I’ve recorded a reading from William Bartram’s Travels regarding Pines….Take a moment to listen:
I said a Georgia, Georgia
A song of you (a song of you)
Comes as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines
The smell of Brunswick….
You can’t travel through rural Georgia without encountering pine trees. These days, pines are planted and harvested, to make pulp for paper. The paper mill is in Brunswick, GA, and stinks to high heaven. You can smell Brunswick from miles away on the highway.
Pine after pine after pine….
As a child, I planted tons of pines. Pine after pine after pine. We had a metal stick with a downward pointing blade on it, with a horizontal peg. We would jump on the peg, driving the blade into the ground, and push it back and forth. This would make a wedge-like hole in the ground. In went the little pine seedling, and then we pushed the blade down beside the hole, pushed it back and forth, and closed up the hole. Rinse, repeat, for the next seedling.
Straight and tall….
I have never been all that fond of pines, although Ray Charles certainly makes them sound romantic in his song of Georgia. They are so commonplace, really, and even in William Bartram’s time this was so, it seems there is a reference to pines in every single state he traveled through. I think my disinterest in pines stems from how straight and tall they are, there is very little variety, and most of the pines I see today are quite young, they haven’t even got an impressive trunk.
100 years old pines….
However, I am drawn to some pine trees in Oconee Forest, off of the Intramural Fields here in Athens. The forest, and its pines, dates back 100 years, and the trunks of the pine trees there are massive. The forest is mostly hard woods, so a variety of trees are present, with the tall straight pines forming a nice contrast.
A Possible Perception of a Pine….
Here is a Possible Perception of a Pine, contrasting nicely with the graceful curves of a magnolia tree sheltering beneath it.Introductory stanza from “The Slacks” by Trip Shakespeare.