One of the fascinating contributions of J.R.R. Tolkein in his writings about hobbits and rings, were the fantastical creatures he came up with. Orks, orukai, Gollum, hobbits, elves, wargs, mumakil, goblins, uruks, an army of ghost pirates…sheesh, the list is long, and I’ve only touched the tip of the ice berg! One of the most interesting, however, were the Ents.
I don’t pretend to be a Tolkein expert at all, but the Ents were like human trees. The name “ent” comes from an Anglo-Saxon word that meant “giant”. They were ancient shepherds of the forest and friends to the free people of Middle Earth. Treebeard, the main Ent in the war of the ring, was the oldest creature in Middle Earth. They move very slowly, and speak even more slowly. The ents don’t die of old age, but as they get very, very old, they become more tree-ish and set down roots and leaves and eventually lose consciousness and permanently become trees.
I think I saw a couple of ents on my morning walk a couple of days ago. They were standing beside an off-shoot of the San Joaquin near Manteca, CA. I was fortunate enough to have my camera handy. One good thing about taking pictures of ents: you don’t have to worry about shutter speed because they move so slowly!
Here’s the two ents as they went down to the water to get a morning drink:
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in 1978, a museum in Germany spent $1.8MM to buy a single book: a Gutenberg Bible.