May 16th Plant A Lemon Tree Day

May 16th Plant A Lemon Tree Day

Lemon trees provide us with lemons, obviously, but also a wonderful fragrance and they give off oxygen. That’s a win, win, win! There is a tradition a lot of people do when buying a new home. They plant a tree and watch it grow as they live in the house. If that sounds like a good idea to you, try planting a lemon tree. Once it starts producing fruit you can open a lemonade stand to help pay off that mortgage too!

How to celebrate – Plant a lemon tree. See how many different types of lemon you can name. Learn all the different things you can create from a lemon.

April 24th National Arbor Day

Celebrate the last Friday of April, today is the day we honor trees. Actually, we honor the planting of trees. It is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation and began in 1872. The Latin word for tree is Arbor. I love trees. I can’t tell one from the other nor can I tell you their names. There are the obvious ones like the Apple tree or an Oak but for the most part, I just appreciate them for being a tree. It’s roots, no pun intended, began when American’s started moving west and came to the vast sections of treeless land. As they settled the people planted trees for numerous reasons, food, shade, oxygen, shelter are just among a few.

How to celebrate – Plant a tree today. Visit a forest. Help save the rain forest.

March 30th National Take A Walk In A Park Day

You could take a walk anywhere today but why not make it a park!?! national park, state park, county park… it really doesn’t matter. The weather is hopefully nicer now where you live, the full color of nature is beginning to return and animals are once again out and about. It is the perfect time to get out among it and become a part of nature. It’s peaceful, calming and can bring us to an understanding of what is really important in life and what’s not. (This will vary with each and every person you talk to) Look at a tree and remember that no tow leaves are perfectly alike. There are thousands, maybe even millions of leaves in a park… do the represent the people on the earth? Think about it while you go for a walk in a park.

How to celebrate – Find a park close to you. Go for a walk. Take friends with you so you can share what you see, hear and feel.

September 22nd Autumnal Equinox Day

When you woke up this morning did you realize it was the first day of fall? Well it is! This is the season where everything seems to start happening, holidays, celebrations and a world filled with colors.

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It is also the only day of  the year where daylight and night share a 12 hours of the day on the equator.  So plan your day accordingly, if you live on the equator, elsewhere you probably won’t notice the change as much.

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But you should notice all the colors in nature. Plants begin to go through their yearly changes bringing out an array of colors seen no other time of the year. We only see it subtly here in the south, but in the north, the changes the trees go through are stunning. The funny thing about beauty also warns of the things to come, mainly the winter. (Though the winter has it’s own kind of beauty as well.)

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By legend, this is also Mabon’s birthday, the son of Mordon, the Roman Goddess of Earth. Most of us are not to familiar with Mabon or Mordon but we should celebrate their birthday as well, just because it’s nice to do that. They weren’t real but that doesn’t matter.

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The fact is, today is the first day of fall, the beginning of all the most celebrated holidays here in America and just a good day to be alive. Enjoy it.

How to celebrate – Take a moment to enjoy nature. Make plans for the coming holidays. Celebrate life.

May 16th Love A Tree Day

Sounds a lot like hug a tree but you don’t have to love someone to hug them so this should be a little more intense. Actually, we owe a lot to trees, like oxygen, food, holding the earth together, shade, and really cool things to climb just to name a few.

It is believed that trees have been on earth for more than 370 million years including the, Wattieza, which has been found in fossils dating back to the Triassic Period. It is estimated that there are more than three trillion trees on the earth, of which we cut down nearly 15 billion a year while replacing them with only 5 billion variations.

Of course the highest number, and widest variety, come in the Rain Forests across the face of the earth. Trees come in many shapes, forms and colors, just like the people who use them, abuse them, and love them.

Trees are responsible for many of the foods we eat today. Apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, citrus (oranges, lemons, limes), coconut, dates, figs, olives, palm oil, cocoa, coffee, bananas, Brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, nut oils, curry, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and sassafras, plus probably a lot more stuff I have missed.

Trees are beautiful, functional, and useful, and should be treated as one of our most precious commodities. Whether they are huge like the Redwoods in California or the miniature bonsai trees that can be hundreds of years old, perhaps they do need a hug now and then. Some have been here since long before we ever came into the picture and should be treasured.

Joyce Kilmer put it best in her poem:

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast.

A tree that looks at God all day

And lifts her leafy arms to pray

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robin in her hair

Upon whose bosom snow has lain

Who intimately lives with rain

Poems are made by fools like me

But only God can make a tree.

So Love a Tree today and DO NOT do what young George Washington did (or maybe didn’t :)):

How to celebrate: Go on, go hug a tree!  Plant a tree so you can watch it grow. Take a virtual field trip to the Redwood Forest. Or, just take a walk in the woods and enjoy what has been provided for you.

April 22nd Earth Day

The world was in a rather negative place in the late sixties, anti-war, political scandals and social issues were just a few of the problems not just America, but every country, faced.  Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin, realized that if he could harness even just a portion of that negative energy and turn it into something positive he would be doing the world a great service.  He found his cause when there was a huge oil spill on the California coast in late 1969.

He formed a union with another Senator, McClosky, and sought out the the help of Professor Hayes from Harvard and together they came up with the idea of Earth Day.  Hayes formed a unit of 85 people and went to work to establish Earth Day, picking April 22nd because it fell between Spring Break and Final Exams.  They all knew youth was going to be important to their cause.  The first Earth Day came on April 22nd, 1970 and to everyone’s surprise found a following of over 20 million people that showed up to support the efforts.

By 1990 Earth Day had grown to 200 million people in 141 countries around the world.  The Environmental Protection Agency came about due directly to the efforts of the supporters of Earth Day which led to the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endanger Species Acts passed by Congress.  Today there are over 5,000 environmental groups supported by 184 countries.

Sadly, like everything else humans get involved with we have distorted the original premise.  We have made it political with groups from both sides issuing out lies to try and prove their points and gather in as many votes as they can.  There are those who have taken it too far on both sides of the issues and we may never get back to what it was originally all about.  Its first true message was, lets all do what we can to help save our world and make it the best it can be.  All the exaggeration, from all fronts, do is confuse that so simple of an idea.  It was meant to bring us all together, not tear us apart.

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How to celebrate:  First, and the easiest, is just go outside and look at all the natural beauty of the earth.  You could join a group trying to save the environment but please check it out and make sure you can support all they are trying to do.  Maybe even just plant a tree, or a bush, or even a single flower to make your part of this earth a little better than it was the day before.