The Maple’s Face
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“Farmhouse in Upper Austria”, Gustav Klimt, 1911–1912. Source: Wikimedia Commons (public domain)
Nature, World + People

The Maple’s Face

The Trees of Childhood
Michał Książek
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time 5 minutes

The maple survived in the midst of the world. It was more human than many people. Along with the other trees, it provided shelter. This is a landscape from my childhood.

Of all the trees I knew back then, the maple seemed the most human. It had fingers, hands and a nose. Actually, it had many noses making up an imaginary schnozzle – an idea that belonged to some transcendental tree face. We were closer than ever, biologically speaking, on the days when I would stop on my way home from school and pick up those green noses. I’d stick them on the tip of my own nose with a strange sense of satisfaction at being at one with a maple tree.

Where was the maple’s face? I had no idea, but I was sure it was there somewhere, which is why I examined the great plant so closely. I even went right out into the field to observe it from all angles. I stared

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World + People, Nature

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What do the seasons sound like to a naturalist’s ears? Each one sounds different, and spring – a time of avian and batrachian cacophony – has got the nicest sound of all. Winter and summer are not completely devoid of pleasant tones, but it’s in May that true ecstasy can be found.

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