Monday, July 09, 2007

Woods in Berkeley

Although I spend most of my Berkeley days in the libraries, with a few cafe breaks, the trees on campus are actually one of my favorite things there. (One? well, as a collective.) Although I'm most familiar with just the one short stretch of trees that comes between Berkeley BART and the main libraries, which is where these photos were all taken, my occasional visits to other libraries provide a chance to enjoy whole new sets of woods with somewhat different species. I think most of what's shown here are oak, eucalyptus, and maybe a few conifers, but elsewhere there are lots of redwoods and pines.

I've come to the conclusion that I am actually quite fond of eucalyptus trees, even though I tend to associate them with Southern California. (Let's say they're one of the positive things about Southern California. One of the few positive things, although I admit that the region has improved vastly since the days when I was forced to live there.) They originated in Australia, and the legend I heard in my youth was that someone brought over the wrong kind and the groves meant for timber could only be windbreaks and ornaments. Whether this is true is another matter. I wouldn't say I find the eucalyptus trees of California so much ornamental (one mainly sees their trunks and some hanging leaves) as comforting in the vast, impersonal sense typical of large trees (which in the wrong circumstances would be alarming more than comforting). In warm weather, and even in the not-so-warm weather typical of Berkeley, they exude a pleasing fragrance which, because it is warm, has little in common with the cool sensation of the eucalyptus oil in household products, any more than the scent of fresh pine sap in warm weather quite resembles pine-scented items.



Blogger Julia said...

Beautiful pictures! These are from the campus or nearby? (I like the idea of forest paths within university grounds).

July 17, 2007 12:30 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

They're on campus.

July 19, 2007 5:47 PM  

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