They are all nude now. As far as I can see, every single one is naked. No, it’s not a zombie apocalypse of nude monsters. Nor is it some nudist resort. I’m talking about the trees on my property.
All of the leaves have fallen. Except for those on a couple of determined oaks that hold onto their dead leaves until early spring, the wind and natural forces have caused all of the colorful leaves to hit the ground. Some in my yard, covering my grass, and some in the woods. Lots of leaves.
If I’d waited until now the wind would have blown most of them off of the grass. But no, I had to rake, blow and mulch them to satisfy my impatience.
The differences between the landscape of the summer and the winter are fascinating. During the summer the trees are filled with leaves. Those same billion leaves that have just fallen to the ground. The leaves create a wall of green so that all you really see is the front row of trees and the tops of the taller ones. It’s obvious that there are a lot of trees, even if you can’t see them. And the fact that there are hills is also clear due to the uneven line of the treetops. But you can’t really see the trees. In this case, you can’t see the trees for the forest.
Approaching winter, now with the leaves off the trees, the view is completely different. Even with a blue sky and brightly shining sun the scene is grey. Now you can see every tree trunk up and down the hills. All of them grey. In just the right light they look more silver, but not at all brown. Large and small, tall and short, straight and crooked, each one is clearly on display. No hiding behind the leaves.
With the trunks in view I can see every undulation of the hillside. It’s really a series of ups and downs, back and forth. There are several paths through the woods, which I knew were there because I see the neighbor as he appears from the woods each morning while taking his daily walk. I’ve never been on the path because it’s not my property, although the neighbor has told me I’m always welcome to hike there. There are also some water courses coming down the hillsides. They only carry water when it rains really hard. And lately its been raining a lot so I’ve seen the water. I can also see the rocks on the ground, large and small, mostly grey with specs of quartz and mica. And the fallen trees and rotting stumps throughout the woods. I know there are also some animals living out there. I’ve seen their glowing eyes in the distance at night. Armadillos, possums, foxes, squirrels, chipmunks, deer and coyote. Not to mention the field mice and snakes.
I once had a job where I was responsible for maintaining the grounds of the business campus. I made a point of touching each and every plant and shrub and tree. I even planted a few trees. It may be hard to touch every one of the thousands of trees on my property here. And even harder to inspect each one carefully. But given enough time, and enough diligence, I can probably do that. And yes, I’m still planting more things. I started with a few shrubs, but have moved on to trees now. A red maple is on my Christmas list.
I love every flower and tree and plant. Except poison ivy. So it’s a joy to explore them all. And to see how the changing seasons alter the landscape.
That’s part of my story. Whet’s yours?