One of my pleasures in fall is discovering, or re-discovering, what’s remained hidden behind leafy, green foliage for most of the year. As the season winds down and leaves remove themselves one-by-one, the landscape reveals itself. It reminds me of assembling a jigsaw puzzle, seeing only parts which make no sense until almost the last piece is in place, the total picture finally revealed.
Such are the woods behind our home, which pitch steeply downhill to a small creek and a leaf-carpeted ground. In warmer seasons, a sea of green is abundant and blocks most everything. As temperatures cool, leaves begin to turn until the forest appears to be a fireworks display in full motion, reds, yellows and bright, bright oranges littering the view. And then the winds blow, rain and storms ensue. Leaves fall and the nakedness of the forest is revealed. Suddenly, the scampering squirrels are visible everywhere, often making the forest floor appear to be in perpetual motion. And looking out, there still stands the treehouse.
This treehouse, it is not made for people. No, indeed, a man or woman with an eye for aesthetics likely would have chopped it down long ago in favor of a better view. But that is not me. Beauty in the eye of this beholder is watching the lives of small creatures popping in and out of this long-dead remains of tree. Its certainly seen better days insofar as being a sprawling beauty. However, nature is not yet done with my friend the tree, and she stands tall and branchless, welcoming the birds and furry creatures of the forest for winter’s respite.
This is the soap opera I prefer to watch. Will the tree be standing again this year? Who will inhabit her? The squirrel with the black undercoat…the family of chipmunks feeding daily off my sunflower seeds…perhaps a woodpecker family. Will their be neighbors? Fights? Nest robbery?
Stay tuned. Excitement ensues. Nature will not disappoint.