Moving to Freedom, .Org

Tree Week

Tree Illustration by William T. Van Dresser from The Little Brown Hen Hears the Song of the Nightingale and The Golden Harvest (public domain, from Project Gutenberg)

Do you like trees? I like trees. How about a series of posts about different parts of a tree? All things tree-related, including tree attributes, like colors, or “woodiness.”

I’m feeling inspired. Are you?

We could have a leaf day and a branch day, and so on: Roots, bark, green, brown, seeds, bird nests, swings. All separate posts.


Yes. Let’s start with that one. Today is “shade day.”

We’ll travel back in time a bit to when there were leaves and more shade, offering escape from a hot sun…

In the Shade of a Tree

It starts with dog poop. First I pick up the backyard. It’s just better to sit in a yard free of dog poop, you know? And best to get it over with. (As well as dispensing with it early in a post. I’m sorry you had to see this unpleasantness, but it’s part of being a dog owner.)

Then I add some seed to the bird feeder. I like feeding the birds. It makes me happy to have them around, flying between feeder and trees and roof, chattering and singing as they do.

I move chairs into the shade of the maple tree. One for sitting and one for feet.

I sit down and set the book on the feet chair. I use my shirt to help grip the bottle top and twist it off. Ah… cold beer. It tastes especially good after mowing the yard on a hot day. Sitting out and admiring a freshly cut lawn is its own reward, of course, but the beer is a pleasant enhancement.

Now I lean back and take it in. The lawn isn’t immaculate. I don’t much care for proper lawn maintenance, but I do like my patch of green grass. And even more, the trees. We’ve been in our house for a long time and have planted most of the trees and shrubs ourselves. They’re like old friends. The landscaping on our quarter acre lot creates some sense of space and shelter. A row of arborvitae shields us on one side, Amur maples on another, and the trees provide welcoming shade. Especially this maple.

This is my backyard paradise.

A few brave chickadees and finches land on the feeder. A couple of goldfinches. I haven’t seen a grackle for a while. They’re off to the fields to eat the farmer’s corn. Red-winged blackbirds have likewise been scarce.

The dog runs over and the birds scatter.

Sitting in the shade of the tree, with the green grass under my feet, and green leaves and blue sky above, I’m exactly where I need to be.

I pick up the book and start reading.

After a few pages, it’s already time for another beer.

More reading.

I start to feel drowsy and lay the book down on my stomach.

I doze for a bit.

A dog snuffles a wet nose against my arm.

Life is good, in the shade of a tree.

(Please come back tomorrow for “leaf day.”)