The Bosky Dell: "Mid Beechy Umbrage, Bosky Dell 'Tis There the Ringdove Loves to Dwell"*
Live Oak is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Cruz County, California between the towns of Santa Cruz and Capitola. Live Oak sits at an elevation of 102 feet (31 m). The population was 17,158 at the 2010 census.
by Julia Sneden
This morning our local paper printed a letter from an angry reader concerning a developer's plans to bulldoze yet another wooded area into oblivion. I happen to know the area referred to, because there's a small path through it that is just large enough and smooth enough for my mother's wheelchair. She particularly loves to be taken for a stroll in those woods, because getting out and away from people and pavement isn't easy when you're 95 and infirm.
I remember that once when we had paused beside a little creek that meanders through the trees and falls down a small slope, she looked into the gully and said: "My, that is a bosky dell!"
"Bosky?" I asked.
"Bosky," my mother the English teacher said firmly. "It means covered with trees and shrubs. Thickly grown. And a dell is a..."
"I know," I said, falling easily into our mother/teacher, daughter/pupil mode even though I am 66 years old. "A dell is a small valley or hollow, usually secluded."
"Good girl," she said, and we walked on. Readers of this column know that I am not a fan of sprawl (see Dante in the City). I find myself wondering how long it will take people to realize that when we take out trees, we take out the oxygen producers that keep us alive. Humans inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Trees inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. It's that simple.
It's a symbiotic relationship, those trees and us. Anyone who doubts that trees breathe need only do a very simple experiment, one that I used to do with kindergarten children, who understood it easily: tie a clear plastic bag over the leafy end of a twig on a sunny day. Wait for a while, and then check the bag. You will see small water droplets condensed on the inside of the bag, sure evidence of the moist breath of the tree as it exhales the oxygen. With trees, you call it transpiration, not respiration, but I suspect it comes to the same thing. You can't live without either one.
But beyond the life-giving oxygen that they produce, beyond the cooling shade they offer on a hot summer's day, beyond the protection they offer to birds and squirrels and other creatures, trees are just good for the soul. They help us to mark the seasonal changes, and they are beautiful in every season.
The eponymous character in the comic strip Rose is Rose has a favorite tree that she calls her 'Let It Be' tree. When life becomes too frantic or upsetting, she simply goes and leans against the tree, and her problems soon come into perspective. That idea resonates with me, because when I was a child, I was best friends with a California live oak tree.
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- Masterpiece's Victoria Drawn From the Queen's Diaries, an Eight-Part Drama
- Buzz Polinator Endanged: Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Could Be Lost Due to Habitat Loss and Degradation
- Ferida's Backyard: Holidays and the New Year; A Hawk Sighting
- Ferida Wolff's Backyard: The Supermoon, a Skunk Scare and Groundhog Haven (and Groundhog Day Movie Trivia)
- Here and Now: A History of Trips That Yield the Most Various Experiences in the Smallest Locales
- A Sort of Drawing-Room Tobogganing Exercise: John Singer Sargent's Mrs. Carl Meyer and Her Children
- Wild Bees, a Critical Piece of the Pollination Puzzle
- Ferida's Wolff's Backyard: Home Farm Produce; Hibiscus Beauty and Wouldn't That Be Peachy?
- Julia Sneden's Magic Moments at the End of Summer