Maple trees stripped of leaves

Maple trees stripped of leaves

This post concludes my year-long Tree-Watching Project.  I started this project in December of last year and followed my “adopted” willow and maple trees through all four seasons.  I will, of course, continue to notice, observe, and remark upon interesting tree happenings in the year to come, but my “official” project is over.

My “adopted” maple and willow trees have now been stripped of all their leaves after a very rainy, windy, and blustery few weeks.  What leaves have not blown away remain in soggy ground cover beneath the trees.

Wet maple leaves stuck together in the grass

Wet maple leaves stuck together in the grass

The maple tree is now bare of leaves

The maple tree is now bare of leaves

Decaying maple leaf stuck to the sidewalk

Decaying maple leaf stuck to the sidewalk

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Fallen willow leaves, almost iridescent and velvety to touch

New life, new buds on the willow tree

New life, new buds on the willow tree

It seems fitting to end this series with the promise of new life, the first buds on the willow tree.

You may recall that I found the inspiration for my tree-watching project from reading Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees by Nancy Hugo.  So for the book lovers among you, here is a review of some remarkable tree books published this year, which I found listed in this article in the New York Times Sunday Book Review.  I’ve already reserved most of these titles at my local library.  Enjoy!

Superimposed maple leaves

“Every blade in the field — every leaf in the forest — lays down its life in its season as beautifully as it was taken up.  It is the pastime of a full quarter of the year. . . . And what is that pride of our autumnal scenery but the hectic flush — its painted throes — with the November air for canvas?”
—  Henry David Thoreau, “October, or Autumnal Tints”

It’s been a while since I’ve photographed my “adopted” maple trees and willow.  After a few windy, blustery November days, almost all of the willow leaves have fallen.  The maple holds on to its lower leaves, but the upper branches are stripped of leaves.

Last golden maple leaves cling to the tree’s lower branches

My “adopted” maple trees in late November

A lone willow leaf

Fallen willow leaf

 

 

 

 

 

Weeping Willows

March 12, 2010

Slender branches of this willow hang like green tresses

Willow tree in spring

We used to have a weeping willow tree in our yard at the farm.  I remember playing under its long, hanging branches.  When I see willow trees, I am also reminded of a favorite childhood book, Blue Willow by Doris Gates, published in 1940.  My library still has a copy, so I reread it recently.  It’s about a young girl whose family has become one of the Dust Bowl migrant farmers.  I recommend it!

Doris Gates' novel