Category Archives: Humor

A visit to Białowieża forest

I was delighted to discover that one of my favorite travel bloggers, Maciej Cegłowski of Idle Words blog, has just written about the famed Białowieża forest on the border of Poland and Belarus — famed because it is the largest remnant of primeval forest in all of Europe.

Instead my first impression is of extreme clutter. It looks exactly like any other Polish forest, except no one has cleared all the dead branches and trees that lean in every direction or just lie rotting on the ground. Some trees have died in place and their bare trunks rise out of the undergrowth like ghostly masts. I fully expect to see the rusted skeleton of an Ursus tractor in between the brambles. The place looks like it could use some pruning and a judicious series of fires. I shoot Romek a wounded glance, but he has already disappeared into the trees.

As we walk deeper into the woods I begin to notice that the trees are very tall. In fact, I’ve never seen broadleaf trees this big before. If they were growing anywhere else there would be a chain around them, a little brass plaque, and a place to park the tour bus, but here they are just average. If you’ve ever been in a redwood forest you will know the feeling. The immensity isn’t immediately obvious because everything is on the same huge scale, but all you have to do is walk up to a trunk to realize that you are now a smurf. What looked like saplings from a distance are perfectly respectable beech or ash or linden that are just completely out of their class here.

Do read the rest.


The Adventures of Tree Astronaut

Doug Savage draws cartoons on sticky notes, scans them, and posts them to his blog, Savage Chickens. Among the many bizarre characters inhabiting his pale yellow world is Tree Astronaut. If you’ve even wondered to yourself, “What would happen if an annoyingly happy tree went into space?” Doug has some ideas.

New Tumblr site: “Goths up trees”

Goths up treesWriter and friend of trees Marly Youmans sent along the link to a newish tumblelog called Goths up trees. Located at, it consists entirely of user-submitted photos of — wait for it — goths up trees.

Well, not quite entirely. What sets Goths up trees apart from the hundreds of other very narrowly focused Tumblr sites is the author’s commentary, which is pitch-perfect and generally hilarious. Take, for example, the post containing the above photo (which I nicked without permission because hey, it’s Tumblr — that’s what you do):

This was submitted by GothicCharmSchool with the comment “Jilian Venters from Gothic Charm School, exploring her backyard.”

She’s very well dressed for tree exploring. Bonus points for maximum skin coverage with the hat and sunglasses. Some gloves would have completed the look but we can’t have everything. This is probably the happiest up-tree Goth I’ve ever seen. Was she drunk? Was she trying to reach a pair of boots that she had coveted for years that mysteriously appeared in the tree IN HER SIZE? Did someone lure her up there with the promise of a new corset tailor made just for her (I’ve fallen for that one before)? Was the author of a certain popular vampire romance novel stuck up the tree unable to move and in poking distance? I’m going with all of the above. She’s just that happy.

4 out of 5 – for skin coverage

For more — much more — like this, check out the site.

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