Tree climbing - I never really think "should I?, shouldn't I?" when it comes to climbing a tree. If something needs to be done to the tree or if the tree is offering some treat that is just that little bit out of reach, or if the tree just offers a challenge and looks good to climb - up I go! I was up one this morning actually, before breakfast. The apricots are ripening too quickly on the tree out the back of town. The tree used to belong to one of the Benmore Dam construction worker's families, back in the 1960s. Now it stands at the edge of a lucerne paddock at the side of what used to be one of the main streets of Otematata. This morning the tree was being buffeted by a rather savage sou'wester. A bunch of young merino rams, head to head in a gently rotating circle not far from the tree watched rather nervously as I described my own more deliberate circle beneath the tree, trying to spot the ripest clumps of apricots. Hauling myself up as high as I could, I parked my butt on a convenient branch and filled my frenetically flapping supermarket plastic bag with the fruit of the gods - these ones deserve the title. The tree has been neglected for over forty years, subject to the harsh environment and extremes of weather we experience in this area and yet year after year, it produces orbs of delight. Four jars of jam, pure joy, to be eaten with fresh scones and whipped cream at some future date, are cooling on the kitchen bench.
So - go ahead, keep climbing trees. You never know what you might find!
P.S. I also, among other pastimes, fly kites, blow bubbles, burn incense and ride a brute of a mountain bike - fast.
Kate Frost - aged 61
Boomers obviously like tree-climbing… another reader responds
I am a nurse and I also like to climb trees.
I always have and I think I always will.
Gotta do it while you can, good on you!
Helen aged 10 always