Press "Enter" to skip to content

Meet the Sycamores

The giants of Ditmas Park, are as real as our Terrier pooch Mingus who is allowed to pee on their immensely powerful grip on the ground, which proximity gives me a chance to take a closer look at our ‘silent’ neighbors.

They line some of the streets in Ditmas Park, also known as West Flatbush. They are majestic towering, each one with a fiercely strong grip on the earth’s surface at the crossroads of sky and earth just before their roots disappear underground to sprawl down as deep and wide as they stretch out to the sun over ground. Seasonally they break into house sewage pipes at their most vulnerable joints, yes they know where to exert their colossal strength. Intelligence or physics? I am not guessing. They drop dead branches on cars and sometimes kill people walking under them. They make art with their bark and sculpture with their trunks.

They shed leaves twice a year and create an archway along the street, a grand arboreal cathedral that is 10 degrees cooler. They come in different shapes and shades that vary from place to place, there is much to discover by way of style and possible reasons and I am not a tree expert but after decades of walking MINGUS past them, they have suddenly turned into living giants that are now finding a voice through me. I am a medium after all. Now I consult them. May Nut, the arching sky goddess be my witness. Now as I walk by one of these giants, I acknowledge he or she, how can we tell I want to know, with a hi or hello, peekaboo I see you when I spot a face, or eye, or I touch them and take a picture with permission. It is intriguing to enshrine their unique shapes and the complex scenes they ‘draft’ with their multi colored bark peeling like bells. Eyes and ears merge, Their elaborate bark barks art. Pun-tastic visions they can trigger in the curious and imaginative but only a tree for others. We get what we see. I have been recruited and it is my cross border mission. I am submitting willingly to the mysteries they hold. You should see the stretch marks on the trunk. What is inducing the wonder and pleasure? For one thing, they are making me more aware of nature’s interconnectedness based on life. For this blog to be of service to my readers, I will introduce people and organizations that are devoted to finding pathways to reverse our harmful disregard for earth’s biosphere. THE BIONEER’S CONFERENCE excellent archived resource for the latest information can be found here. So if this isn’t a cross-border world and open-ness to understanding cross-border communication, what is it? Since this blog is to sensitize readers to the non-human world including the plant world, us city folk who have pets or encountered animals in the streets and gardens, Animal Encounters by J. P. Harpignies, Coolgrove, brings you face to face with personal encounters with animals in the city.


Tree art is what I find when I look at trees now. You can say I am projecting possibly courting delusion after all it is only a tree. Okay I speak for myself. Now when I look at them, I think they are aware of me looking at them. Naming it TreeTalk. But what about Tree art? The grip of the roots, the branching, the ‘bark’ sure a stretch but a harmful play on words and the shapes the trunk ‘makes’, any rhyme of reason behind this ? Without any signs of trauma (Sidewalk concrete constraining girth) caused by constrain when a trunk resembles a human or mammalian face. Are they expressing themselves creatively, amusing themselves to see when we (humans) will notice?. So, there, the reality of thinking about what they must know and see is the ‘open source’ of BorderTalk—cross human and cross species communication. I have opened myself to the possibility (of ridicule). What could I possibly lose in thinking of befriending a tree? Call me Johnny come lately, here is what people already know. Here find the knowledge base of entire segments of humanity who are forest dwellers with first hand knowledge about the plant world and it’s ‘talk’. This podcast at Bioneers has a surveys the field.