Earth Day 2012

Douglas Fir

Happy Earth Day!

Of course, I like to say we try to make every day Earth Day around here, just like we try to love each other and be nice to each other every day instead of just on Valentine’s Day. Yeah we’re kinda hippie-ish that way.

Everyone has been ill this week, so we don’t have any major tree planting or beach cleaning plans. But I did get a few walks in, and reminded myself to look up every once in a while.

The Douglas Firs are everywhere around here–and I swear they smell just like Juicy Fruit gum. Or maybe Juicy Fruit smells like the Doug Firs, since I know the Firs have been here longer.

I love these trees. They’re like big gentle guardians, and the sound of the wind through their needles is like a lullaby.

I recently learned that Douglas Firs are not TRUE firs . . . they are sort of their own creature, who inspired the creation of a new genus after confusing the heck out of botanists back in the 19th century.

Western Red Cedar

Confusing or not, they are lovely. I like to infuse the needles in olive oil, and use the resultant sweet, slightly warming oil to make bath salts. I bet the oil would be an amazing base for a soap, too–if I made soap.


Another of my favorite trees is a Cedar that’s not a TRUE cedar. What is it with me and misnamed trees? “True” Cedar or not, Western Red Cedars are magical. They’re big and soft and friendly and generous and plentiful. They smell sweet and woodsy–I haven’t made an infused oil with Red Cedar yet, but I think I’ll try it this summer.

Red Cedar was one of the first trees I started using to make smudge sticks–before I even knew for sure what it was.  I didn’t need to know its name to know it had the kind of sweet, serene energy I wanted in my space.

I recently read that the oldest documented Red Cedar tree is 1,460 years old.

But why am I sitting here writing about trees? Why are you sitting here reading about them? (We will ignore the fact that if you weren’t sitting here reading about them, I might not have much reason to keep a blog.) It’s Earth Day! And here in Oregon, at least, the weather is beautiful. I’m going to go outside and spend time with actual trees, instead of talking about them. I hope you’re able to spend today interacting with Mother Nature in some way. If not, at least open the window, get some fresh air, and try to remember to be aware of what’s outside the walls. Awareness is a really good place to start caring for the green things.


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