How to be Present in Nature Part II: Observe the Trees

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world” 

John Muir

Appreciate trees! They’re everywhere, especially in New York City. According to NYC Parks & Recreation, over 5 million trees are growing on public and private property. These trees help remove air pollution, capture stormwater, provide shade for homes, streets, and parks — and so much more.

Have you ever noticed how different a neighborhood with tree-lined streets feels in comparison to one without? You feel more exposed to the elements without trees; it’s just you, and the open space.

Studies “suggest that people who live in neighborhoods with a higher density of trees on their streets report significantly higher health perception and significantly less cardio-metabolic conditions.” (source)

Let’s connect back to these stoic life forces. Pay attention to the trees. Here are some things to think about while walking around or in a park:

  • Do the trees look healthy or are they starting to rot in some places?
  • Are there leaves, buds, pines? Maybe even berries on the trees?
  • If the tree is naked, what do the bare branches look like to you? Do you notice patterns?
  • If you’re surrounded by trees, look up. Do you notice the canopy?
  • Is light beaming through the various leaves and branches?
  • What shadows do the trees form?

Image captured by (c) dycephotography


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Published by B

A millennial residing in Brooklyn, NYC. I hate small talk.

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