Monday, June 1, 2009

The Company of Trees

It's good to keep the company of trees,
and of the towering stars. The trees are tall,
the stars are taller still, though unrooted.

The broke-down willow in "Will'r Holl'r"

In our yard in Saint Paul, our one-twelfth-acre plot in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood, we have exactly five trees: two mature arbor vitae, a wee mesabi cherry, a clumping birch also still quite small, and an accolade elm we planted a couple of years ago on the boulevard to replace the big elm that went down, like most of the other elms in the city, in the last and continuing scourge of dutch elm disease. Five, not counting a couple of lilac bushes, and the "nursery" of twiggy grafted apples we put in this spring.

On the twenty acres surrounding our Bide-A-Wee in Wisconsin, we have many, many more. We've only owned the land for a little more than a year. We've seen the trees color, drop leaves, green again, through two falls, two winters, two springs, now going into our second summer. We're continually amazed by the beauty, variety, the sheer magnificence of these tall, green-headed people* who share our rural idyll.

In the maple grove.

North meadow young birches.

Arching oak.

Big apple blooming.

"Grouse-Kill" apple, just out Bide-A-Wee's front door

North meadow apples.

Oak on the hill.

The big meadow, morning.

The "Troll Bridge" broke-down box elder


* See this charming
fable by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Text and photos copyright 2009 by Brett Laidlaw

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