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Oaks and haiku

Prof. Emeritus Jack Maze (UBC) recently sent me some photos of oaks, taken by nature photographer Dan Brooks during a trip through the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Jack also sent haikus which he wrote to accompany the photos. (Haikus are a short form of poetry based on a Japanese form, usually an observation of a fleeting moment involving nature, and consisting of three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables.) The photos are of oaks in a hybrid site, probably involving bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) and Gambel’s oak (Q. gambelii). Jack is an excellent evolutionary biologist and discovered and demonstrated the massive infusion of genes from Q. macrocarpa in the Gambel’s oak populations of SE Colorado, NE New Mexico, and the Black Hills of South Dakota. I named a beautiful Q. macrocarpa × gambellii hybrid tree in SE Colorado after him (Q. ×’Jack Maze’). Jack and Dan kindly agreed to share the photos and poems with the IOS. Here they are.

oak with a small trunk

sports a skirt of green lobed leaves

can’t trust barbed wire

stand of small oak trees

glossy, green leaves, fissured bark

share only with grass

oak trees test the air

with leaves not yet fully green

been bad memories

dense jumble of oaks

appear impenetrable

but only to pines

most oaks on flat ground

conifers on the hillsides

didn’t come as partners

 

Photos: © Dan Brooks - Haiku: © Jack Maze