On this last, hot day of summer I was very excited to return to tree #88. In my first encounter, I ran across that mother raccoon and her little cubs.
I was really hoping to see them in their little den again and witness their growth. But I was also preparing myself for a quiet and stealthy climb so as not to induce attack. I drove over to Colgate Park and found a crowded picnic taking place. I walked past them trying not to draw attention to myself. I want to get up into the tree without an audience. I needed quiet. At the base I put one foot up against the trunk and jumped with the other to hold the first, tiny limb that barely holds my weight.
I inched upwards to get to the second limb that is much stronger. I got it, got my foot secured, then I reached up for the next limb. From there I had to reach out to the side for a branch I could reach, then pull myself up to the final branch before the trunk splits by the raccoon’s den. I was having trouble being quiet since that first part of the climb was quite difficult. As I got close to the hole above me I got a little nervous and decided I would climb up to my ribbon first and along the way peer down to see if the raccoons were actually in there. So I began the second part of my climb up limb after limb, being sure to avoid the really dead ones. I could use some of them because I have found that, particularly in sycamores, dead limbs stay strong for quite a while. Once I got to my ribbon I used a dead branch to climb higher.
The first time I climbed this tree I didn’t trust dead limbs so I stopped. Once past that I climbed up all the way to the top.
It was incredibly high with an amazing view.
The people below looked so small.
It really felt like one of my highest climbs. I took a bunch of pictures and grabbed a yellow leaf. I couldn’t tell if it was dead or just changing because of the dryness or fall season, but it was one of the first non-green leaves. Then I climbed back down and as I went looked down at the hole and saw lights. Puzzled, I investigated further when I got close and found a puddle of water in there instead of raccoons.
I took a couple shots anyway but I was a little disappointed they moved on. But I was not disappointed with the climb. It was a good challenge and a great accomplishment in height.
9-23-08: I missed a day of blogging because I went to Columbus, OH for an art install. There is a lot to tell but I am going to save it for the following entry since it involves my tree climb for the day.
I don’t really have that much to say about that entry from last year. Going after raccoons is probably really dangerous. It was a good thing they weren’t there.
So, I went back to my parent’s place on Saturday evening to get everything ready for my trip to Ohio on Monday. On Sunday I was in the middle of packing and preparing things and didn’t want to go anywhere to climb. And ever since the wind storm, I have had a strong desire to climb a damaged tree. Dangerous, you say? Yes, but I’m not the only one to risk it. When I walked up the slanted trunk of one tree I found a pile of some animal’s poo.
I didn’t get much farther than that though. Right where the trunk splits it hit the maple tree. So I took some pictures of that, but was too scared to risk going out on the suspended limbs.
Since the climb was a little disappointing (I didn’t even really use my arms at all to climb the tree… I just walked up the trunk) I climbed another tree at the edge of my parent’s backyard that I have climbed before. I wanted to see what had been damaged there. Just a few limbs. It didn’t affect my climb.
It was a nice climb and just a good break from packing. But I don’t think I filled my desire to climb a damaged tree. I may look for another as long as they all haven’t been cleaned up.