Showing posts with label 2011 Autumn Tree Smackdown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2011 Autumn Tree Smackdown. Show all posts

Thursday, October 13, 2011

POW! And We're Off!

Yes, foliage fans, it has begun. Recumbent Conspiracy Theorist sent the first SARATS submission yesterday!

From his email:
Hello Rantwick fellow foliage freak. The leaves have peaked decently here in north central Ohio but like you noted today on your blog today I also am not seeing the vibrant color I remember from last year on my dearest old man maple. I went out this weekend on my bike to photograph my favorite specimen for the smackdown and ended up riding around for nearly two hours taking pictures on a beautiful afternoon. As I've gotten older fall has become my favorite season and as you know there is no better way than to enjoy it than on a bicycle.

My submission is a huge maple about a 1/2 mile from my house I pass often when my chosen route takes me in a westerly direction. Like I said not as stunning as I remember from last year but a tree-juice winning contender none the less.
Agreed, RCT, and thanks for getting us started! For more pictures from RCT's tree tour, hit his blog at .
Got Yer Sap Started?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stranded Without SARATS Selection

I'm at work right now, eating lunch and wishing I hadn't run out of the house without any cams or picture files to add to this post. Some of you may be encouraged to know that the dry weather has created a less than impressive King this Autumn. I mean, he looks good, but the pic doesn't have "winner" written all over it either.

I hope some of you have seen some good trees to enter, or even not so good ones... you never know how my judges will vote! For those of you who have not found an individual tree to showcase, maybe you could get away with cropping a picture of a bunch of trees to isolate a good one. I'm getting a little nervous that I won't get enough entries this year.

Yer Pal, R A N T W I C K

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

SARATS Insider Report: London Ontario Will Provide The Mysterious Panel of Judges

As has been proven to me a couple of times now, Internet voting can present some problems. In order to avoid said problems I had been percolating about how to collect my SARATS votes this year. Had been. I now know what I'm gonna do. My intention is to take to the streets and collect video of impartial local strangers as they vote for their favourite trees, which will be presented to them in hard copy form in a binder or something using a laptop slideshow.

I will attempt to spread my vote collecting around; shopping malls, the University of Western Ontario, Dundas & Richmond (the most interesting downtown intersection), and any other spots that pop into my head. The one neighbourhood I might avoid is my own, because this activity is going to prove for once and always that I am a total freak and/or weirdo. I'm thinking I should leave the cam on the helmet and wear it as I do my vote gathering and maybe even create a RANTWICK T-Shirt to wear while I do it... there's no such thing as bad press, you know.

When I'm done I will create a dramatic and suspenseful video that tallies up the votes and declares the winner of 500mL of pure joyjoy tree juice, to be released early in 2012. Such is my dedication to you, dear reader, that I will happily humiliate myself in order to represent your tree in the Second Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown. Mrs. Rantwick is somewhat vexed, but as always will roll with my stupidness because she is awesome. On one of her Birthdays (years ago now) I did something similar, collecting video of strangers saying "Happy Birthday L****", and she loved it.

Please keep your eyes peeled for trees and spread the word... our esteemed judges must be given a reasonable number of choices!

Yer Pal,

PS - Guesses at Mrs. Rantwick's first name might be my next contest, although the winner will have to keep that secret right to the grave.

PPS - Since I'm going to print the pictures, smaller, email and Internet friendly pics probably won't look as good, so feel free to send larger attachments. I'll smallify them for the web site, but keep the big 'uns for printing.

PPPS - Never mind that PPS print thing... I'm gonna use a laptop instead.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SARATS Disease

I will never enter any tree other than The King in my Autumn Tree Smackdown, for good or ill. Still, now that SARATS season has rolled around, I notice individual trees more than I normally would, so much so that I'm beginning to see things.

For example, this tree looked like it was doing a "Don King":

You know, Don King, the Boxing Promoter?

Can you see it?

How about now?

Hmmm. Judging by that little episode perhaps it would be OK if SARATS season went by quickly.

As I finished this post I thought, "Oh no, what if Don King recently died or something? That would be in pretty bad taste." It has happened before on this blog. Just so youse all know, Don King is alive and presumed well (no mention of anything on wikipedia, anyway) at the age of 80. No freaky foliage faux pas today, my friends! 

