Signs of the Times: From Trees to Turtles

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  A recent bygl-mail correspondent, Beth Deimling from Lakeland Nursery in Indiana, recently wrote “As wonderfully entertaining authors of BYGL, I thought you might be appreciative of this sign that my husband and I saw while on vacation last month in Wisconsin. Of course, as world travelers, you may have already seen it, or something similar. Thanks for all of your stories, photos, and attempts at educating us!”

  It is a telling sign, as other locales deal with Emerald Ash Borer encroachments. The sign stirs up some memories of other signs of the times:  here are a few more from my archives. 

  The Value of Trees. Take a trip to Secrest Arboretum, not just for the trees, but also for interpretive signs there now, provided through exceptional support from the Akron Garden Club. This one details Why Trees Matter, including the $26,000+ annual benefit from the environmental benefits from the 250 oaks of Secrest alone (i-Tree analysis).


The Value of Trees sign from Secrest Arboretum


  The Value of Justice. This quote on this modern-day Cambridge, Massachusetts mural is not quite the same as the original from pre-Civil War abolitionist Theodore Parker: “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”, nor of Martin Luther King’s circa 1967 paraphrasing to: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice", but all three arc with hope.  


Cambridge Massachusetts mural for justice


  The Value of Keeping Up With The Times. While we are in Massachusetts, let’s segue to Walden Pond, and Henry David Thoreau. On this Halloween Day we can just hear him screaming in terror at this image! What new-isms will he hold to in 2116?


Thoreau statue with cell phone


  The Value of Perspective.  I salute and have generously supported our Ohio-born Wendy’s corporation over the years, but this well-intentioned sentiment, was a slogan that somehow struck me the wrong way. Again on this Halloween Day: Soylent Green, anyone?


Wendy's sign


  Back to the Value of Trees. The display below at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens literally Speaks for the Trees.


Tree sayings in Fort Worth


  The Value of Signs. There are many different types of signs: This image, from Joe Cochran at Secrest Arboretum, is deer to me.


Deer tracks


  The Value of Wildlife. A view from the High Line in New York City, introduced me to a new ninja-ism: The Turtle Conservancy!


The Turtle Conservancy


  The Value of Signs.  Cercis canadensis, is the unique Latin binomial for the wonderful understory tree known by the common name of Eastern redbud. The cultivar (cultivated variety) name of ‘J2’ is the horticultural denotation for the patented identical clones propagated asexually by Jackson Nursery of Tennessee. With this patent they control the propagation rights for this germplasm until the patent runs out 19 years from its establishment. They can control the name of Rising Sun™, though, for as long as they maintain the commercial trademark.  There’s a whole lotta namin’ goin’ on with that sign!


Rising Sun redbud sign


  The Value of Finishing This Alert.  Okay, it’s time. But the last few images are called to the point, whatever that may be. First, one of the most important career lessons of my life, from a Brooklyn street: Make Your Own Job Title (if only in your own mind).  Or as Erik Draper always says: “I make my own weather”.  Second: though as October closes we still have none of the hard frosts of Fall, they will come – as will winter – and signs may be harder to read. Next, a sign that the Apocalypse is truly upon Us, and finally a sign from Google channeling my belief that Terry Francona-Yoda will bring all the WORLD home to Cleveland this very  week!


Brooklyn street sign


Sign covered with snow


Wild child teaching


Terry Francona-Yoda


To close: I guarantee that this first assay into the Value of Signs will stir the competitive instincts of one Joe Boggs. Signify, oh Buggy One!