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October 28th, 2011

Tree-ific Fall Finds

from Jamie

October is such a busy month, with Halloween events, fall festivals and everyday life, that I find I have to pencil in “savor fall” on the calendar. But when you live someplace where true winter is just around the corner, you’ve got to make it a priority or wait a year for the next opportunity!

When you look outside, there’s certainly no shortage of leaves, carpeting the ground and piling up here and there. But this week Livi and I took a walk to find some favorites. Once we had a good collection, we sorted through those to create a color spectrum, or rainbow, as Livi likes to call it. It’s also interesting to focus on the different sizes and shapes—details often lost when they’re blowing in the wind and piled high outside.

At left: Livi makes a wasp creature out of found natural objects (and a few buttons). At right: A very groovy leaf crown, found here.

Remember making leaf rubbings as a kid?

Ever wonder about the names of all those leaves you’re raking? I was looking for some well-designed leaf cards a few years ago but didn’t find much out there. So I made some simple ones at home and had them laminated…

… Which then led to a tree audit that my dad had always talked about doing. We finally made it happen a couple years ago, on a beautiful fall day. My dad, Livi and I spent the afternoon walking our wooded lot with tree book, hammer, nails and caps in hand. We then numbered the various tree types to match a list that I made so that I can always refer to the list if I forget what the numbers stand for. I enjoyed finally finding out what kinds of trees are on our property, but most importantly, I cherish the memory of that day—three generations of family enjoying and exploring nature together.

More discoveries beyond tree types… a hedge apple; I love the look and feel of these!

Keep your eyes peeled for happy accidents like this!

And watch where you walk; the last thing you want to do is run into one of these: the spiked trunk of a Honey Locust tree. At right: some type of hairy tree vine.

Muffin top? Apparently people aren’t the only ones who get bulges in the middle as they age.

At left: another unusual find. At right: the characteristic peeling bark of a Shagbark Hickory.

At left: yellow wood! Only visible when you cut into the Honeysuckle undergrowth that’s so prevalent in these parts. At right: don’t forget to look up; there’s some great color above you!

Happy hunting and stay tuned for Monday when I’ll share a children’s book to complement this post. Until then, happy weekend!

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