The Africa Tree

In the center of a cornfield near my house, all by its lonesome, stands the Africa Tree.

I don’t actually live in Africa. It’s just that seeing one majestic tree all alone in a big space reminds me of all those images of Africa. The beginning and ending of Nature on PBS. The Lion King. Countless other exotic scenes from movies and television.


Seeing it makes me wonder. How did it get there? How did it survive? Does it get lonely?

I discovered the Africa Tree on one of my after-dinner walks. About three minutes from my front door, an intersection divides a large corn field. So I walked up to the traffic lights and noticed the tree, just as the sun was setting behind it. Behold!


The tree, as you see, has a curious, asymmetrical look. This is because roughly half of it was sheared away, like a chef’s knife slicing a stalk of broccoli. What did it? Lightning? Wind? Who knows. Bottom line, some kind of trauma has befallen this tree.

A Day in the Life of a Tree – Beach Boys

What’s left has a nice shape and sits in a nice location. Whenever I walk past, I make sure to have my camera ready. Not on rainy days. Not on sunny, blue sky days. Those don’t work. There needs to be some sun, with interesting clouds around, for a good shot.

I lived in Tempe, Arizona for a spell, and the psychedelic sunsets there were world-class. But the sunsets that blaze behind the Africa Tree are almost as good.


So I shot a whole series of these sunsets, on many different walks. Some photos I sent to my friends. Some I kept for my collection. One made it to my phone’s display screen. It just made me feel good to see the Africa Tree.

Once, I saw something unusual – a large hawk sitting on a low branch of the tree. It squawked at me in a low, sandpapery voice, as if to say, ‘I see you, buddy’. I tried to get close to it without scaring it off, and here is the result.


Since then, I’ve not seen a single bird roost in its branches. That’s why I think it’s lonely. No birds, no animals, just Farmer Brown, twice a year – when he plants the corn, and when he harvests it. I imagine the tractor has to give the Africa Tree a wide berth. Maybe the farmer appreciates it too.

World of Pain – Cream

I hope the Africa Tree stays around for many more years. I’ll be keeping tabs. Wherever I happen to live, I will always drive by the cornfields to see how its doing. If it’s not there, I’ll be sad.

Hang in there, tree.




About meremention

Resident of the Granite State, I am a freelance writer who also toils as a research analyst.
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2 Responses to The Africa Tree

  1. Undersquid says:

    I’ve been trying to get to the end of your post but it’s impossible to stop thinking about the fact that there is a CORN FIELD about three minutes away from your house. I’ve always been slightly afraid of corn fields. Not sure if it’s corn fields I fear as much as scarecrows in them that invariably come to life… or maybe it just seems that terrible things can hide in them and we only see them once we turn a corn field corner that hides us away from the world.

    But apart from my mind’s odd turns, this is a very lovely tree. And I had no idea that the Beach Boys had such nice material in their discography! I hope the tree stands there for many years too, but I’m not sure it’s lonely. I’m going to imagine time passes differently for it, ent-like, slowly. So when it sees you, it thinks it sees you every five of its minutes. And it’s probably better that people leave it alone. Not that many people know how to treat trees properly.

    As always, great post, and now with 100% more great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • meremention says:

      Thanks so much Undersquid. 🙂 It’s an odd thing – we have crows here, but I’ve only ever seen pigeons in the cornfield and only after the corn’s been cut. They like the remnants. The fields don’t bother me, but you’d never see me enter a corn maze. Nope.

      I’m glad you like the tune. Years ago I used to play Tree/’Til I Die/Surf’s Up late at night; the songs just flow into each other, and I still listen now and then for old time’s sake. Great for drifting off. Yes, time passes slowly for Ents and Ent like creatures. Good point! <<<–

      Liked by 1 person

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