In the Treetops

Do you remember the tree I mentioned in this post here?  Well, those guys have improved on their climbing skills since then, and have reached the treetops!

The branches aren’t as thick up here!

They weren’t the only ones, however.  Upon reaching those lofty heights, they discovered that something else — something creepy — had made it there before them.

A not-so-friendly-looking couple of caterpillars were up there, and they didn’t seem too happy to be disturbed. Daniel and Gloria snapped a couple of dead twigs from the tree’s less-healthy branches, and carefully shoved the caterpillars off the tree. The little creatures had a strong grip, though, and didn’t yield easily. Back on the ground, Daniel and Gloria inspected them more closely. To their surprise, the white and gray, camouflaged topsides were not all there was to the caterpillars; they both sported brightly colored, striped undersides!

They’re a very pretty pinkish-purple underneath.

A couple days later, after getting over the initial “danger in the tree” paranoia, John, Daniel, and Gloria ventured up the tree again.  I learned why shortly later: they had bought another new rope, and had been busy improving their safest spot in the tree, Comfy Cradle.  It was so safe, they insisted, I could climb up there effortlessly, fall asleep once I was up, and still wake up perfectly fine.  Their argument was very convincing, so I decided to see if I could get up there. Apparently I could!

Now don’t be too impressed by my decision to climb the tree again, the boys offered several other arguments and I was quite the scaredy-cat all throughout the climb.  It turned out to be so easy, however, that I plan on doing it again, this time without nearly and hour of  constant urging.  They even tied special knots in the rope at just the right spots for them to act as handles!  Yes, they are pretty serious tree-climbers.

A Tree in our Backyard

Of the four largest trees in our backyard, one oak is particularly huge and well-formed. We’ve had a lot of fun in this tree, and John, Daniel, and Gloria have all become expert tree climbers because of the practice it affords. John and Daniel in particular have some great tree-climbing accomplishments. With the help of a rope and ladder, they have managed to reach heights of over 30 feet! Even those branches are pretty thick, though, so they have been allowed to keep climbing on the condition that they be careful and use the ropes.

About 20ft into the tree.

About 20ft up the tree.

With John’s helpful counsel, even I, Julianne, managed to climb up the tree. I barely got 10 feet up before coming down, though. I’m nowhere near as talented at climbing trees. I leave that to my gifted brothers! (And, of course, Gloria.)

John helping me climb!

John helping me climb!

Just yesterday John climbed up the tree. After crawling along a fairly straight branch, he managed to fasten a thick coil of rope around it. Now we have a tree swing!

Doesn’t it look like fun?