Sunday, July 15, 2012

Getting high in a tree

About a month ago, I spontaneously took a tree climbing class at Duke Farms. I stumbled upon it and thought why not?  I do suffer from occasional vertigo from heights, but I thought I'd be ok harnessed in.  I had been worried that I would be the only adult and sure enough that was pretty much true.  The only limited adults were parents who had their kids participating.  The teachers gave us the quick directions and each had their tree names...ala Fungi, Reese's (as in Reese's monkey), and treeman. I immediately knew that I would be Liquidamber, which is a genus name for sweetgum, but that's tree nerd talk.  I took advantage of my adult status and quickly got geared up and asked for the highest branch.  It was a great bur oak "wolf tree." Wolf trees are trees that grow in fields that have all the space and light they need so they are picturesque, full, and round. 
I was immediately surrounded by two young and silent girls.  We each went up with ease and occasionally kicked/butted into each other as we ascended.  They were not interested in chatting with me or each other so we hung out silently at the top when we got there.  However, a young boy around 7 years old was crying and yelling up a storm within the first few minutes of the climb. He was about 6 feet of the ground and totally freaking out.  So they let him be as he didn't want to go up or down. He was in the "I don't want to do anything and don't touch me" state.  I thought he had worked through it during the hour, but it began again when we had to come down. 
I'm a horrible judge of distances but I'd say I was at least 3 stories off the ground. At the top I was hanging out with the birds as they flew in.