The graceful stems, stripped of unnecessary lower limbs, sustain broad canopies,
intermediaries between our soil and the skies above.
In Rome's Pamphili park, catching evening autumnal light, their company dwarfs idlers strolling below.
The trees are rooted but they seem to dance; people beneath them appear in a trance.
Rome tends her pines with care: light streams beneath them, dancing around the trunks, among the bare limbs above, supporting those cloud-canopies, intense dark greens pinning the stucco'd buildings to the streets.
Some years ago I made a little book of photos casually taken of these pines — I don't have them with me, of course, and will have to post them to this blog on our return to Healdsburg. No promises.
On our return I will also have to arrange a rendez-vous with a tree man to work on our own pines. They were given to us thirty years ago and more and have grown to such maturity as to need attention. I hope to find some information about the pruning of Pinus pinea while we're here in Rome — sources on line and at home suggest they need no more than the removal of damaged limbs (see a video here) but I definitely want these limbed up and thinned out.
Two more points: the seeds of P. pinea are the pignoli, "pine nuts," obligatory in making pesto, and so tasty as to justify the work of extracting them.
And those you don't harvest are harvested by blue jays and squirrels, and germinate readily: I've got to start clearing out a lot of saplings!