Reub's journey

24 May 2021



 I love the madrone tree, how it changes with time.



The young bark, looking like shaved and curled cinnamon, is all rough and crazy.


But as time goes by, the madrone sheds its bark and adopts a completely different look.

The madrone becomes as smooth to the touch as though it were a bolt of beautiful satin placed incongruously in the tangled woods. The bark shavings at its foot were collected by indigenous people and used for medicine.

Sometimes the limbs reach chaotically towards the sky.


Yet the madrone is unafraid of low-down places, and without taking more space than it needs, explores the humble understory.

But other times it is all about heading outwards, red and bare stretching past the gray trees all around.

If the madrone were a person it would be one of those vivid people, different from all the others. It would be that person who is smoothed by age, strengthened by an ability to reach outwards, a healing friend made especially beautiful by her unusual color of skin.


  1. trees are just so amazing and this one is a beauty.

  2. Interesting to me.

  3. There is a similar tree here in the tropics and they call it 'tourist tree' I think because it looks like a sunburn.

  4. I don't remember where you're from, and this leads me to wonder if you grew up with madrones. Beings from Mississippi, I decidedly did not, but I love them also--as I do their kindred, the manzanitas.

    How are you doing with the smoke and heat?

    1. I'm originally from Wisconsin and I didn't grow up with them, but love them all the same.
      I hate the smoke; it's probably too much to hope that it's gone for the year.

    2. I just hope that the smoke and heat aren't going to be this bad FOREVER!

      I don't recall you going this long without posting, so I hope you are well, and that your enthusiasm for your blog hasn't waned. I have no idea why I have been away from your blog for so long. I don't remember anything bad happening between us. I just know that I got to feeling generally overwhelmed.

    3. So far so good on the smoke! I'm joking, of course, but the residents of Boulder County sure haven't been laughing of late.

      I hope you had a good holiday season and haven't been covered over with water or buried deep by snow.


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