18.4.15

Traditional Dresses

Traditional Afghan dress.
Traditional Akrotiri dress.
Traditional Albanian dress.
Traditional Algerian dress.

7.3.15

Trees

Olive Tree


A 2,000 year old olive trees still alive in this garden, so these may be the very trees that Jesus walked through as He prayed that night.

The Garden of Olives is located to the east of the Kidron Valley, between the path up the mountain and the busy Jericho Road. Situated at the entrance of the property that constitutes the Sanctuary of Gethsemane, the Garden occupies an area of approximately 1,200 m2. A railing allows visitors to walk around the age-old olive trees, while at the same time protecting them from the large number of visitors.

Alongside the eight oldest trees, new olive trees have been planted to replace the cypress trees and various flowering plants that in the nineteenth century supplied the floral decorations for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The old olive trees, with their hollow and twisted trunks, are more than 3 meters in diameter. The most recent studies have confirmed their excellent state of health and have dated their aerial parts from the 12th century. But the most astonishing discovery to have emerged from the investigations is that the eight olive trees are “siblings”: they have identical DNA, indicating that they came from cuttings, i.e., branches that had been pruned and then grafted, belonging to the same “mother” tree. This finding supports the idea that a particular olive tree was specifically chosen for this purpose, perhaps because it was believed to have “witnessed” the night of Jesus' agony. The oldest trees in the grove have thus arrived intact from the Crusader period, having survived the destruction of the church and the years of abandon which ended in 1681 when the Franciscan Fathers officially took possession of the grove.

The evidence of the pilgrim Giorgi Cucci is of interest in this respect: in 1384 he described the olive trees in the grove as “extremely old”, “numerous and beautiful”.

Walking along the enclosure of the grove one can also see the olive tree planted by Paul VI on 4 January 1964 during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Each year the procession on Holy Thursday departs from the Garden of Olives, led by the Franciscan Custos: at nightfall all the faithful and pilgrims come together at Gethsemane to keep vigil in prayer during the Holy Hour before heading for Gallicantu, where Jesus spent the night in prison.

A number of volunteers come from all over the world to help the friars of the Custody care for the olive trees, especially at the time of harvesting and pruning.


Dragon's Blood Tree
 “Dragon’s Blood Tree” has a unique and bizarre appearance, it is overturned, densely-packed crown having the shape of an upside-down umbrella. Dragon’s blood trees are a unique and slow growing but potentially long-lived species that is very native to the Socotra archipelago off the horn of Africa. It is so popular due to the red sap that the trees produce. The prominent red resin that gives it its name is exuded from the bark after wounding. This evergreen plant is a substance which has been highly prized since ancient times, and has been the major commercial source of this resin, and many myths surround the rare trees. The “dragon’s blood” resin of this tree exudes naturally from fissures and wounds in the bark, and is frequently harvested by widening these fissures with a knife. The resin has had numerous different uses since ancient times, including to color wool, varnishes and plaster, to decorate houses and pottery, and in ritual magic. It is also used for many medicinal purposes, including as an antiseptic, antiviral, anti-diarrhetic, and for treating tumors, and in addition contains compounds with beneficial antioxidant properties.
Ankerwycke Yew Tree
The Ankerwycke Yew is an ancient yew tree close to the ruins of St Mary's Priory, the site of a Benedictine nunnery built in the 12th century. It is near Wraysbury in Berkshire, England. It is a male tree with a girth of 8 metres (26 ft) at 0.3 metres. The tree is at least 1,400 years old and could be much older, with some people citing it's 2,400.

On the opposite bank of the River Thames are the meadows of Runnymede and this tree is said to have been witness to the signing of Magna Carta[clarification needed]. It is also said to be the location where Henry VIII met Anne Boleyn in the 1530s.

Succulent Socotran Fig Tree The succulent Socotran Fig Tree (Dorstenia gigas) with a swollen trunk; this one looks like a human hanging upside down. The importance of the swollen trunk is that it keeps the trees supplied with water during droughts.
A rare Cucumber Tree (Dendrosicyos socotranum), cucumber are climbing plants or shrubs, but in Socotra its different, the tree grows up to four metres high. 

BaleteTree (Fig Tree)
Balete tree that is said to be 1,328 years old 
(according to the provincial government). It stands in the middle of the rice and coffee plantation of OISCA Farm in Lumabao, Canlaon City. 
It is said to be the oldest tree in Negros Oriental and perhaps also of the Philippines. At night, it appears to be illuminated because of the thousands of fireflies that take refuge in its crown.
Thus, the locals think that the tree is enchanted and inhabited by fairies that have special powers that they use to the maximum when provoked.
Maybe it is the reason why the locals have restrained themselves from chopping it down. Local children, lovers, and teens love to climb this majestic tree. It has also become a major tourist attraction in the city. This tree has long and sturdy roots,with large and spreading branches for a crown.

