Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Life without trees ...

Do you have a favourite tree that you walk past regularly and admire? Do you find yourself eagerly waiting for it to come into leaf, to show it's pale spring colours and then deepen into its mature summer regalia? Do you think about how much human life the tree has been part of, and for how many years? 

Have you ever stopped to imagine what it would be like to live without trees? Perhaps the post Judgement Day apocalyptic world has been often-enough depicted now, but I'm talking about an otherwise ordinary world in which trees have been subtracted? It's hard to imagine isn't it? 

I discovered from one of our group that Johannesburg is home to what is called a 'city forest', estimated to comprise between 6 and 10 million trees. I went looking to find out more, and discovered a lovely example of a more tropical Southern Hemisphere street scene:

Many thanks to photographer Christine Phillips at for permission to use this image

We have our own version of this Johannesburg street scene, in Manor Avenue at the western side of the conservation area:

Manor Avenue SE4 - 20th October 2012

OK - not so tropical, but wonderful nonetheless. 

I went out to take this picture last weekend and came across a resident sweeping her front garden. She saw me take the photo and called out "It's a rainbow you know, as you come down from that end!". Her enjoyment of the autumn colours along the street was apparent. 

Trees really are part of our daily lives here in Brockley. And we need to look after them so that they can go on enriching the lives of all who live, work and pass through here.

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