Leaves Hang Like Socks on a Clothesline

March 10, 2012

Last season's leaves hanging like wet socks on a clothesline

“American beech leaves hang like socks on a clothesline, and they remain there, becoming almost translucent, until early spring.”
— Nancy Ross Hugo, Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees

Sometimes words are written so vividly that you can immediately hold an image of the subject in your mind’s eye.  That’s what happened when I read the passage above for the first time.  I liked the descriptive simile so much that I copied the words in my commonplace book.

Our Minnesota woods does not have American beech trees that I know of, but I did find other leaves hanging like wet socks on a clothesline.  They, too, were almost translucent in this late-winter season.

Leaves pegged to a woody clothesline

Lone leaf like an unmatched sock

Icy leaves before the thaw

Aged to translucence

2 Responses to “Leaves Hang Like Socks on a Clothesline”

  1. Annie Says:

    Nancy Ross Hugo nailed that description, didn’t she? I’ve heard her speak several times through the Garden Club of Virginia. What a inspiring person she is. Do you follow her blog, “Windowsill Arranging” (http://windowsillarranging.blogspot.com/)?


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