Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Juniper: The Best Tree

Do you have a favorite tree?  I do, it's a Juniper Tree.  Ugh.  You're right, that opening question really was disingenuous.  I was just feigning interest in your opinion for the sake of segueing into my own.  That was pretty crappy of me.  Oh well, nothing I can do about it now except talk about the greatest trees in the land.

That's a bold statement, I know.  Redwoods are an obvious answer for the greatest trees in the land, as they are large enough for cars to be driven through them (provided a large enough hole has been cut in the trunk, it's not like they have the ability to phase matter through themselves, though that ability would definitely steal my vote from the Juniper).  Other possible answers include Ash (baseball and America, right?), Birch (birch beer and America, right?), Maple (syrup and Northern North America, right?), and Poplar (solely on the name pun).  But the Juniper really does it for me, and I'm willing to defend my opinion.  Also, that first paragraph makes it sound like I'm regretful for not waiting on your opinion.  I'm not.  I was feigning regret as hard as I was feigning interest.  Sorry, it's my blog.  Go get your own blog if you want to shove your opinion down someone's throat.

What are those Junipers even growing out of?  Rocks?  C'mon, that's crazy.
Alright, defense time.  Here's what the Juniper has going for it:
  1. Toughness/Curmudgeonliness/Emotional Unavailability - The Juniper does not need your love.  The Juniper does not need anything.  It is you that needs the Juniper.  Growing in some of the harshest climates, from the sun scorched deserts of the lower 48 to the permafrost tundra of the arctic circle, the Juniper is one tough tree.  And do you ever once hear it complain?  No way.  The Juniper is a hard ass capable of living wherever it damn well pleases, which ideally, is far from humanity.  Not just in locations that no one currently lives in, but places no one wants to live in.  On the side of sheer drops, in the middle of barren wastelands, anywhere people say, "eh, that's not for me."  And this distance-based inaccessibility is just the physical manifestation of its emotional unavailability.  It doesn't love you, making you love it so much more.  Junipers know how to play the game.

  2. Masters of Self Defense - The Juniper is the only tree I know of that gets more dangerous in death.  While alive, its sharp needles will keep most people from getting too close, or at least learning a lesson that won't soon be repeated if they do.  But in death, it's twisting trunk desiccates and fractures into sharp, outward pointing daggers warding off any potential grave robbers.  Additionally, these wooden knifes have an increased density due to their dehydration, meaning you're going to break before they do.  What other tree boasts this ability?  Most of them just fall down and die.  Junipers are relentless, even in death.

  3. Natural Sex Appeal -If there were an arboreal edition of Vogue, Junipers would be on the cover every other month.  First off, it's impossible to hike past a Juniper without checking out those curves.  Just look at how much that trunk swings to the left and then to the right.  Damn!  Next, look at the style.  The juxtaposition of hard, dull bark against bright green needles and soft, round berries.  So complicated!  Finally, no need to call the stylist, because the Juniper has style down pat.  Look at that rock it calls home.  If I'm not mistaken, that's Late Triassic Navajo with a splash of early-century Crypto.  Somebody's ready for the red carpet!

  4. Inviting Aroma - Forget burning dried sage bundles, Juniper smells immeasurably better.  Well, it's probably measurable, but only on a personal basis.  Ok, in my subjective measurement, I'll give burning sage a 7, and Juniper a 100.  The next time you're camping near Juniper trees, find a dead one and rip off some limbs to add to your fire.  They burn fairly quickly, but the smell is divine.  Smoky and sweet, the scent will carry you off into an aromatic wonderland, doubling down on the desert wonderland you already occupy.

  5. Gin - Gin is made from Juniper berries.  I don't feel I need to add any more to that.
Position defended!  Junipers rule!  Your favorite tree sucks!  Unless it's a Juniper.

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