Category Archives: dendographia

Dendographia

Dendographia (den-dro-graf’-ia): Creating an illusion of reality through vivid description of a tree.

The ancient fallen tree caught the drizzling burst of rain as it struck its soft decaying trunk and soaked into the porous graying wood. It wasn’t alone there in the woods. It was surrounded by generations of beech trees–smooth silver bark and beechnuts; a favorite of foraging deer, chipmunks and red and gray squirrels. I’d like to think the fallen one is somehow responsible for the dense stand of mid- and large-sized trees surrounding it–a living legacy and testament to the continuous presence of life’s promise: of living and of dying , of offspring, of hope.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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Dendographia

Dendographia (den-dro-graf’-ia): Creating an illusion of reality through vivid description of a tree.

There so many trees that are older than me. There is one in my woods. It is a white pine tree that, judging by its size,  is at least 80 years old. I am 70. I look up at it–it’s probably 100 feet tall. I am 6′ 2″ tall–I weigh around 200, the white pine probably weighs a ton.

The tree is graceful. As it sways in wind, its pinecones fall to earth and feed squirrels, chipmunks, mice and probably more! Additionally, its pinecones’ seeds sometimes sprout, take root and grow into new trees.

The white pine’s branches are covered with “needles”–green pin-like growths that do the work of leaves, and have a fragrance that says “Welcome to the woods.” Also, beneath the white pine, the ground is carpeted with sweet-smelling needles that have turned brown and make a soft place to rest or relax and daydream.

In sum, the white pine is a towering tribute to nature’s expressions of its beauty, diversity, and endurance.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Dendographia

Dendographia (den-dro-graf’-ia): Creating an illusion of reality through vivid description of a tree.

What is it that grows up so tall–so tall it becomes part of the skyline–cutting black shadows out of early evening and setting them along the edges of my fields?

Some have needles. Some have leaves. Pine and maple–all green in daylight’s sunny bath. The trees’ shadows mark time–as they lengthen, sunset begins to set and the trees’ shadows blanket the fields with rising darkness and a sunset backdrop filtering gently through the trees, making halos of diminishing pink and golden light.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)