Yesterday was ridiculously hot for early April--
officially 89 degrees in Norfolk, 91 degrees in Richmond,
but 93 degrees according to my car thermometer.
For those of us who want a little Spring before their Summer,
it was difficult to resist the impulse to turn on the air conditioning.
But besides the crazy temperature, yesterday was also the anniversary
of the first Arbor Day celebration in 1872.
I love trees and always have.
Sometimes when I'm hiking, I will stop and place my hand on a tree trunk.
I like to feel the texture of the bark,
but I swear I can also feel the tree's heart beating.
So every time I see a stand of trees being bulldozed to make way
for a new strip mall, housing complex, traffic camera, or road,
I cringe a little at the loss of the trees, the undergrowth, native vines
and the habitat for birds and squirrels.
Fortunately, the Arbor Day Foundation (http://www.arborday.org/)
is devoted to planting and preserving trees.
I was surprised to learn that thanks to the Arbor Day Foundation in Nebraska,
there are now Arbor Day celebrations
and tree planting days all around the globe, including in China.
It gives me hope.
The Arbor Day website (click here: www.arborday.org) has lots of information
for tree and nature lovers. There are tree gifts; for example,
donations can be made to plant a tree in the Gallatin Forest in memory of a loved one,
or to celebrate weddings, anniversaries, etc.
Or, how about getting 10 free tree seedlings when joining the Foundation?
I did that once and got 10 Colorado Blue Spruce seedlings.
The Foundation web site also has tree identification information,
tree care tips, and lots of other useful items,
including information about their efforts in preserving the rain forest.
If ever around Nebraska City, Nebraska, visit the Arbor Day Farm.
This year, the Arbor Day Farm celebration is April 27 - 28th.
And tree climbing will be allowed.