Sunday 9 March 2014


     One of my most securely cemented childhood memories, concerns grapevines in the woods.  A couple of the older neighborhood boys, had cut a grapevine that was attached to a big tree which grew on the slope of a ravine in the woods.  This enabled us to grab the dangling grapevine, walk with it up the slope, turn and run down hill, still grasping the vine, until we were airborne, and suddenly, we were transformed into Tarzan, as we swung out over the gully below.  
     We soon learned that we could modify our adventure by, upon reaching the apex of our swing, encircling an adolescent tree which grew there with our legs.  Then, instead of swinging back on the grapevine, we let go of the vine, grabbing the tree with our hands which we then slid down.
     That was a perfectly placed grapevine, and throughout my life, whenever I walked through one of these Southern Indiana forests, I searched for another such situated grapevine, but never found one that offered such a wonderful swing.  There were always plenty of grapevines on offer, dangling down from the big oaks and maples.
     On trips into the tropical jungles of Costa Rica and Guatemala, it was the multitude of vines, growing up the trees that reinforced the fact, that we were in a jungle, and after such trips, upon visiting Southern Indiana, I was surprised at just how "semi-tropical" the forests seemed, when I noticed just how many grapevines there were.
     I took the photo  of a young tree, already being burdened by two big grapevines, behind my sister's house.

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