“Trees are the main players in the Empire of the Sun.” This is what friend Roelof Oldeman told me several months ago, driving at walking speed through the forests of the Veluwe. He continued: “We should consider them as such and treat them with grace, dignity and respect. Without them we will be lost.” What a wisdom.
As we know, many trees and forests are under immense pressure due to human expansion with related not that so good governance and management. We need to remind ourselves – also called ‘hope’, i.e. the idea of inner connection and involvement – that nature is bigger than us: the tree is dead, long live the tree!
In Deadvlei these proud acacia’s still stand. They are believed to have died 600–700 years ago, due to change in river flow, drifting sand dunes and medieval climate changes. They are silent reminders of the noble thoughts and considerations of my dear friend. This one I found in my notebook from our travels through Namibia in 2003 and repainted it.
Kruf, J.P. (2022) The tree is dead, long live the tree! [fine are print]. Breda: Private collection.
What a beauty it is, the Morus bassinus L.: the Northern gannet or Jan-van-Gent (NL) or Fou de Bassan (F) or Basstölpel (D) or Alcatraz atlántico (E). I like this diversity of names, showing how differently the bird is perceived in trait, behaviour, habitat or niche.
The scala of names given to one species – this is in fact throughout the complete domains of fauna, flora and fungi – underlines the cultural differences between folk and country. And that is good. It broadens the understanding of the essence of living beings. It is good to have Carl Linnaeus for the common understanding.
This bird dives with a speed up to 190 km/hr into the sea, to catch what it needs to live and prosper. What a focus. And the colours. Oh, those colours. Almost art. I found the drawing from my notebook on our way (with my girls) to Scotland in 2005. On the ferry we witnessed a rain of arrows falling from the sky. Quite a spectacular view.
Kruf, J.P. (2022) Jan-van-Gent [fine art print]. Breda: private collection.