Arboreal art

Mapping the Night Trees

by David Gessner

It’s been getting dark a little after 5 here.

Hadley (my eight year old daughter) and I spent a night last week down in the shack making a map of the trees that line the opposite shore of our tidal marsh.  Once the sun goes down they appear as black silhouettes across the horizon.  We’ve been naming them, too.  You likely won’t have much trouble finding the “Poodle Head” for instance.  Here’s our map so far:

David Gessner is the author of the new memoir about his years playing Ultimate Frisbee, Ultimate Glory: Frisbee, Obsession and My Wild Youth. (Riverhead June 2017.) He is also the author of nine other books, including the New York Times bestseller, All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West, Return of the Osprey, Sick of Nature, My Green Manifesto, and The Tarball hronicles. He has published essays in many magazines, including Outside Magazine and the New York Times Magazine, and has won the John Burroughs Award for Best Nature Essay, a Pushcart Prize, inclusion in Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment’s award for best book of creative writing in 2011-12. At UNCW Gessner founded the department’s award-winning literary journal, Ecotone. And in January of 2016 he served as the host of the National Geographic Explorer television show, Call of the Wild, which explored how our constant use of screens is damaging our brains and how nature can be restorative.