Archives for posts with tag: trees

Maples are home; I grew up with four Norway Maples guarding the corners of the backyard.  One was also the swing tree; I found both wild freedom and peace swinging under that Maple. When it went down, my childhood sense of harmony and security shook.

Yesterday I walked around looking at tree buds and flowers, surrounded by all of the other corona virus social separation refugees. There were more than a few riding running talking yelling children with no school day on a school day.

I saw spectacular tree flowers. Many tree flowers are easy to miss: small and inconspicuous, pollinated by wind with no need for large showy petals, bright insect attracting colors and sweet fragrances.  Some, like the Magnolia, break that generalization down completely, and some, like the Red Maple fall somewhere in-between. Small but full of colorful splendor. And powerful in their symmetry.

I hope others are finding comfort, peace and inspiration in the beauty of Spring Equinox.

Happy Spring!

The story unfolds revealing all kinds of surprises. But if you don’t look around for a week or two in May, you miss it. This May I was obsessed with tree blossoms. One day I ran excitedly from Beech flower to flower; for the first time in my life I saw their bloom. At first I didn’t understand what I was seeing… many flowers hanging down and one pom pom like flower coming up in the other directions. Then I got it: The male flowers drooped down and the females flowers bloomed upward, pistils to the sky.

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Naturalist/Sky lover’s quiz: Can you tell in what month I took this photo?

 

I lay under the Maple tree in a  yoga stretch my breath keeping rhythm. Suddenly a titmouse landed on the privet bush beside me. It began squawking loudly. I lay still, but watched and listened as the bird continued to squawk agitatedly. Another titmouse came over to check out the scene. Then three chickadees came in. Then a  White Breasted Nuthatch,flew to the Maple, walked down it toward me, came in close…they all called, seeming to support the riled up squawker. S/he came over to the Maple, just above my head. We looked at each other; I looked into eyes big, dark, beady. Are you telling me something? Or telling your companions about me? It seemed like  the birds were actually going to perch on me. I moved and they flew off … I wondered, what this bird’s message could be. Did it think I was dead? ;a potential source of insects to eat? Did it think I was in trouble and altruistically trying to notify others to help me? The message I took was this- this old Norway Maple, a tree we have considered cutting down , is old, considered a “weed tree” and could fall on our house. Yet it is full of life and possibility, especially for insect-eating birds like the chickadee, Nuthatch and Titmouse. I took the visit as a plea to leave the tree standing- let it die slowly- let life continue on inside and around it as long as possible… perhaps even after its death, (as dead trees actually have more biomass than live trees and provide great habitat for cavity nesters). And look at yards as habitat. They are home for urban and suburban dwelling wildlife. May we preserve green space in the city. Maybe this was not what the titmouse was saying, but it’s the message I took. Tufter TitmouseNatural history note: Titmice and Nuthatches live mostly off Acorns in Fall and Winter ( there is an oak in the yard) Titmice form long-term pair bonds ( so it could have been a couple). Titmice, nuthatches and chickadees  form mixed species flocks outside of breeding season for enhanced feeding purposes…

Black Duck eating acorn

European Starling and Asian Sophora japonica:

happy belated tu'b'shvat!

happy belated tu’b’shvat!

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Chanukah! In appreciation and memory of all of the turkeys that have become a part of a celebration, and of the people who celebrate.

“Turkey Tail” fungi growing on a fallen tree.

The Beauty of Breath: a trees lenticels allow airflow just like our mouths and noses do.

What is an individual? If even our skin is permeable and we are gut is a host of communities of bacteria whom we depend on to survive... What is you? Or me? Maybe it's all we.

(Shelf fungus growing on tree, fruiting bodies merge, spores inside pores, looking like a colony of coral.)