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Make Up a Name for Your Favorite Tree

This spruce tree in my back yard has a new name: Meleeka
Spruce tree in my back yard

Five years ago, when I moved to the house where I live now, I went into the back yard and looked at a tall spruce tree. It seemed quite beautiful. In the evening, it looked a little sparkly. It seemed to be catching a hint of light from somewhere. I called it Sparkly Spruce.


Every time I went into the back yard, I would say, "Hello, Sparkly Spruce." It made the tree seem like a friend.


But I always thought there was a better name for the tree. For a long time, I couldn't figure out what that name might be.


Then one day this month when it was cold outside, I stayed inside and looked through the living room glass sliding door at Sparkly Spruce. There was something elegant about the tree, something almost regal.


I thought about calling it Mellik, a name that means king in Arabic. But that didn't seem to suit it. There was something feminine about the tree. I didn't know what the female version of Mellik was, but Meleeka sounded like it would work. The name seemed to fit the tree. Now every time I'm in the back yard, I say, "Hi, Meleeka." It's fun to think about having royalty living in my yard.


Do you have a favorite tree in your yard or somewhere in your neighborhood? It might be fun to figure out a name for the tree you like so much.


Stand near the tree. Study it. Notice everything about it. You may feel a sense of calmness as you focus on the tree.


What name do you think fits the tree? If no name comes, just keep noticing how comfortable you feel being around the tree. A name might pop into your head. If it seems to fit the tree, it will be a good name for it.


Every time you go by the tree, you can say hi to the tree and call it by the name you gave it. The tree might seem a little more special to you because you have given it a name.


The next time you are bored and wonder what to do, find another tree and go through the same process to give it a name. It's a fun way to be creative.

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Trees Form Artistic Shapes

When a large branch was cut from a juniper tree, it created an interesting design.
When a large branch was cut from a juniper tree, it left an interesting design.

Some people take amazing photographs of the designs they find in trees. Junipers and pinons are two kinds of trees that often take on wonderful shapes in this area of high plateau country in northwest New Mexico.


Not too long after I bought my house surrounded by front and back yards, a juniper tree in the front yard needed to be trimmed. Over the years, it had sent out a thick branch from near the base of the juniper. It stretched about 15 feet across the yard. The branch was drooping and struggling to survive. My handyman cut it off near the base of the tree trunk. Since that time the branch stump has taken on an interesting design.


In creative moments, I try to imagine lots of different things it could look like. It could be a sideways face with the two dark colored holes on one side becoming eyes. The smaller round circle on the other end could be a mouth creating an "oh" shape. One morning I glanced out of the kitchen window and for a split second thought I was staring into the face of a wise old man. Then the branch stump quickly took on the shape I see every day.


If you take a walk in your neighborhood, you might spot several different kinds of trees with interesting shapes. It could be fun to see how many designs you can imagine coming from those shapes.


Some people drive along back roads in the countryside to see how many interesting tree designs and stumps they can find. They often take a camera with them to record their discoveries. Some members of photography clubs have prints made of their most impressive photographs. They frame them and enter them into art shows. Others who aren't members of any particular club have fun taking pictures and posting them on Facebook, on their own web page, or on one of many other on-line sites where people can enjoy looking at their photography.


It's delightful to see how creative that people can be and what amazing shapes they find as they keep their eyes wide open for delightful discoveries. The next time you're not sure how to spend part of your day, try driving or hiking around to see what artistic tree wonders you can find.

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