Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:03 pm
by Rihiggins
I'm Richard Higgins of Concord, Massachusetts, reporting for duty as a tree hunter and observer/admirer of others who do the same, especially any who walk, or attempt to walk, in the footsteps of the Bigfoot of big trees, Bob Leverett.

I have credible record as a lover of trees, which I will adduce later, but, in short, I have trees on my mind very often. I write about them. I photograph them. i research them. I shamefully flog my new book about them. They fill up my filing cabinets, hang from my walls, stare at me from the computer. I mention all this because I was nevertheless stopped in my tracks by Bob's simple line, somewhere on this website, "We are tree hunters." This struck me (and attests to Bob's skill as a writer, skill in writing being something that goes up as the number of words used goes down). It means to DO something concerning trees, not just cogitate about them. It means being in the woods or some place where trees grow (which really sends the number of words used down to zero) and to honor trees by noticing, investigating, exploring, appreciating and, yes, Bob, I was going to come to it, measuring them.

This is a noble enterprise. It certainly makes me want to go out there find an actual big tree, and darn if i don't already have a few leads.

That record of mine. Well, I'm not sure how credible it is but I have about 1800 of my own photographs of trees in my computer, a hobby that gives me profound joy, some 70 of which are included in my new book, "Thoreau and the Language of Trees," to be published April 4, 2017 by the University of California Press. The book is about Thoreau's deep connections to trees and how he responded to them as a naturalist, writer and poet, philosopher and social thinker, spiritual supplicant and, most important, as an individual human being who had a deep love and emotional attachment to trees.

The trees turned me into a photographer, lecturer and author, not an insubstantial transformation, but, as you know, they have far grander powers and capacities. I am pleased to track those powers with you.