Saturday, October 22, 2011


It's this time of year, as the leave fall from the trees, that I often think about just how remarkable a tree is.  In the Northeast we are blessed with a wide variety of beautiful trees and watching them change from season to season is a favorite past time.

A Fall Maple

I have my favorites.  While I prefer a maple tree to an oak, I owe my pleasant, shady deck to the canopy of a stately oak. 

The oak is messier than a maple tree, dropping copious strands of its long beard over my deck and lawn in late spring.  This requires daily blowing of the deck to keep it neat and tidy. 

In late summer the acorns start falling.  Luckily acorns don't hurt much when you are clunked on the head with one, but once again there are daily messes to clean up.  Now it's the leaves that fall day after day, after day, after day.

I love my weeping cherry tree.  It is about 30 years old and is showing its age, but for about 4 weeks in early spring it is in its prime.  I watch... and wait...and rejoice when it blooms.  I know it will only be a few days of prime enjoyment and I keep my fingers crossed that a heavy rainstorm won't blow through and ruin the show.
My Weeping Cherry in Bloom
I'm not fond of white pines.  A row of very tall, 30 plus year old white pines marks the property line between us and our neighbors.  These pines put the mess created by my oak tree to shame.  Those pine needles blanket our lawn after the slightest wind and their sticky sap covers everything.  The pine cones from those trees are beautiful specimens, but not by the hundreds.  No, I can do without white pines.

A couple of weekends ago we traveled through the hills of Pennsylvania. 

Thankfully, the trees were a confetti of color.  This was a treat because our trees at home had been turned brown by the salt and wind from Hurricane Irene.

All this talk of trees makes me think of the poem, Trees by Joyce Kilmer.

I think that I shall never see 

A poem lovely as a tree. 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; 

A Tree in Early Spring

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;  
A Tree in Summer

   Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree. 
A Tree in Winter


"Trees" was originally published in Trees and Other Poems. Joyce Kilmer. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1914.

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