I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree...

This is the first stanza of a poem by (Alfred) Joyce Kilmer, an American poet. He wrote it in 1913, just 5 years before he was killed in action in France in the First World War, aged 31.

Surely trees are one of the wonders of the natural world. They come in so many variations - small, tall, wide, thin, hardwood, softwood, with green leaves, with red leaves, even without leaves. They can grow almost anywhere, from the most dense forest to the barren wilderness of a mountainside. They have provided beautiful building materials for as long as man has been building, fuel for heating, shelter from the wind and rain, homes and food for birds, wildlife and insects. Their trunks and branches can be carved into wonderful artwork or fashioned into tools. They can grow for generations and enable us to look back in time at the climatic conditions through the ages. 

This tree is on Beverley Westwood. The majestic Beverley Minster, constructed using lots of wood and completed in 1425, can be seen in the distance. But on this day it wasn't the Minster that grabbed my attention, magnificent as it is. It was the trees. And looking at this tree, as the sun shone through the clouds and lit the leaves and the surrounding buttercups, it brought a smile to my face and, just for a while, the cares of the day melted away.