Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dancing with (and on) Trees

Along with hockey and maple syrup, the culture of forestry, in all its aspects, is classic Canada. We dance with trees, cut trees, hug trees in Canada. If there's a tree, we can do something with it. One of our visitors from England, overwhelmed by the vast number of trees, kept repeating throughout his entire time here - "All those trees!" His comment pretty much sums it up.

The first video is a National Film Board of Canada short, an animation with folk singers Kate and Anna McGarrigle singing Wade Hemsworth's wonderful song "The Log Driver's Waltz." Sadly, Kate (Rufus Wainwright's mother) McGarrigle passed away this year, but the McGarrigle sisters' music will live on, itself classic Canada.




The second video - "The Tree Planter's Waltz" -  is produced by Baba Brinkman and captures another part of the woods culture precisely - especially where I live. I can't remember how I came across Brinkman, except that he wrote the rap Canterbury Tales, which I have and which students find appealing after struggling with Chaucer in the original.

It's well worth watching the whole video. It includes some awesome rap, spectacular scenery, a real tree planter's site, and probably the only mohawk mullet you'll ever see, as the video edits together clips from the late seventies with the main 2009 tree planters doing their waltz.


The Tree Planter's Waltz from http://vimeo.com/user2337309 on Vimeo.


Believe me, this tune will stick in your brain for awhile. Enjoy!

18 comments:

Hels said...

"pleases girls completely" hehe,, if only :)

I have travelled across Europe and Canada many times, and am mesmerised by both the water and the green trees. Australia is a bone dry continent and although the desert has its own appeal (I suppose), I would give my eye teeth to live in a state covered with water and green trees.

ChrisJ said...

Hels,

We take it for granted. It is very beautiful and bountiful.

corfubob said...

Just loved the songs, the dance, and especially the trees. 'Course, there not deciduous or anything but still rival a lot of folks for company. And cats like trees. Lovely post Chris, must visit more often.

ChrisJ said...

Bob,

Trees are lovely company - and the coniferous ones are friendly all year round! :)

Trulyfool said...

Moving to Washington State from California, one passes through what's been called The Pine Curtain, 'all that green' above the Siskiyou Mountains.

Mother, a poolside Californian, when arriving in Western Washington, looked around (anywhere) and said, "Where did they get all these trees?"

ChrisJ said...

Trulyfool,

I guess if a person isn't used to it, the trees can be a bit overwhelming. We forget how accustomed we become to landscape.

angelshair said...

Nice videos! You have a lot of chance, Nature has been really generous in Canada!

ChrisJ said...

Mariam,

Yes, we really are blessed.

cooper said...

I enjoyed the tree planters waltz ... thanks. I'd never have heard it otherwise.

One of The Guys said...

Sweet video, and yes nice mullet. I wonder who planted that?!

I'm always amazed when I see tree farms. Planning ahead twenty years just to get it going. Or I could say, planting ahead.

It's cool how they just planted around all the dead wood, etc. I didn't realize how they actually did it. I thought they would clear everything first.

ChrisJ said...

cooper,

I wouldn't have either, except for the rap Chaucer - sometimes life's so weird.

ChrisJ said...

OTG,

The video is the real deal on tree planting. And the planters are all so lean and muscular, somehow at the same time - a lot of young people just can't do it.

askcherlock said...

I love the tree planting video and song. Isn't it great to see the earth re-planted by those with such positive spirits? Truly enjoyable....

ChrisJ said...

Cher,

They are very high-spirited, especially when they come into town for a break during the spring. lol

Owen Gray said...

My wife and I love all those jack pines along the northern shore of Lake Superior. Some people say there are too many trees and not enough people.

As far as we're concerned, we hope it stays that way.

ChrisJ said...

Owen,

I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

Chris - the log driver's waltz was delightful. I have never seen this video before and I have to play it again and again. The tune reminds me of singing pubs in Ireland! Good post.

ChrisJ said...

Anon,

The tune is quite seductive - I warned everybody!!LOL