Photo by Veronica Gomez Ibarra on Unsplash


By Charles Towne

Part of the little boys credo:  “There is nothing so lovely as a tree… when it falls!”

Trees are… ? Trees are what?

Well… some trees are tall. I mean, some trees are REALLY tall. Take Hyperion for instance. Hyperion is a giant coastal redwood tree. And, if you are wondering, Hyperion is pushing the 385 eighty foot mark.

I think you will agree that Hyperion is definitely tall, right?

Disclaimer: When I was a boy pup we kept the home fires burning by using wood as fuel – elm and oak mostly – so most of the trees we hacked down weren’t wasted, they ended up being burned in either the heating stove, or the cook stove.  I sure do miss mama’s apple pies!

One time a lady told me that if she were to be reincarnated she wanted to come back as a butterfly. This didn’t surprise me all that much because butterflies are always flitting. I mean, they spend their entire lives flitting here and flitting there, as if that were their sole purpose in life, flitting. Yeah, that lady was definitely a flitterer. Looking pretty and flitting. But there has to be more to life then just flitting, right?  I mean, that would be like coming back as a fruit fly, and what kind of life is that?

Me? I… if I  believed in reincarnation… which I don’t… I would come back as a tree. But not just any old tree. Oh no! I would come back as a giant redwood! But there can’t be any little boy-kids around with axes in their grubby little paws.

When I was a boy, me and my buddies would go out into the woods and take turns climbing up into the tops of the trees, mostly thirty or forty foot tall elms, and then our friends would hack at the base of the tree until the tree – with the idiot still in the top – would creek and fall, and the tree would hit the ground with a thump! (It gives new meaning to the word “friends”, doesn’t it?) Then it would be somebody else’s turn to have fun!

Yeah, I know, it gives new meaning to the word “fun” too. But then, that’s just how it goes when part of a little boy’s credo!

Dear God, thanks so much for giving us guardian angels so that, in spite of occasional bruises, scrapes and gouges, we survive. For the most part. Unless I am terribly wrong, I have an idea our guardian angels enjoy our shenanigans almost as much as we do! Thanks for protecting us Father. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. I love trees!! I have climbed a few and I have gotten stuck in a few.
    But, never ever did I want to be in one when it was cut down!! Evidently, you had some really interesting friends. I prefer to relax under them, enjoying their shade and of course listening and watching the bird families that live in them.
    I think I’ll drink my coffee outside amongst the trees today.
    Thank you for another good story.
    God bless you!!

  2. Yes! You know I am a tree hugger:) Thank you for devoting an article to our glorious trees–Home Sweet Home to many interesting little critters. I have been inspired. Out to the woods I go…..
    Have a great day my dear friend!

    • Dear NH, if anyone would have a glimpse into the heart of God, let them climb a tree and get stuck, and then, against all odds, find themselves back safely on the ground again. Wow, just perhaps that is our first lesson in miracles. Blessings on you and yours, Chaz

  3. Dear CSG, Fapa God, I imagine that getting stuck up in a tree is a right of passage that even if we are so scared of spending the rest of our lives, “UP THERE!” we eventually do get down, we survive, by the grace of our loving God, we survive! Bless you my friend, Chaz

  4. I am a firm believer in guardian angels and am pretty sure mine has been issued many meritorious service awards for keeping me safe. I do have several well-earned scars from my youth for the times when my guardian angel was either on vacation or he decided it was time for me to “learn a lesson”. My mom told me that I should have had a frequent patient card for the ER at Wayne Memorial hospital. Great story sir – keep them coming.

  5. Mike old pal, My guardian angels and I were on first name terms. The referred to ma as, “The Kid.” One of them I called Newt. He always went with me when I went fishing. Newt was the only angel that could no longer fly in a straight line due to a broken wing he got on one of our escapades. He had to go for therapy to fix that. I was impressed by his fishing skills. Newt took a leave of absence after he broke his wing and having a nervous breakdown. The last time I saw him he had inexplicably developed a real bad twitch that was only obvious the he saw me. They never could figure that one out? You take care and God bless, Chaz

    P.S. Come to think about it, Newt was the only angel I ever saw cry.

  6. I was a city boy and there are two things I remember about trees, first was the city coming around and cutting down almost every tree in the neighborhood because of something called Dutch Elm Disease and suddenly there was very little shade in the summertime!
    The second thing was every summer, getting to spend a couple weeks at my grandparents house. Grandpa was retired and we would go fishing and go for long walks in the woods, he taught me many things but one thing I remember most was that he would plck up a leaf and I was supposed to know what kind of tree it came from, what kind of wood did the tree have, how was the grain of the wood and what was it used to build! Grandpa was a finish carpenter and I swear he could have made his own lumber if necessary! I no longer have that knowledge available, city boy remember! But I do still use a lot of the knowledge I got from him and yeah, he was retired but once in a while we would come across a good ” climbing tree” and he would join me in the branches and we would both face Grandma’s wrath at our actions together!

