in this tree that I could not see out from the inside very well. To get a decent picture I leaned one leg out to step on a limb and bend it down to open up a hole.
Then I climbed down stopping in the middle where there was a really good shot of the trunk splitting into two limbs.
Then I went into the lower branches and moved all around the limbs looking again for a good branch to hang from. The first one I tried didn’t work too well so I went further out on some lower branches and found a good spot. I am tempted everyday to hang from a higher and higher limb. Like everything else I do in the trees, it seems it is the higher the better. It just sounds really fun to hang upsidedown many feet over the ground. When I find a good place to do this, I’ll be sure to take some pictures. Unfortunately, in most trees the higher you are the less horizontal the branches become. Anyway, here are some pictures from the bottom.
When I was all done, I went back to the bench to unlock my bike. I walked to the road ready to hop on and ride away when I saw that same creepy guy in his black truck driving by again. Thank god he didn’t stop again. I realize the park is a common place for casual homosexual encounters. I can only assume this was the reason for his stop. I don’t know how the process works, but if that is common, that is really creepy. If he had just asked, used his words, it still would have been a little creepy, but better than the hovering, and quietly staring. I am so glad I am good at climbing trees. If I am ever chased and realize I am the slower one, I am definitely going to go into a tree where I would definitely be more at home and have an advantage. They may try to wait me out, but that is another thing I am good at. Plus I have a cell phone so… I think I’ll stop this train of thought now.