My attempt to document 40 sunrises in Eastern Cincinnati. Spring 2011.

Sunrise 33: Ault Park (Another Rainy Day; Dawn Redwood Tree)

I have a morning appointment today so the trip up to the park was quick and pleasant. The air was again very wet and the sky was overcast. But it felt like this morning was a bit warmer than yesterday. It may be that I’m used to the cold already, or it may have been the humidity – but either way the morning was rather pleasant. The morning air was thick with humidity. It was the kind of humidity that is thick and sticky, where the acoustic sounds of the environment seem muffled and it feels more private as you move about through the park. It was almost foggy, but not quite. Armleder Park was mostly visible, giving me the impression that the haze was more evenly distributed rather than patches of thick fog.

I hung out at the overlook for a few minutes but once again got the itch to ride around through the park. The sky was pretty dark again and the trees were still dripping with rain or dew. I rode around to the back of the lawn where I checked out some of the tree displays and informational plaques. There is a specific species of conifer that has always drawn my attention but I haven’t taken the time to look at closely. I wondered if it is the same species of conifer that towers over the playground area and drops small little pine cones, but I can’t tell simply by the shape of this particular (smaller) tree. If you’re on the front page, click to continue –>

The Ault Park caretakers have manicured the tree in such a way that it maintains a bushy figure without becoming too large. After a closer inspection of the plaque hanging by the trunk of the tree, I found out that it is a Dawn Redwood tree, or metasequoia. Apparently it is one of the three redwood species, and it is native to the SichuanHubei region of China. I had no idea that we had “redwoods” around here, even if they’re not as giant as the famous Sequoia sempervirens. The dawn redwood is actually considered to be “critically endangered”, something that is new to me. It stands beautiful at Ault Park and apparently doesn’t mind the cold winters. I imagine it is quite content in this humid wet spring season.

Behind me sits the japanese cherry blossom orchard that in a few decades will be quite the sight to see. As A.N. Whitehead said (although now I’m not so sure), “The great man is he who plants shade trees he will never sit under.” The best thing you can do is plant a tree 30 years ago. The second best thing is to plant one now. (This analogy, of course, reaches across all facets of life).

On the way out of the park, once again, I notice how lush and green the forest looks after all the rain. Very green indeed.

8 responses

  1. OTR

    Really love this blog.

    You might be interested in “Thoughts and experiences in and out of school” By John Bradley Peaslee, link:

    There’s a long history of arborism (if that’s a word). Cincinnati popularized Arbor Day and invented its modern-day celebrations. Cincy also was home to the first American Forestry Congress.

    That book linked above is a must read.

    May 18, 2011 at 8:09 am

  2. When I ride along a road nearby, I am grateful for the trees, planted by a now long gone farmer. In turn, I’ve also planted trees, in the full knowing I’ll never sit under them. But it’s the least I can do…..and hope that they get a sufficient head start to survive unaided once I leave.
    We need trees….much more than they need us:-)

    May 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    • Michael Pollan’s book Second Nature has a great chapter on trees. He talks about how we can learn so much about a society in history (and modern) by how they take care of their trees. He talks about how the farmer who took care of the land he now lives in, over the past century, would have planted trees for harvest and utility. How would he view Michael’s young maple he just planted in the front yard? But he also realized that this ideal “huge frontyard tree” picture he built in his mind would not be something he could even see in his own lifetime.
      He also tries to look into the future at some possible societal scenarios.

      May 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

  3. Frankie

    D and I heard about this place a month ago and havent ha a nice day to go explore.
    Not to far from us.

    May 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    • Thats awesome. Arboretums are so neat. I bet it will be great once these storms pass over 🙂

      May 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

  4. Pingback: Sunrise 34: Ault Park (World War I Memorial, Lightning-Struck Tree, Unknown Conifer) « Ault Park Sunrise

  5. Andrew

    There’s some great history with the Dawn Redwood. The biggest one in Ohio is at SpringGrove Cemetery.
    And there is a stand in the middle of the woods at Row Arboretum in Indian hill.

    February 10, 2015 at 12:43 am

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