I planted trees with Ojai Trees the weekend before Thanksgiving. My favorite volunteer activity. Over the years, I have helped to plant many trees all over the Ojai Valley. When I drive through town, I see trees I planted years ago. They are heathy and lovely, giving shade, oxygen and visual interest. Those trees will give joy not only to me, but to generations to come.
Trees sometimes thrive and other times they fail – just like people. The recent drought years and ongoing climate change make it difficult for some species to thrive in our valley. Too hot and too dry for nonnatives. But we still have many trees that are doing great.
Right now many trees show amazing fall colors. Season changes are subtle in our valley but trees let us know that fall has arrived. Bright red Chinese Pistache and Sweet Gum trees, golden Sycamores and Mulberry trees. The air is crisp and clear. The light early in the mornings and late afternoons is beautiful. I love living in Ojai, close to the mountains and the ocean. I am hoping for rain soon. Then the dust disappears, the trees get a respite and the air smells intensely. Trees heal my spirit and give me peace and hope. Right what I need in these difficult times of Covid-19. I am looking forward to our spring tree planting event and seeing more trees gracing our valley.
Contributed by Ojai Trees Board Member Gabriele Lashly who is pictured the second from right with her planting team.