Don’t overlook the leaves

The other night I was walking on our deck, looking out at the woods, and was stunned by the beauty and variety of the shapes and colors of the leaves on the trees there. Sometimes I take leaves, nature’s little solar panels, for granted.

Last year when Mark went on his honeysuckle eradication mission, he really improved the visual appeal of the edge of our woods.

You can see how the dense, bushy honeysuckle limits the view of the woods in this section that Mark hasn’t gotten to yet. Honeysuckle is not native, and like so many other invasive plants, it has largely taken over the edges of woods along our roadways here in the midwest.  Mark is working as a volunteer consultant for the Hamilton County Park Board here and one of the concerns for their strategic plan for the future is how to get rid of the honeysuckle.

This is a closer view of the first photo. If you click on it you will get a slightly larger picture. I think there is a maple tree to the left, and the heart-shaped leaves on the right might be a red bud tree or tulip perhaps? I don’t know what the tree is in the middle. Do you? I also don’t know what the blooming perennials are called, although I have seen them in my books before.

This is some type of locust tree, I believe.

This is a nice sugar maple below just a few branches of a sycamore. The sugar maples add a lot of fall color to our woods.

We have quite a few sycamores that rise above the lower trees. I love the color and shape of these giants, especially in the winter, leafless landscape.

Here is a jumble of leaves on the trees close to our house and deck. I see oak leaves in the middle, and a few maples here and there. I don’t know if that is an elm on the left.

This small flowering tree is at the edge of the woods close to the garden. You can see the seeds developing from the spent blooms. I don’t know what it is. I’m definitely going to have to get a tree book soon.

I’m pretty sure this is a large elm tree in our woodland garden. Mark was happy to find out we have a few of these because he said that many elms in this area were wiped out by a disease or parasite or something. I don’t know how he knows this stuff.

In the spring we have an event of soft white fluffy things falling, blowing out of the woods and down from the sky. Mark said we must have Cottonwood trees. How does he know this stuff? (I just used the words “things” and “stuff” in one two-sentence paragraph, even after recently reading that writers should never use “thing” or “stuff.”)

We also found a buckeye tree last year. It was a dead give-away when Mark and our daughter Anna found the buckeyes while on a eradicate-honeysuckle mission. Somehow the squirrels missed a few. That was a very exciting find. The limbs of the buckeye tree were kind of gnarly and interesting. I’ll have to go back in the winter and take a picture.

My wish for you on this first day of the very hot month of July is that you find abundant shade where ever you go, and water flowing freely.

 

See more posts about gardening in my series.

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Author: CMSmith

I enjoy reading, writing, gardening, photography, genealogy and travel. I have opinions about many things, but am trying to age gracefully and not continually tick people off with them. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

8 thoughts on “Don’t overlook the leaves”

  1. I see your blog is decorated for the 4th! Loved looking at all the different shapes and sized of greenery your area offers. I, too, had heard that most elms were wiped out. Ha! I, too, have struggled for words and resorted to the usage you described! I haven’t heard of a buckeye tree since I was a little girl. My dad told me not to eat them, they’re poisonous. He probably said that because they look similar to chestnuts, which a friend of mine had in her yard. Now those, I liked a lot! Most of those trees have been destroyed by disease, also. I enjoyed my trip around your lovely yard, I should have brought my lawn chair. 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend!

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