Yer Pal, R A N T W I C K

Friday, September 23, 2011


The Second Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown, North America's premier fall-foliage-posted-on-an-obscure-website competition, RULES! That is all.

Seriously though, I've had some comments inquiring about some of the rules so I thought I would do a post for all to see. Rules are fairly few.

1) Your entry should should feature 1 or if necessary just a few trees featuring an obvious star-power tree. This is a Tree Smackdown, not a "forest face-off" or "copse competition".

2) Since I hope to continue to run this competition annually, your picture should be of a tree from this 2011 Autumn season.

3) Your picture should be one you took yourself. Including some information about where the tree is from in your submission would be appreciated.

4) Your tree can be from anywhere you like. PaddyAnne from Vancouver won last year with a tree from New York. If you snap it, you can send it.

5) Submissions are due by midnight, Dec 15, 2011 EST. I wait so long because many of my readers seem to come from the Southern (United) States.

I think that's it. Don't forget to spread the word, and if there are any questions, please comment.

Yer Pal,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A True SARATS Threat

I visited The King on my way home yesterday. He's showing signs of change. It's too early to tell, but if he suits up in Orangy Yellow like the first time I wrote about him, look out. Here he is:

Thanks to my being less active on the blog, I fear there may be fewer submissions this year, which only increases your chances of winning a smallish (but not tiny like last year) jug of the best maple syrup I've ever had. What follows is an excerpt from the 2010 contest:
I won't lie... when I located the prize I also bought some for myself. I have tasted it and it is everything I had hoped. Jakeman's has been voted best tasting maple syrup in Canada in recent years and always places in the top ranks of most maple syrup ranker's rankings. So, the prize is a small amount (100 mL, 3.4 fl. oz.) of pure Canada #1 Extra Light maple syrup (click here to see how freaky I am about it) from one of Canada's top producers, located only about 30 minutes from my home of London Ontario.
This year the prize will be 500 mL of that same outstanding tree nectar.
If you're not a totally selfish maple prize freak though, you may want to tell your foliage lovin' friends. Now that I no longer participate in facebookizing or tweetilating, maybe you could do it on my behalf. Or send some emails. Or bring SARATS up at dinner parties, club rides, drug orgies, political demonstrations, church gatherings, whatever. I just wanna see some trees. If you know of some website where foliage rules, let me know, and I'll try to invite even more people.

Stay Leafy, R A N T W I C K

PS - If my impartial panel of judges (whom you will all see when the time comes) chooses The King as the best tree, I would of course award the prize to 2nd place. If you couldn't tell, I've got a good feeling about The King this year.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tough Times and Tasty Trees

First, let me say how sorry I am for being rather absent lately. I have slowed down many times over the last couple of years, but never like this. I really really like writing stuff for this blog, yet I have found that lately it has been quite impossible. Nothing bad has befallen me or my family, so that's not the reason. Work and Life have yet again just taken priority.

That said, some bloggy things are just too vitally important to forgo. I am of course speaking of the Second Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown!

I have been blown off my my usual riding routines by the winds of annoying work-related bull***t and thus have not photographed the King of Autumn yet, but I most certainly will in time to make my own entry.

If any of you are still with me, please find that smokin' good Autumn tree, because this year there will be just one prize for the big winner. The prize will be some kick-butt maple syrup again, but it will be in greater quantity and the same top-notch stuff offered last year. If you know any other Foliage Freaks, well c'mon, send them this way!

The voting for the best tree will be by an unbiased panel of judges to be revealed a little later on... you'll just have to tune in to find out who.

Sticking with last year's format, please send me your pictures of Autumn trees giving us a show. I would prefer shots of one or just a few trees, since even The King can't reasonably defeat a whole mountainside of fall colour. Pictures must also be of this (2011's) season of leafy goodness, since I hope to do this annually until I don't want to any more. That said, all pictures of fall foliage are welcome. Submissions will be accepted until Dec 15, 2011. I'll post the pictures here as they come in, and then the voting by my mysterious panel of judges will occur. Winner to be announced early in the new year.

For those of you who thought you might escape the wrath of the King of Autumn, it is definitely ON. Let's rock.

Yer Pal,

PS - For anyone who doesn't know what the hell I'm on about, click here for the 2010 FARATS posts.