  7. Richare my friend, what you have described is a little boy in the shape of a grandpa. That I think is the gift God gave to all grandpas, whereas, grandmas are placed on earth to keep grandpas in balance. Praise God for each of them

  8. Chaz, I remember it well. I climbed into the top of an oak tree one time. That was fun until I looked down, then it wasn’t fun any more! That tree still has scars in it from my finger nails. I knew that I was going to have to spend the rest of my life way up there and if so I would die up there and if I died Up there without permission from my dad he was going to kill me. Keep the stories coming sir, A Friend

  9. Dear friend, I can see it now, a woodsman cuts the tree down and way up there is the scrawny little skeleton of a runty little kid dressed only in a pair of cut offs and a grimace. Poor boy, Chaz

  10. Well, Trees helped me survive being a “latch key” kid! Latch key meant both mother and father worked! That also meant that I was a “runt” that some bigger guys like to beat up! BUT, I had a secret way of staying safe. There were two giant Oak trees, in the woods, close to our home. Also a super abundance of wild grape vines had grown up that covered both Oak trees. Many times I would be chased, and I would head for my Oak trees and grape vines. I had certain limbs I would use to climb up to the grape vines and use the vines like a giant hammock. I could look down from my vines, and they were really thick, and watch the “enemy” madly trying to find me….at ground level! I like a good tree!

  11. Don, aint it the truth! There were times that trees were my best friends. A relationship might very well grow from casual, that was the first time that you climbed the tree and though you were going to fall and break “your fool neck.” to intimate, when the tree became your best friend when it saved your life, when the “big” kids were chasing you. Thank God for trees!. Chaz

  12. I love trees! Can’t stand to see a perfectly good tree cut down. Seems like killing a person….almost! Takes a mighty long time to grow a mature oak…yep…I love them!

  13. FAITH, what does the word say about “Oaks of righteousness?” I always love this about the naturalist John Muir. He loved being close to nature. It was sad of John that there was that time that he climbed into the top of a great tree during a violent storm, tied himself to the tree and rode it out, thrilled at the ride. Thank you. We know that Jesus is master of the storm Oh Holy God, and we love you, in Jesus’ Holy name we ask it, amen Chaz

  14. I notice a lot of the folks talk about climbing way up high in the trees to hide or get a view or whatever but trees also have other features. At grandpa’s place, there were some pretty gigantic pine trees and they had bottom branches that were so big they sagged and touched the ground. A child could crawl under these branches and discover a big empty space, like being in a tent which provided a perfect hiding place for a young boy when everyone was looking up in the other trees for him!

  15. Richard, It could almost be said the trees are a boys best friend, until he discovers girls, and then as time passes the trees become his friends again. I still like trees. Bless you my friend, Chaz


    I never met a tree I did not like, until I moved to Florida. We bought our Florida home twenty year ago. It was my wife’s desire to have a garden with fruit bearing trees. So, several years ago my wife planted a couple of banana trees along with a few citrus trees. Year after year the banana trees did not bear fruit, but each year they would send up shoots, pups, that became trees the next season.

    Finally, after four years they began to produce bananas. Small bananas, no more than three inches long would be produced in bunches numbering one hundred or more. Bunches and bunches of finger long bananas all becoming ripe at the same time. Mini bananas without the familiar look and flavor of Publix supermarket’s, big, yellow delights. My wife was so proud of her green thumb. Over time, our backyard became overgrown with banana trees. It was a virtual dreamscape for a chimpanzee.

    How would I know what to expect being a “Jersey Boy”? Who knew there would be so many, barely edible bananas? I did say barely edible. That was my opinion. To one member of my house, they were considered highly edible. Trying to keep peace, I would eat some of them, BUT how many bananas can one man be expected to eat?

    This year, 2020, suffering from pandemic induced cabin fever, I cleared out our backyard. I cut down the banana trees and neatly stacked them at the curb. I would be informed by my know-it-all neighbor that they were not trees. She said, “those aren’t banana trees, they are plants”. Plants? You mean to tell me bananas do not grow on trees? Well, that being a Google verified fact, I guess it is safe for me to say, “I never met a tree I did not like.”

    Footnote: “Banana trees are one of the common trees that come to mind when dreaming of the tropics, but did you know that it is not really a tree? It is the world’s largest herb. On banana plantations in the tropic the plants must be pruned to the ground after fruiting.” –

  17. Wow EdG, talk about telling a guy more then he needs to know! Now when I see a banana I will think of cardamom, thyme, or poison ivy! Well, maybe not poison ivy. The bananas that we are accustomed to eating today, the sweet, yellow giants are hybrids, and delicious they are. In the canary islands there is a type of plant that looks like a banana but in reality it coaxes humans to eat them and then devours the eater from the inside out. What a way to go! The name of this fake banana is the oompa oompa tree. Chaz

  18. Ohhhh, Charles !!! Always inspirated in those stories that remind my chilhood, and also MISS these years surrounded by trees, plants, animals and nature … GOD Bless You and Yours Charlitos !!!

  19. This reminds me of a beautiful memory – when our brother, Ted, and I were at the adventurous ages of eleven and thirteen, we also were tree climbers, and we also were tree riders – we would carefully climb to the top of a sapling birch tree (Ted in one sapling and me in another), balancing carefully while climbing, then after reaching a relatively high point, we would lean and ride the sapling to the ground. This didn’t work with with poplar or maple saplings – they always broke. I tried to climb a birch sapling several years ago, my spirit same as that of an eleven year old, but my body wasn’t – my arms weren’t strong enough to pull the weight of my bottom half, so, I just stood and appreciated the memory. Again, thanks for reminding me of this exhilarating feeling.

  20. We were so blessed to have the spirit of adventure that encouraged us to reach unique heights that some only reach in their imaginations. Bless you Dr. Pinky Goodle, Chaz


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here