happy earth day!

‘Nurture’, illustration by UK artist Adam Ellison {original version}; ‘the importance of reconnecting with nature and our direct responsibility for its preservation’.

Happy Earth Day!

P.S. Tinder’s philosophy is sustainably minded: goods made of sound construction from durable raw materials fit for purpose {& re-purpose: repair, recycle, return to the elements}. Thanks for visiting!

sherwood forest: of silver birch & golden arrows …

‘…the arrow with the golden head
And shaft of silver white …’

‘Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow’, Child Ballad 152

Photos …
1: ‘English Longbow’ via Wildwood Traditional Archery
2: ‘Handcrafted Quiver’ by Juri via Paleoplanet Archery
3: ‘Wedge Tail Arrows’ via Wildwood Traditional Archery
4: ‘Gold Arrowhead’ via Phokion’s flickr

forest of ancients: thick as thieves …

Sherwood Forest, ‘continuously forested since the end of the Ice Age’ … ancient, enchanting & beloved hideaway of a certain legendary medieval thief & his gang of outlaws …

A venerable forest, now but a fragment of the original vast ‘wildwood’ … remarkable relics remain scattered amongst the silver birch {‘Birklands’}, the last refuge of ‘more than a thousand ancient oaks most of which are known to be more than five hundred years old’ …

Within the very heart of Sherwood Forest still resides the majestic ‘Major Oak’, aka ‘the Queen’ {long before it was re-nicknamed in the 18th c.} … & thought to be ‘as old as the English language’, about 800–1000 years …!

“Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me
And tune his merry note
Unto the sweet bird’s throat
Come hither, come hither, come hither
Here shall he see no enemy
But winter and rough weather.”

– William Shakespeare: Under the Greenwood Tree

Via John Palmer etcetera

Photos …
Top: ‘Forest Snow, Sherwood’ via DaveKav’s flickr
Middle: ‘Sherwood Forest Oaks’ via Nottinghamshire History
Bottom: ‘Oak, Sherwood Forest’ via Noel Kingsley’s blog

the tree of life: methuselah & metaphor

From top, a trio of the most ancient, magnificent living things:

1: ‘Old Tjikko; this ancient, 16-foot tall Norway spruce lives in the scrubby Fulufjället Mountains in Sweden … at 9,550 years, it is the oldest single-stemmed clonal tree, and took root not long after the glaciers receded from Scandinavia after the last ice age ‘ …. photo via Leif Kullman, the geographer who discovered it in 2008 …

2: ‘Pando; not technically the oldest individual tree, but a 105-acre clonal colony of Quaking Aspen in Utah, genetically identical trees connected by a single root system … the “trembling giant” began life at least 80,000 years ago, when our human ancestors were still living in Africa … some estimate the woodland could be as old as 1 million years, which would mean Pando predates the earliest Homo sapiens by 800,000 years ‘ … photo via Darkmatter’s flickr …

3: The ‘true’ Methuselah’s location is kept secret; ‘Bristlecone Pine, far out on a ridge near the Patriarch Grove, White Mountains, California’ … ‘the world’s oldest individual tree lives 10,000 feet above sea level in the Inyo National Forest, California … a staggering 4,765 years old ‘ … photo via walking along’s flickr …

“The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree. I believe this simile largely speaks the truth” … and “… I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.”
—Darwin, 1872 [7]

Trio of illustrations, to bottom, where the evolutionary concept of the ‘Tree of Life’ takes root:

1: ‘Charles Darwin’s 1837 sketch, his first diagram of an evolutionary tree from his First Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837) on view at the the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan’, via here

2: ‘The Tree of Life as seen by Ernst Haeckel in the The Evolution of Man (1879)’, via here … ‘Haeckel showed a main trunk leading to mankind with minor branches to various animals, unlike Darwin’s branching evolutionary tree [157]’ …

3: ‘Ramification of a Banyan Tree drawn from Nature 1778/Banyan Tree with many trunks – W Stoker, D Redman, after J Forbes 1811’; the original painting appears to be unattributed … yet seems to best illustrate the metaphor of Darwin’s ‘Tree of Life’, 59 years prior to his own famous sketch … via National Library of Australia

And, a trio of superb essays on the recent ramifications of the ‘Tree of Life’ metaphor

… 2011 is also International Year of Forests … for all things arboreal, possibly in your neck of the woods, visit Festival of the Trees …!