The Tule Tree

This tree is one of a number of old Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum) trees that grow in the town. This particular tree is found in the town’s center growing in both the town’s main plaza and the atrium of the church of Santa María de la Asunción.

The tree is one of the oldest and largest in the world and has the widest girth. It has an age of at least 2,000 years, with its existence chronicled by both the Aztecs and the Spanish that founded the city of Oaxaca. It has a height of forty meters, a volume of between 700 and 800m3, an estimated weight of 630 tons and a diameter of about forty meters. The trunk is so wide that thirty people with arms extended joining hands are needed to encircle it. The tree dwarfs the town’s main church and its taller than its spires, and it is still growing.

To the indigenous peoples of this area, the tree was sacred. According to Mixtec myth, people originated from cypress trees, which were considered sacred and a genus. This particular tree was the site of a ritual which included the sacrifice of a dove and was realized for the last time in 1834. According to Mixe myth, the origin of this particular tree is the walking stick of a god or a king by the name of Conday, who stuck his walking stick, supposedly weighting 62 kilos, into the ground which he rested. From that point on, the tree began to grow, and according to the king version of the story, the king died the same day the tree began to grow. The tree has gnarled branches and trunk, and various local legends relate to what appear to be animals and other shapes growing in the tree. Today, these forms have names such as “the elephant,” “the lion,” “the Three Kings,” “the deer”, “the pineapple,” “the fish, “the squirrel’s tail” and “Carlos Salinas’ears.” Local guides point out the shapes using pocket mirrors to reflect the sun.

This kind of cypress is known in Spanish as a sabino, in Nahuatl as an ahuehuete and in Zapotec as Yagaguichiciña, and it is Mexico’s national tree. This particular tree was photographed for the first time by Désiré Charney in 1856 and was described and measured by José Acosta in “Historia Natural y Moral de las Indias” in 1856. The tree has been nominated by SEMARNAP as the most notable tree in Oaxaca,[9] and is listed with the Lista Indicative del Patrimonio de Mexico (Indicative List of the Patrimony of Mexico).

 Light - Bearing Healing Tree
This tree is a special type of healing tree. Its gift was discovered by a lady who was attending a garage sale and could see energy in the front yard near this tree. She was so amazed by its bright energetic light and the fact she could actually see a giant field of 'energy' emanating from the tree. Through telepathy, the tree communicated to her it took the negative energy from the area around it and transmuted it through its trunk and roots back into Mother Earth for cleansing.
The owner of the tree did not know about the tree’s gift until this woman revealed to him he was cured of Hepatitis C by the healing energy of this tree. (No accident he bought a house with a tree that could heal people) The owner thought someone told him it could be a rare species from South Africa. It is about 30 years old. I love the odd shaped nodules and how they take on the energies of the beings in the tree! The tree told Diane, the friend of the owner, it wanted to be called LBT or Light-Bearing Tree!
It is one of five healing trees that exist in the United States.  They work on their own grid system to cleanse and heal. This tree is located in San Gabriel, California.
To get the full benefit of this tree just open your heart and allow the tree to take the negative energies that no longer serve you. Take a few deep breaths inward and with intent release these energies outward. You may feel a gentle pull of energy from this amazing tree. The elementals and the tree being support this cleansing in the tree. This cleansing will help you to regain your stamina and potential for use on your life path.

Adansonia Grandidieri (Baobab Tree) 
Adansonia grandidieri, sometimes known as Grandidier's baobab, is the biggest and most famous of Madagascar's six species of baobabs. This imposing and unusual tree is endemic to the island of Madagascar, where it is an endangered species threatened by the encroachment of agricultural land.

Grandidier's baobabs have massive cylindrical trunks, up to three meters across, covered with smooth, reddish-grey bark. They can reach 25 to 30 m (80-100 ft) in height. At certain times of the year the flat-topped crowns bear bluish-green palmate leaves, dark brown floral buds or spectacular flowers with white petals. The large, dry fruits of the baobab contain kidney-shaped seeds within an edible pulp.
A. grandidieri is named after the French botanist and explorer Alfred Grandidier (1836–1921).

Grandidier's baobab occurs in south-western Madagascar between Lac Ihotry (near Morombe) and Bereboka. Grandidier's baobab used to inhabit dry, deciduous forest, especially near seasonal rivers or lakes. However, today it is mainly found in open, agricultural land or degraded scrubland.

