Thursday, October 28, 2010


Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot defend themselves or run away. And few destroyers of trees ever plant any; nor can planting avail much toward restoring our grand aboriginal giants. It took more than three thousand years to make some of the oldest of the Sequoias, trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra. Through all the eventful centuries since Christ's time, and long before that, God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand storms; but he cannot save them from sawmills and fools; this is left to the American people. The news from Washington is encouraging. On March third [1905?] the House passed a bill providing for the Government acquisition of the Calaveras giants. The danger these Sequoias have been in will do good far beyond the boundaries of the Calaveras Grove, in saving other groves and forests, and quickening interest in forest affairs in general. While the iron of public sentiment is hot let us strike hard. In particular, a reservation or national park of the only other species of Sequoia, the
sempervirens, or redwood, hardly less wonderful than the gigantea, should be quickly secured. It will have to be acquired by gift or purchase, for the Government has sold every section of the entire redwood belt from the Oregon boundary to below Santa Cruz.

from "Save the Redwoods"
Sierra Club Bulletin, January 1920

John Muir: Nature Writings
The Library of America


Ding, Dong,

Sing me a song,

That way the

Work day is

Not so long.

This poem is by Clyde Watson. It's one I like to remember when at my work and holding tools — whether high on a roof, or scrambling in the dark dirty sections of a crawl space, under floor boards, like I was just the other day — somebody shooting through a stone foundation I had busted into for an iron pipe gas line. This little poem/song can brighten the darkest spot. Try it.

Clyde Watson is a woman with a man's name. Her parents thought it was pretty. She has a sister Wendy who has illustrated some of her books. Father Fox's Pennyrhymes appeared when both were very young. Clyde Watson grew up in an old farmhouse in southern Vermont with animals about and seven brothers and sisters which has been an enduring inspiration for her published work. Her father, who was one of the ones that liked a pretty name, is the graphic artist Aldren Watson.

a tiny clyde watson