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Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Old trees can easily conjure up memories of times past.  Covered with lichens, mosses and fungi, they are witnesses to history, quiet observers of human events and animal activities.  Their silent demeanor makes them privilege to secrets told beneath their branches.  Perhaps it’s because we expect trees to know so much that they spark our imaginations.


A favorite book from my childhood was The Faraway Tree Adventure by Enid Blyton. (My copy was the french translation: DEUX ENFANTS DANS UN SAPIN).  The story involved the magical encounters experienced by two children who follow an elf up a tree.  My imagination was sparked by the idea of a tree so wonder-full that it could act as an enchanted gateway to other lands and fairy folk.  

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.
~ John Muir

Two spruce trees I recently saw standing side by side in the forest reminded me of that magical tree I had read about years ago. They were wrapped up in mist and entwined in each other’s branches, still erect while others of their size were overturned by strong winds. 

Their older lower branches were bare of needles but looked strong enough for climbing.  As a child, I’d always been unable to reach the lower branches of the trees I believed held magical worlds in their canopies. At what age do we stop trying to climb up trees?

The magic that eluded us as children because we didn’t have arms long enough to reach the next branch, eludes us once again in adulthood as we become more and more attached to safe ground.  The trees must find us odd indeed, but in their wisdom, say nothing.

What tiny creature do you suppose lives in that hole among the roots?

In the tradition of  She Said, She Said, Sybil of Eastern Passage Passage has also written a post about these same trees.  You can find her post here along with marvelous close-ups of the wonderful worlds she captured with her lens.

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If you’re not living life on the edge, then you’re taking up too much space.

extreme sports

Living in a family of extreme sports enthusiasts, I’ve spent many years worried at home while others went rock climbing, scuba diving or sky diving.  No more.  I figure the best way to stop being anxious about others is to do something extreme myself.  But what?

iron and damsel

My grandmother was an expert at ironing shirts.  As a young woman, she had worked in a boarding house for lawyers and doctors and had spent her days doing laundry and ironing. It’s a skill that’s seldom learned or appreciated in our permanent press world.  My friend Faye, who is always crisply dressed, believes she’s one of the last people on the planet who still irons.

Like most other skills, ironing requires attention to detail and patience with some knowledge of technique.  It’s considered a boring tedious activity by many, which is why many people do it while watching television, if they do it at all.

Although ironing is usually done indoors, about a decade ago, some daring and creative men in the UK decided to transform ironing into an extreme outdoor sport.  Since then, people from all over the world have ironed in all kinds of crazy places, from the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the sea.  I don’t know if I would do anything so radical but I figure it’s worth a try.

ironing in woods

So… before the summer ends I’m going to see where I can do some extreme ironing in Cow Bay.  If you’d like to join me in this activity in your neck of the woods, the more the merrier.  Here are some things you’ll need:

  1. An ironing board that’s at least a metre (39 inches) long.
  2. A working iron – travel irons are supposed to be ideal.
  3. A piece of clothing that’s at least the size of a shirt.
  4. A photograph of yourself doing the ironing outdoors in an unconventional place.

What do you think?  Are you up for the challenge?  No prizes this time.  Kookiness is its own reward.

For the Wikipedia entry on Extreme Ironing, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_ironing

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2009

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