Friday, April 24, 2009

"I love...thy woods and templed hills"

When I was growing up the streets of my hometown, like almost every Midwestern town and city, were lined with elms. Dutch elm disease ended that. Elms were beautiful trees for that purpose. The maples that replaced them have an entirely different shape and will not assume a comparable size for many years. Someone who plants a tree is thinking, not of himself, but of those yet to be born.

Instead of Earth Day, Mark Krikorian at NRO thinks that we should focus on what seems to me an inherently conservative environmental holiday,
...Arbor Day, the national observance of which comes on the last Friday in April.... It's American in origin, started in Nebraska in 1872 by Julius Sterling Morton, and can be combined with our history by planting cuttings and seedlings from historic trees — a red maple from Mount Vernon, a white oak from Lincoln's tomb, an oleander from Edison's Florida estate, etc. Our superior policies on the environment will get a hearing when people believe that we believe the second verse of "My County, 'Tis of Thee":
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.
The first Arbor Day was on April 10, 1872, in Nebraska. Nebraskans planted over a million trees that day.

"Each generation takes the earth as trustees."
J. Sterling Morton

'I Love Thy Rocks and Rills . . .' - Mark Krikorian - The Corner on National Review Online

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