Oh, the Weather Outside is ... Mild January 11, 2012
The sun is shining. The birds are singing. The sky is a vibrant blue.
I'm wearing a light jacket and gloves. There's a very slight chill in the air but the warmth from the sun wipes that away before it can even bother me. This weekend, taking a walk with my dog in the park, the pathways were rather full of others doing the same. They were smiling and jogging and taking in the scenery. Most of their heads were free of the typical tassel-topped hats that are signatures of the season.
Though the leaves aren't on the trees yet and my spring bulbs aren't shooting up, the anticipation and excitement of the new season are so tangible I can practically taste them in the crisp air. And seeing the light in others' eyes and the skip in their steps tells me they are feeling the same.Read More
A Tree You Can Drive Through ... Literally January 5, 2012
When I think of family vacations, I remember long road trips in the car with my siblings when we were younger. We would play lots of games. We'd search for each letter of the alphabet (in order) on drivers' passing license plates. We'd play "I Spy" for hours while singing along to the over-played tunes on the radio to the point of annoying our parents.
But one thing I remember most vividly is the fascination that overcame me as we drove through tunnels in the Appalachian Mountains. One second we saw sunshine and the next we were enveloped by semi-darkness that seemed to continue forever. We incessantly asked our parents simple questions like: "When will the radio turn back on?" "Where are we?" "Why is it so dark?"
Just another long stretch of highway for my dad turned into a lot of fun for the 8-year-old me. My heart raced as we neared the end - would we make it out safely? And then the sunshine would peer into the car windows again - like magic.Read More
Keep Coming, Old Man Winter – My Trees Will Keep Me Warm December 20, 2011
In two days, its the official first day of winter, I realize that each day going forward, temperatures will continue to get colder and colder.
As I pile on the turtlenecks, the cable knit and the wool, I realize I'm adding so many layers it's like adding on half a person in clothes just to stay warm. Needless to say, I'm a "freeze baby," as they call it. It always takes me longer than usual to get warm on the coldest of days, like my body just refuses to adapt to the cooler temperatures.
It's these nights when I'm curled up inside with a blanket by a warm fire that I think about my trees. Yep, that's right, my trees. They're outside, but they're helping keep me warm in the winter.Read More
Keep Winter Scavengers From Ruining Your Silent Nights December 15, 2011
To catch a better glimpse of the snowfall most of the Midwest has yet to receive, I recently made a visit to New Jersey, which was struck by a memorable Snowtober this fall. I walked among the trees nearby, marveling at the beautiful, fluffy, white snow on their branches and enjoying the calming atmosphere. All was quiet, peaceful.
One line from The Night Before Christmas comes to mind: "Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."
But then I contemplated the authenticity of that familiar phrase. Despite the serene appearance of winter landscapes, does snow protect trees and shrubs from winter scavengers? Voles and deer, for example, are quiet creatures that can cause severe damage to your trees. In fact, critters could be tunneling just below the soil surface, under sheets of white snow, wreaking havoc without your knowledge.Read More