For the past two weeks, I’ve been parked in front of my computer. Yesterday, I finally went stir-crazy and listened to my pleading, sorely underused muscles. “I’ve had it!” I thought, and promptly began stomping around. It was time to get moving.
For six years, I’d been a dancer with the Ithaca Ballet, performing roles such as the white/black swan (ooh, sinister), the Sugar Plum Fairy (in “The Nucracker”), and Juliet. I used to dance all night, go home, repeat the next day.
But yesterday, my legs were shaking by the second exercise.
Nobody noticed, of course, but that’s because I was the only person around. Instead of suiting up and facing a wall of studio mirrors, I’d cautiously climbed back into the saddle at home, clinging to a banister for barre exercises and enjoying my view of the redwoods. By the end of the barre sequence, I’d decided to save trying to kick my ear for another day.
Yes, yesterday I felt like this — hardly a dancer:
This morning, my quads were threatening mutiny.
But I wasn’t done with them yet. I went to CLIMB A TREE! In addition to being a former tutu-wearing bunhead, I’m also a tree-monkey. It’s nearly impossible to pass a good climbing tree without at least making a mental note to return later, or saying, “Hey! That would be a great tree to climb!” — hinting at the need for a diversion — or just jumping right in it, etiquette be damned.
I’m not sure why climbing trees is so appealing. Is it the promise of being up high? The risk-taking aspect of the whole endeavour? (don’t read this, mom) Was I once Tarzan??
I have a blast whizzing through branches and spending a few quiet moments in bird-and-squirrelville before heading back down. One of these days, I really ought to bring a hammock.
Anyway. Today, I headed out to visit our friendly neighborhood state park, since I’d found one of these tantalizing trees there a few weeks ago.
Along the trail, a super slimy banana slug glooped along, the fungus amungus became a loggy bumpus, and a peculiar sign heralded danger:
And there were pretty flowers (a shameless and transparent attempt to incorporate flowers because I love ‘em, especially when they grow on trees and bushes…):
Then, I arrived at The Tree, a big, multi-trunked, many-branched beauty. Crunching through layers of leaves while collecting spider webs with my face, I wandered over. And hopped in. And went up and up and up. It was fun.
Until my quads starting talking. Dang ballet from yesterday was coming back to bite me.
At some point, a branch from the main trunk collided with one of the smaller trunks. Over time, the smaller trunk engulfed it. The branch is now growing through it.
Trees do the darndest things!
In this same patch of redwood forest, there is a tree with trees for branches (“he must work out…”), a ridiculously thick and angry looking ring of redwoods (“does an ogre live in there?“), and an albino redwood tree (a rarity – their locations are closely guarded secrets). Plus, one of the trees in that whacked-out fairy ring is hugging another tree, and nearby there’s a glorious tree for climbing, if only the lowest branches were lower…like, 50 feet lower.
Wandering through these woods is like being in a funky, living sculpture garden:
Well. I wish I had an image of me in a tutu in a tree to bring this together. But sadly, I don’t. However…I do own several of those tulle tools of torture. Maybe next week? Maybe someday I’ll be back in shape and can climb a tree carrying a tutu.
Having gotten my climbing fix and still picking spider webs off me, I headed back home, passing an enormous tree that probably made a tremendous crashing noise as it fell, regardless of whether anyone was there to hear it.
And for the record, lying in the middle of a redwood ring and looking up is marvelous. Kinda looks like the trees are wearing tutus.