The long-lived Grandidier's baobab is in leaf from October to May, and flowers between May and August. The flowers, said to smell of sour watermelon, open just before or soon after dusk, and all the pollen is released during the first night. The tree is pollinated by nocturnal mammals, such as fork-marked lemurs and insects like the Hawk Moth. The lemurs move through the canopies, inserting their snouts into the white flowers and licking nectar from the petal bases, resulting in pollen being deposited in the lemurs' faces, whereas the moth is slightly more effective at pollination because it is able to fly from tree to tree with most of its body covered in pollen.

Grandidier's baobab bears ripe fruit in November and December. Unlike the baobabs of Africa and Australia, it appears that the seeds of the tasty fruit are not dispersed by animals. Lemurs are the only living animals on Madagascar that are capable of acting as seed dispersers, yet seed dispersal by lemurs has never been documented. In the past, however, this could have been very different. There are several species that have gone extinct since human colonization of the island (1,500 to 2,000 years ago) that could very likely have been dispersers of the seeds. This includes species of primates that were thought to be similar to baboons, and the heaviest bird that ever lived, the elephant bird, which had a powerful beak that could have opened large fruit. Today, water may be the means by which the seeds are dispersed.
Lack of water can sometimes be a problem for plants in Madagascar. It appears that the baobab overcomes this by storing water within the fibrous wood of the trunk, as the tree's diameter fluctuates with rainfall.


Angel Oak Tree The Angel Oak Tree is a Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) located in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island near Charleston, South Carolina. The Angel Oak Tree is estimated to be at least 400 years old[citation needed]. It stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet (1,600 m2). Its longest branch distance is 187 ft. in length. Angel Oak was the 210th tree to be registered with the Live Oak Society.

This historic tree is a tourist attraction for people visiting the South Carolina Area.
The tree stands on land that was part of Abraham Waight's 1717 land grant.
The oak derives its name from the estate of Justis and Martha Angel, and local folklore tells stories of ghosts of former slaves appearing as angels around the tree.
Despite the popular belief that the Angel Oak is the oldest tree east of the Mississippi River, there are many bald cypress trees throughout the south which are many hundreds of years older.
The Angel Oak was damaged severely during Hurricane Hugo in 1989 but has since recovered. The City of Charleston has owned the tree and surrounding park since 1991.
Development is beginning to encroach on the site of the Angel Oak. In 2012, plans to build a 500-unit apartment complex that would be 160 yards (150 m) from the Angel Oak were challenged in court by a group called Save the Angel Oak and the Coastal Conservation League; their concerns included the construction's effect on available groundwater and nutrients.


Japanese Maples

Japanese maples are varieties of Acer palmatum, with some belonging to A. japonicum and A. shirasawanum. The natural range of A. palmatum includes not only Japan but parts of Korea, China, and Russia. The species can grow to 20 or 30 feet tall, often in the understory of open woods between larger trees. But it has been cultivated in Japanese gardens for centuries. Gardeners have taken advantage of the plant's natural genetic variation to select hundreds of distinct cultivars. "The range of leaf shape is pretty phenomenal,"

Japanese maples are at their best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6 through 8; a few are hardy as far north as Zone 4b. They do especially well in the moderate conditions of the Pacific Northwest. For colder climates, some types will grow in containers that can be moved to shelter in winter. In hotter areas, trees need consistent water and afternoon shade to thrive.

Plant a Japanese maple in early spring or before midautumn, but not in summer. Planting in early fall gives the tree time to put down new roots so that in spring, when the sap begins to rise, the tree can put energy into developing topgrowth. Water deeply at least once a week until the ground freezes. Japanese maples require consistent moisture, but an established tree is not likely to need fertilizing.


The Redwood Tree
The world's superlative trees can be ranked by any factor. Records have been kept for trees with superlative height, trunk diameter or girth, canopy coverage, airspace volume, wood volume, estimated mass, and age.
The heights of the tallest trees in the world have been the subject of considerable dispute and much exaggeration. Modern verified measurements with laser rangefinders, or with tape drop measurements made by tree climbers (such as those carried out by canopy researchers), have shown that some older measuring methods and measurements are often unreliable, sometimes producing exaggerations of 5% to 15% or more above the real height. Historical claims of trees growing to 130 m (430 ft), and even 150 m (490 ft), are now largely disregarded as unreliable, and attributed to human error. Historical records of fallen trees measured prostrate on the ground are considered to be somewhat more reliable.