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Trees

20 photos.

Joachim, Rocky Mountain NP, Colorado, 2011 Joachim
Rocky Mountain NP, Colorado, 2011
"Joanitha in a tree, national arboretum", Nairobi, Kenya, 2003 Joanitha in a tree, national arboretum
Nairobi, Kenya, 2003
The arboretum in Kenya is a large park full of many varieties of trees, both indigenous and imported.
"upside down trees, Etosha National Park", Okaukuejo, Namibia, 1997 upside down trees, Etosha National Park
Okaukuejo, Namibia, 1997
San legends say that when God threw these trees in anger, they landed upside down, with the roots in the air. These trees have been damaged by elephants, and many are now protected by a fence.
"stub of a tree, Etosha National Park", Halali, Namibia, 1997 stub of a tree, Etosha National Park
Halali, Namibia, 1997
Etosha contains a variety of strangely shaped trees such as this.
"tree and Okaukuejo tower, Etosha National Park", Okaukuejo, Namibia, 1997 tree and Okaukuejo tower, Etosha National Park
Okaukuejo, Namibia, 1997
This type of tree (camelthorn? acacia?) is very common throughout the Namibian savanna.
tree and valley, Brandberg, Namibia, 1997 tree and valley
Brandberg, Namibia, 1997
This scene reminds me of the Biblical story of Moses and the Burning Bush. Brandberg means Fire Mountain; from a distance the mountain appears red as if it were on fire. The Brandberg is the tallest mountain in Namibia. The summit is less than 3000 metres, but it is a challenge to climb because of the heat and amount of drinking water you must carry.
sociable weaver nest, Uis Myn, Namibia, 1997 sociable weaver nest
Uis Myn, Namibia, 1997
These enormous nests can be seen in trees throughout Namibia. They can be inhabited by hundreds of little birds, and the nests can take over and destroy the whole tree.
"aloe and quiver tree, Kokerboomwoud", Keetmanshoop, Namibia, 1997 aloe and quiver tree, Kokerboomwoud
Keetmanshoop, Namibia, 1997
Aloes are very common, especially in the South. There are hundreds of varieties.
"quiver tree, Kokerboomwoud", Keetmanshoop, Namibia, 1997 quiver tree, Kokerboomwoud
Keetmanshoop, Namibia, 1997
The Quiver Tree is so named because San (so-called Bushmen) hunters hollow out the branches to make quivers for storing their arrows. The trees do not quiver much in the wind.
red tree, Elmina, Ghana, 1997 red tree
Elmina, Ghana, 1997
This tree has two 'arms' that look like they could grab you. I would definitely not walk by this tree at night, especially after listening to African folk tales about witches.
tree trunk, Man, Cote D'Ivoire, 1996 tree trunk
Man, Cote D'Ivoire, 1996
Varieties of these trees grow to enormous heights. The roots of this tree do not go very deep because the soil of tropical forests is relatively thin. Ribs in the trunk support the tree like the buttresses of a cathedral. The tropical forests in Cote d'Ivoire have mostly been cleared, and I saw truckloads of huge logs, but Gabon is one country that still has large reserves of tropical forest.
twisted tree, Man, Cote D'Ivoire, 1996 twisted tree
Man, Cote D'Ivoire, 1996
Many trees take on a monstrous, grotesque appearance, twisted by some unknown combination of wind, weather, animals, people and spirits.
child outside a tin house, Oniipa, Namibia, 1995 child outside a tin house
Oniipa, Namibia, 1995
Because of the recent population boom, deforestation has limited the amount of available wood (mostly from omusati/mopane trees) for fencing and housing. As a result, a more Western style of housing has been adopted: rectangular houses made of metal or concrete, with wire mesh for fencing. These houses are hotter and costlier, but they are more permanent, they save wood, and their modernity makes them a status symbol. A volunteer teacher I knew lived in a traditional compound in a hut with walls made of cement interspersed with hundreds of empty dumpies (beer bottles) to act as tiny windows of light. Another volunteer helped to stock a dumpie library with books. Tin buildings are very commonly seen on roadsides, often serving as bottle stores (bars).
sycamore fig tree, Ondangwa, Namibia, 1995 sycamore fig tree
Ondangwa, Namibia, 1995
The north has some very large trees that provide shade even in the dry season. In the rainy season, this tree is surrounded by water.
Makalani palm tree, Ohangwena, Namibia, 1995 Makalani palm tree
Ohangwena, Namibia, 1995
As you drive north towards Ondangwa, you are suddenly surprised by the appearance of these tall trees, which are an indicator of a relatively wet rainy season and of large underground water reserves. Ovambos use every part of the tree, which they call omulunga, e.g. the trunk for stools and cattle troughs, fronds for weaving baskets, eendunga (palm nut fruits) for food and oil, and sap for producing palm wine. Wood of other trees is used for housing, fencing, firewood, furniture, cups, bowls, buckets, fish traps, handles and weapons.
flamboyant tree, Morogoro, Tanzania, 1995 flamboyant tree
Morogoro, Tanzania, 1995
The red buds of Flamboyant trees are a common sight in southern Africa and add colour to the surroundings.
"tree roots, Changuu (Prison) Island", Zanzibar, Tanzania, 1995 tree roots, Changuu (Prison) Island
Zanzibar, Tanzania, 1995
For me, this picture symbolizes the idea that African roots run deep. Once you live there, you cannot forget your memories and responsibility to your friends and family there. You know that one day you will return. (Changuu Island used to be a prison; now it is inhabited by snorkelling tourists and giant tortoises.)
spiraling palm tree, Zanzibar, Tanzania, 1995 spiraling palm tree
Zanzibar, Tanzania, 1995
Compared with those in Namibia, the trunks of palm trees on Zanzibar island are very tall and thin. The wind may have caused this tree to grow in a corkscrew shape.
baobab tree, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, 1995 baobab tree
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, 1995
Baobab trees are common throughout Africa and can be found in the northern part of Namibia, where they are known as omukwa. They can live for hundreds of years. This one is very old and has a trunk of about 10 metres across. The San use many parts of these trees.
view of Auas Mountains from Harmony Centre, Windhoek, Namibia, 1994 view of Auas Mountains from Harmony Centre
Windhoek, Namibia, 1994
This photo was taken from my Peace Corps training site. It represents my first view of Namibia: hot, dry and dusty, short shrub-like trees with thorns and few leaves, savannah and mountains of the central region, and beautiful rainbows and sunsets. When we volunteers arrived in November it was said that we brought the rain. Rain is considered good weather. Windhoek, the capital city, is in a semi-desert region, and water shortages become a major problem during droughts. Water must be piped from dams and rivers as far as several hundred kilometres away to meet the growing water needs of the city.